Mobile: Obvious — but stop thinking about devices. That’s completely missing the point. Mobile is about access to any information anywhere in the world. When you think about it that way, it becomes clear that it will fundamentally change commerce. The automobile led to big-box retail (took the store to the edge of town, made the shopping experience more anonymous), the Internet led to ecommerce (no physical store needed, completely anonymous as you don’t interact with anyone), mobile will lead to _______ … we don’t know yet. Personally I think mobile will lead to a resurgence in physical stores, nonanonymous customer interactions, and integrated offline/online experiences.
Small networks: Many startups are building products and services for small groups. That could be small groups of very close friends, or a group of people who don’t know each other who are into a niche activity or hobby. This is a huge opportunity, huge growth area. It’s what my book is about, and it’s exciting to see it emerge.
Aggregation of data: We’ll see a shift as people think not only about individual stories as the focus of what is being published and consumed, but also toward powerful aggregated experiences that tell a bigger picture. Don’t think about what song I listened to — think about my favorite music this week, this year. Don’t think about yesterday’s three-mile run — think about my marathon training. Don’t think about the shirt I pinned — think about the fashion trends I’m following, the styles I like. Don’t think about the flight I took — think about all the people and places I visit.
Readers: What would you like to see Facebook address in 2013?