Trends always get a lot of press heading into the New Year. Everyone wants to know what will be hot for 2013 and how it will affect their business. Unfortunately, some trends get too much press. Let's not forget about the flying car or the jetpack. They may become a reality someday, but not next year. Here are seven trends that are supposed to be hot, but in reality, are not.
1. Tablets. Every company sells one and everyone seems to want one. The iPad mini was the number gift on every child’s list this year. They come in various sizes, but without a keyboard they will never kill the laptop computer. Tablets will also never hurt the smartphone since they don’t make cellular phone calls. Why this trend will fade: The size novelty will wear off and bigger screens on smart phones makes watching movies on that device a reality.
2. The Cloud. This concept is as old as computing itself. The first computer users had a method of timesharing off of one system in the data center. Personal computers were born when users wanted that power on their desktops for better response rates. With consumers now accessing information from a variety of devices (see No. 4), storing all the information in one big Internet “cloud” was born. This also has been pushed by software corporations to control access to their applications and charge monthly or annual fees instead of a one-time purchase price. Barriers to exit using any application are also much higher for users. Why this trend will fade: Consumers will once again realize they do want some things stored locally on their devices because Internet access is still not ubiquitous. Major security breakdowns will accelerate this realization.
3. Big Data. This trend refers to the ability of computers to analyze massive sets of data in an effort to determine patterns. Why this trend will fade: Most companies (especially small businesses) don’t have enough data points to utilize this concept. They also don’t have the financial resources to hire the skills to analyze it.
4. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). While not as much fun as BYOB, the idea behind this trend was to have an employee or customer access company data on their own device to add to their productivity. Why this trend will fade: Security risks begin to mount as unlocked smartphones, tablets and other computing devices leave gaping holes. Companies will also begin to realize that BYOD does not add productivity, but more distractions. Using one device to access personal and company applications is a recipe for disaster. Just remember all the service professionals seen daily using their smartphones instead of doing their job.
5. Print your product at home in 3D. In the pursuit of instant gratification, my son always wondered why a physical product could not downloaded from the Internet and appear in our home. Three-dimensional printing of a product like toys and regular household items are being tested. Why this trend will fade: Gartner predicts this is more than five years away because technology has not advanced enough except in very small niche markets.
6. Pay everything by mobile phone. A cashless world has been predicted for a long time. Why this trend will fade. Again, Gartner predicts that technology standards are just not there yet. NFC payment and mobile over the air (OTA) payment are still in their infancy.
7. Pinterest for major brands. While many consumers are enjoying posting pictures on this website, it has not taken off for brands. Why this trend will fade. Experts point to the fact that Pinterest lacks some of the key elements necessary for brand success, including its narrow demographic, lack of conversations, copyright and advertising.
What trends do you think are the most overhyped for 2013?