Once upon a time, many moons ago I was asked a question in a job interview ‘Where do you see your career in five years?’. Now it was more than five years ago and I can safely say I failed to meet the answer I gave (though I came close at one point) but the point is that five years was/is often used as a handy timeline for a foreseeable, plan-able future.
The thing is that seems kind of optimistic in this game these days.
I’ve been asked to produce a five year timeline for…well something…and in doing so I go to thinking. Five years ago my (web) world looked very different;
– I hadn’t joined Facebook as it had just opened to non-College students
– Twitter launched but I wouldn’t sign up for 6 more months
– Google bought Youtube but apart from being amazed about the fee I didn’t really know much about it
– Google Analytics was a bit of a myth and I was still using Webtrends
– even the sh*tty early version of iPlayer still a year away
– Gmail was still invite-only beta and I was still on Hotmail!
– GDocs launched but I was p*ssed off they closed Writely
– IE7 launched and I was actually happy
– Firefox 2 launched and my involvement with open source begins
– iPhone was a year away and I was still all Nokia all the time
– I was blogging on Typepad and convincing people Movable Type was the future🙂
Now given all of that – which essentially equals my current working life – I do wonder how I can possibly come up for a plan for the next five years – it seems to me that innovation has stalled a little at the moment as users consolidate around the web giants but the shift to mobile/tablet computing, the rise of e-books and even the [dreaded] Internet of Things are all runaway trains at the moment so I think my best bet is to engage my creative writing talents, steal some ideas from Doctorow and Stross and see what shakes out. It’ll be as good a guess as anything!