It’s that time of year again: where’s it’s traditional to take stock and look to the future. At Consult Hyperion, we do that through our ‘Live 5’ process; where we look at major trends in business, technology and consumer attitudes and project them onto our areas of business focus, with twists of our own. This is more than a marketing exercise. It informs our advisory services, but also sets our own strategy, for example by determining what technologies are investigated, and protypes built, by our Hyperlab unit.

This is the fifth year in which we’ve conducted this exercise. You can check out this year’s and previous years’ predictions here. Future gazing is always hazardous but, over the years, we’ve had more hits than misses. We’ve certainly had no bloopers such as these gems:

  • “one day, every town in America will have a telephone” (a mayor of a Kansas town, I believe, inaugurating its first, and presumed only, phone)
  • “there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home” (Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, on whose machines I cut my adult programming teeth)

Last year, although I believe we correctly identified medium-term trends, detailed predictions became redundant on January 1st, when the world first became aware of the potential (later, actual) seriousness of Covid-19. From March, many organisations became, understandably, tactically reactive and strategically cautious. Our own business suffered a fall in orders for a few months. Since then, most customers have realised that the world will go on and that opportunities present themselves to those with the agility to seize the day in the light of new, or accelerated, trends. We are very grateful to those, around the world, who have chosen Consult Hyperion to help them navigate these testing times. I hope that our Live 5 for 2021 will inspire them, and others. We wish all of you happy holidays, and a prosperous—but, above all, healthy—new year.

Finally, my favourite technology prediction of all time: bang on the money, but exactly one hundred years prior to the technology that made it all too real:

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