Speculating about the future is always a silly idea – because the futurologist who is speculating is invariably always wrong. You only have to look at the insane ramblings of the fundamentalist Christians in America who predict the “end times” every new year or the deluded announcer who introduces John McCain as “the next President of the United States” to see this. The technology sector isn’t exempt from this either – there’s the famous old quotes of IBM executives saying in the 1960s that they think there’s demand for maybe four computers in the world, or poor old Sir Clive Sinclair, who genuinely thought that the C5 was a good idea, or poor old Sony, who thought that people might actually want a PS3.
So with this in mind, I’m going to set myself up for a gigantic fall, and go ahead and claim that location-based web services are going to be the next big thing. Feel free to e-mail me a link to this column with a wry note in the future when I have been proven wrong.