Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Predictions for 2021?
262 points by rvz on Dec 31, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 430 comments
What are your predictions for 2021? It's clear that 2020 was somewhat of a false start into this decade and has arguably completely changed everyone's lives for the long term. (If not permanently).

This time, it seems that my crystal ball is lacking inspiration for 2021 due to the uncertainty caused by this year.

Also this massive thread from a year ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21941278.

(Note that large threads are still paginated and you have to click More at the bottom of the page to see the rest.)

Click the link for 2020

cmd-f 'virus': 0 results

Predictions are hard

Even though Corona was already in the news at that time. Oh well, at least we weren't the only ones to get caught of guard.

That discussion was Dec 16, 2019. That was the day of Wuhan's first Covid-19 hospital admissions, so I don't think it was really in the news yet.

To be fair, there were only 8 responses

try ctrl-f

Funny how optimistic and tech oriented the previous ones are compared to 2021 - mostly politics, inequality and authoritarianism.

be the change you want to see

Thanks for those links. I did a quick search for privacy predictions (something I'm interested in) and found some interesting ones - particularly the first one below - it seems to be predicting ClearView AI - but back in 2010. Wow!


-People become more privacy aware after an image search engine with facial recognition is popularized and they realize that any picture ever posted of them by anyone is in the search result for their name. People become less willing to let others take compromising pictures as if they become posted, the link back to them will be made.


2011 - none 2012 - none 2013 - none


2) Security/privacy will become something normal people and businesses ask about, and ask fairly superficial questions about, during many transactions (e.g. people are going to stop being fucking morons and just relying on "the cloud" for sensitive data without questioning it; they may still end up using the cloud, but will want to make a more informed choice.)


I'd like to believe that we'll be more privacy-conscious in 2014, but I don't actually think that will be the case. I'd like to see more scrutiny of the data companies collect about users, particularly because they are now collecting more data than ever before. Some companies like Google have staggering amounts of user data. They're probably salivating at the prospect of capturing even more precise user behaviour through an OS (Chrome) that potentailly captures everything you do online.

Far from the tech community (who you might hope would be most informed about this) actually raising concerns about the privacy implications of this, I think Google (and other companies) will continue to get away with barely any scrutiny at all.



2. More hacking scandals come to light and they are used as cover to restrict privacy and empower the intelligence community.


Privacy still will be a target to crush for governments, and so any activity/communication media/etc that could affect that main objective.


- Privacy will become more mainstream. After apps like DarkMail are introduced, Google and the other players will start to reconsider privacy and we, the people will gain.


2016 - none 2017 - none 2018 - none 2019 - none 2020 - none 2021 - none

* 50% of all US currency is printed between now and the end of 2021

* 1 Bitcoin will cost over $100k on Dec 31, 2021

* An animation tool rivaling Adobe Flash for the web will emerge

* FB releases a thin virtual reality headset https://research.fb.com/blog/2020/06/holographic-optics-for-...

* Austin Tx or Seattle Wa succeeds Silicon Valley as the next major tech hub. San Francisco and its century old Victorians become the Detroit of the tech world

* Section 230 doesn't get repealed

* WFH and quarantine continues until the summer

* A React competitor that compiles to WASM with promises of perf and space gains will emerge

* A Reddit competitor emerges and wins majority marketshare

* 2021 will be the year of punk and rock n' roll

>Austin Tx or Seattle Wa succeeds Silicon Valley as the next major tech hub. San Francisco and its century old Victorians become the Detroit of the tech world

Over the long term (more like decades), a prediction like yours might eventually take place but it's not going to happen in the next 365 days.

Yes, old Venice eventually lost its 13th century financial supremacy to New York and London, and New York City lost its film industry to Hollywood California. Therefore, Silicon Valley's dominance won't last forever but they'll still be the #1 tech hub in December 31 2021.

* FB releases a thin virtual reality headset

Currently being tested in Seattle! Had a conversation tonight about it. I hear there’s a ray-ban branding partnership. And the product is supposed to be way less creepy than google glass, but similar.

Can’t recall if this was spoken to me in confidence. Alcohol. Happy New Years!

I'd be impressed with anything coming from Facebook being less creepy than Google, as low of a bar as that is

I saw the presentation from the oculus reveal. If anything, it's way more creepy than google glass.

> 50% of all US currency is printed between now and the end of 2021

I don't see why the Treasury and Mint would start making more paper money and coins.

It really bugs me when people incorrectly talk about the money supply as 'currency'. Currency is printed by the US Mint/Treasury. Money appears out of thin air when banks make loans.

I am struck by how unrealistic many of these predictions are. My personal take, response.

* Accelerating inflation perhaps leading high single digits low double digits in the next several years.

* Stocks continue to rise as a function of inflation.

* Unemployment measured by workforce participation rate stays high or increases.

* Full self drivering cars are no closer.

* 50% chance of Bitcoin crash like in 2018, 50% chance of further price appreciation but I think $100,000 is absurd for a commodity that has close to zero intrinsic value...

* Major urban areas see falling rents as WFH continues.

* Silicon Valley loses some of its prominence as a function of WFH but I doubt a wholesale shift could happen in a year.

* 50 % chance of major social unrest in the USA as Trump diehards refuse to accept Biden.

* Tech advertising bubble begins to collapse. Tech bubble begins to collapse by year end. AI, self-driving vehicles discredited.

* Amazon reduces its own shipping service as a money loser increases use of UPS and USPS.

* Subscription web services (rather than ad funded) services begin to emerge.

* Reddit continues to decline in quality but no clear alternative emerges.

* Open source, distributed alternative to Facebook emerges, or linked-in subscription based competition.

* 25% chance major world leader dies

* 25% - 33% chance of major armed conflict, especially involving China.

* 20% chance of well attested "alien" contact.

* 20% chance of second novel pandemic in addition to Covid-19

* 20% chance of extra solar "asteroid" like Oumuamua

* >50% chance of Middle East Peace agreement between Arabs and Israel

* Large chance of abnormal oil price volatility.

* Brexit results in deep recession in UK, Boris Johnson is out.

> 50% chance of Bitcoin crash like in 2018, 50% chance of further price appreciation but I think $100,000 is absurd for a commodity that has close to zero intrinsic value

"$100 is absurd for a commodity that has close to zero intrinsic value"

"$1,000 is absurd..."

"$10,000 is absurd..."

At this point, the burden of proof is on sceptics to show why a commodity with zero "intrinsic" value trends upward despite those sceptics' predictions during the last ~10 years.

>A Reddit competitor emerges and wins majority marketshare

So many have tried and failed already. I would really wish that to happen though.

What's wrong with Reddit?

Went from being a niche community based platform to an astroturfing and advertising platform disguised as a content aggregator.

I don't like the way the site is trying to force you to use the mobile app.

Mostly the way in which moderation (doesn't) work giving birth of just toxic microcommunities

Go to www.reddit.com/r/all and sort by new. It's all trash. And porn.

I mean, new was always trash, and porn has been on Reddit since practically it’s inception, but the content (that makes it out of new) and discussion quality has unequivocally declined significantly.

> A React competitor that compiles to WASM with promises of perf and space gains will emerge

Yew look like they’re trying to be that alternative.


> * 2021 will be the year of punk and rock n' roll

Count me in! That would definitely make this year happy for me.

Count me in too!

And me!

> * 1 Bitcoin will cost over $100k on Dec 31, 2021

Glad to see we are learning from the mistakes of John McAfee

Learning from the mistakes of Hacker News would be better.

Which year's?


LOL at the deliberate push for btc bullshit surrounded by common-sense and very popular points.

> * A React competitor that compiles to WASM with promises of perf and space gains will emerge

Or from react itself that compiles into WASM, similar with react native.

> * An animation tool rivaling Adobe Flash for the web will emerge

It's happening https://ruffle.rs/

More something like this I guess:


Ruffle is a Flash Player emulator, not an animation tool for creating animations.

> * An animation tool rivaling Adobe Flash for the web will emerge

Happy New Year 2021!

AnimationCPU is probably an alternative to Flash. Here is the project site https://animationcpu.com/ and Twitter with demos https://twitter.com/acpustudio

Join to TestFlight!

There's also Adobe Animate, which is a rebranding of Flash that can output HTML/JS

> React competitor that compiles to WASM

Those who are better informed than me, who are the main movers here?

Flutter, probably, with the added benefit of the same code base (including UI) working on iOS and Android.

VR headset: how would this be different from what vuzix offers today?

* An animation tool rivaling Adobe Flash for the web will emerge

It’s already here https://gif.com.ai

Software Bill of Material (SBOM) will become more of a thing - where you must list the dependencies and their hash you used for supply-chain security and vulnerability management.

New law enforcement techniques using DNS and other Intel techniques will be used to track, seize and tax cryptocurrency - which will cause increased popularity of Ethereum.

A qubit will travel around the world without decohering and increase attention on quantum internet investments. GPT4 and other ML models (maybe even with a neuro-feedback loop) will radically change entertainment for Gaming, movies, books, and music.

Smart Cities will start emerging ( and some cities which will ban the technology) with ML models and Intel systems capable of identifying all kinds of hazards (fires), threats (terrorists) and crime at scale.

A new “shadow net” will emerge from new mesh-networking protocols and massive amounts of compromised IoT devices- allowing users to bypass core internet routers and ISPs with the “shadow net”

XR with depth field scanning and smart tailoring with drastically change the fashion industry ( shoes and clothes). So people can virtually try on clothes and order perfectly tailored clothes from their home.

I hope the Bill of Materials concept spreads to more areas of software development.

A bit different from your example, but a small group of us started a "Bill of Models" project for our department. We spent too much time failing to manage complexity with fancy tools. We ended up writing our own simple tool for reading custom BOMs to create and manage simulations.

Do you have anything publicly available to read about this project? Or any background on what inspired you?

We wanted to do more simulations with Simulink models to help cut back on physical prototypes. We started tracking time spent to get the results of these simulations. Most of our engineers' time was spent finding the right models, setting them up, and configuring these simulations. They didn't have much time left to do modeling and testing work.

At first we just created some "Bill Of Models" to define systems and simulations. Slowly we've expanded the scope. Each BOM contains a system definition, components, subcomponents, interfaces, and some metadata. There's pointers to different repositories, parameter databases, and scripts to configure runtime environments. We have a small tool that reads BOMs and instantiates them as full simulations.

When someone wants to test a new system variant, they can usually just modify an existing BOM. If they have a new feature, BOMs give them an easy way to see and create every variant simulation to work with. We had to do a lot of standardization of our models, but that helped our efforts to move toward fully automated tests and CI/CD. We now have a web-based catalog of models and BOMs that are automatically generated, run, and tested. All of this has also helped get new people to use simulations for their work.

Thanks for the response, it is a very interesting approach, it sounds more practical than the typical MBSE way of building top down SysML diagrams and adding simulation models afterwards. Are your models liked to other product data in a PLM system or similar for traceability? I'm researching adjacent issues around the flexibility of product platforms and the integration of new technologies in later product variants and model-based approaches to decision making in that regard are fascinating.

I don't use any PLM software. Someone in the company might, but I haven't heard of any being used. All of our requirements are maintained in a company-wide tool though. Requirements get decomposed from customer requirements all the way down to subcomponent requirements. Departments/teams get requirements assigned to them. Engineers were spending too much time manually checking and signing off those requirements. Currently the model and BOM metadata includes related requirement IDs. We are working toward having generic tests for requirements. Our goal is to implement tests for a requirement and have an automated signoff of BOMs.

At this point, our group is actively pushing back on SysML, at least for our roles. Each group's system(s) has a well defined interface to the whole, and everything else is decided within the team. We've found SysML mostly just duplicated work for us. Our software is already written in Simulink so we just build models of our system in that, too. We don't get much value from SysML, and whenever someone else tries to use SysML (like an architecture team) they don't know enough of the details our system.

I don't claim to know much about this stuff, but that's been our experience. The speed and flexibility of our engineers has vastly improved. We've started catching integration issues months in advance, when they are still easily fixable.

I got the free zozosuit when it came out a while ago. It sounded really cool but it didn't have the iPhone AR at least that I can remember.

Virtually trying on clothes would be cool but I don't think there's any way you could get actual tailoring, but maybe adding a few intermediate sizes from the standard s m l?

My prediction for fashion change would be more towards ideas like NTWRK. I hate the false scarcity 'drops' trend, but doing a cool digital launch experience is fun and chunking out a season like Jacquemus seems to build anticipation.


Virtually trying on clothing has significant social hurdles in the fashion industry, primarily due to a complete lack of trust within the industry. Design theft is one of the most major concerns, and any system attempting to enable consumers to virtually try on clothing requires the clothing designs to be released to 3rd parties before the items are in the market - and that early information release is exactly what all social lessons from past interactions in their industry tell them never to allow.

brands can't own their own app (to be fair the gucci on succkks) or LVMH just pools their brands onto a new virtual department store brand?

Personally I don't get the appeal. Seems to me like those who want to actually try on clothes want the tactile feel which you can't get virtually. Versus shoppers like me I just can see from images online what I like and read the fabric, especially a designer I enjoy I already know what the quality is.

... then build a platform that feeds a consumer's measurements to a secure environment controlled by the brand/designer, render the result there, and send the picture back.

Everything can stay under the control of the designer, including 2FA of the end-user, the degree of fidelity of the rendering, rate limits for requests, timed release to selected partners, etc, etc.

Two minutes into that pitch, any and all major fashion corporations will kick you out the door. I spent significant time trying to crack this nut - the fashion industry culture at it's core is luddite, that and any tech that is not 100% transparent ain't gonna fly.

In Megaman Battle Network, the “shadow net” had a name: UnderNet (UraNet, in Japan).

> New law enforcement techniques using DNS and other Intel techniques will be used to track, seize and tax cryptocurrency - which will cause increased popularity of Ethereum.

DNS? Not sure how that's relavent. And furthermore why would a crack down lead to more popularity?

> A qubit will travel around the world without decohering and increase attention on quantum internet investments

Well that would be good for researchers, there are basically 0 applications so i'm not sure why it would generate imvestment excitement (who needs QKD when you have public-key crypto?)

To join many Bitcoin based peernetworks - you first contact one of the DNS seeds. Which is traceable by LEO. Ethereum has their own DNS and other security protocols which bypass this problem - which would be attractive to those who use cryptocurrency to avoid LEO.

Quantum internet is different than QKD. The best analogy I can give is its like the difference between Morse code and the internet. Things like quantum teleportation, superdense coding and distributed quantum computing through a quantum internet will be revolutionary.

Since I had to look it up: LEO = Law Enforcement Officer(s) in this context.

Thanks for that, I initially read it as “Low Earth Orbit” which didn’t make much sense.

> Things like quantum teleportation, superdense coding and distributed quantum computing through a quantum internet will be revolutionary.


> quantum teleportation

What is the practical near term (next 10 years) applications? I can't think of any.

> superdense coding

Somewhat better compression is hardly a killer app, especially given the costs imvolved.

> distributed quantum computing

Need actual quantum computers before you can have that (definitely more than 10 years away imo). I'm also a bit unclear as to how applicable quantum algorithms are to parallelization in distributed machines.

2021 will be one of the hottest years on record. Wildfires will rampage across the western US in the last half of the year. Oil prices will decline to $30/barrel. The Dow Jones industrial average will break 40K. Interest rates will remain low. Employment levels will be very slow to recover to pre-COVID levels. Tensions between China and USA will increase, but will decrease between USA and Russia.

After experiencing the brutal summer/fires in the Bay Area this last summer, I have decided to hedge my bets on a long life by smoking one cigarette a day. I also cycle 70 miles a a week, so I'm not sure if my plan will work

> Tensions between China and USA will increase, but will decrease between USA and Russia.

Unlikely. Biden once said to putin directly that "he had no soul".

And Putin looked Biden in the eye, smiled, and said "So, we understand each other."

Really?! That’s stone cold.

Apparently it’s true.


> "I said, 'Mr. Prime Minister, I'm looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul,'" Biden told the magazine. "He looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, 'We understand one another.'"

That reminds me of a one-line summary of the Cold War: "The Americans play Poker. The Russians play Chess."

Smart reply; this is in the context of international negotiations - Putin's response is the correct response for Biden's little attack: it takes his statement of defect and turns it into a statement a power. That is astute.

That just gave me chills.

And then everyone on line behind him applauded.

The source is Joe Biden. There is absolutely no way that actually went down as he described it.

But will he have the balls to do anything about it? He'll have too many domestic issues in the next 4 years to deal with

All evidence points towards US foreign policy being set by an enigmatic autopilot known to us only as "the civil service."

don't you mean "an enigmatic autopilot known as the neocon agenda"?

Bitcoin backers will continue to pretend that their hyping of one of the worst ideas in modern history has nothing to do with their significant financial stakes in it.

I hate Bitcoin but I want to be rich with no effort, so I've got FOMO.

Brutal honesty I can relate to

I'm curious - why do you think that Bitcoin is "one of the worst ideas in modern history"? It's a very bold claim, I'd like to understand your reasoning.

I’m not OP, but I agree with OP.

To me, BTC looks like an inefficient way to partially solve a problem that doesn’t exist — the problem of trust.

It’s only a partial solution because it only deals with the money in a transaction and not the goods/services.

In addition, it also exists purely by consensus and is therefore just as vulnerable to majority demands for inflation (the limit of 21 million is a choice, not a fundamental constraint).

Furthermore, I do not believe that there is a real problem of trust to be solved, not because governments never mess up currencies (of course they do), but because right now they are not messing up currencies — the stability of most major currencies demonstrates that they are broadly trusted, and conversely the value of BTC fluctuates wildly compared to fiat or resource-backed currencies because it isn’t broadly trusted.

It’s also inefficient by design, being a proof-of-work that doesn’t solve real-world problems, and also limits itself to a really small number of daily transactions over all uses of the currency.

You can't trust the government (or the central banks) to not dilute your savings by increasing the money supply - something they have already been doing in 2020 at an unprecedented rate which will continue in 2021.

While Bitcoin might not be the payment system some have been hoping for, it surely provides a hedge against the incoming increase in inflation rates which is why institutional investors are increasingly replacing cash reserves with bitcoin.

> You can't trust the government (or the central banks) to not dilute your savings by increasing the money supply

I expect the government to do so, and I also expect that it will usually be done in a controlled fashion and for broader economic benefit. Conversely, I expect that when Bitcoin goes wrong and the 21 million unit limit is replaced (call it “Bitcoin Future Fork” or whatever), this will be done by people not too familiar with hyperinflation.

I’m also hedging against inflation with property, although I could also hedge against it with shares or precious metals.

> I expect the government to do so.

I suspect many don't and many underestimate the effect inflation has on their savings.

> Conversely, I expect that when Bitcoin goes wrong and the 21 million unit limit is replaced (call it “Bitcoin Future Fork” or whatever)

Bitcoin is 10 years old, there are already numerous forks which changed several parameters of the original Bitcoin implementation. According to their market value, all of them failed in comparison. In fact, Bitcoin's hesitation to implement breaking changes (hard-forks) may be what the market finds valuable.

> I suspect many don't and many underestimate the effect inflation has on their savings.

Most people don’t have significant cash savings. I forget the percentage, but a ridiculously high fraction of the USA population can’t put together $1,000 for an emergency.

> Bitcoin is 10 years old

Early days then. The Euro is only 22 years old, and decimalisation of GBP [0] happened about 50 years ago. Both still have people shaking their canes and dreaming of the Before Times.

Also: the 5,600,000-fold deflation of BTC in that time makes it almost, but not quite, as impressively unstable as hyperinflation, just in the other direction — it’s not a good thing for the economy when everyone holds onto their money instead of spending it.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_Day

> Most people don’t have significant cash savings.

Unfortunately those are often the same people that get hit the hardest once inflation increases the sales prices while their salaries remain stagnant and they can't afford hedge options.

> The Euro is only 22 years old [...] the 5,600,000-fold deflation of BTC in that time makes it almost, but not quite, as impressively unstable as hyperinflation.

The initial exchange rates of the Euro was determined by the European Central Bank whereas Bitcoin is decentralized and started with an "exchange rate" of literally zero (they were gifted via mail and forums).

Calculating a fold-increase or 'volatility' on this timescale is thus arbitrary (you could just as well argue it's "infinite"). The SD of daily returns as a volatility measure for Bitcoin has decreased from >10% in 2011 to <4% in 2020 and the 3-month realised volatility is mostly comparable to and sometimes even lower than "traditional" tech stocks like AAPL and AMZN.

Dominant risk in Bitcoin is not volatility or 0-day anymore but key management (e.g. exchange hacks, wallet loss, scams/phishing attacks). GBTC for example is an ETF-like trust which allows you to invest in Bitcoin without holding any.

Interesting side note: ~9% of currently available Bitcoins are held by companies on their balance sheets (~7% by companies which are publicly tradable btw).

HN might still be cautious about Bitcoin, but the market thinks it has matured.

can I trust the Winklevoss twins to not flood the market and dilute my bitcoin savings?

One issue: https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/06/12/873/bitcoin-mini...

> "The new study by researchers at MIT and the Technical University of Munich suggests that Bitcoin mining was consuming 45.8 terawatt-hours of electricity per year as of November 2018.

That, in turn, produced estimated annual emissions of between 22 and 23 megatons of carbon dioxide, slotting the operations between the nations of Jordan and Sri Lanka in terms of greenhouse-gas pollution."

It creates more CO2 than entire nations. And that number most definitely has not decreased in the past two years. We may very well be up to or past 0.1% of all global CO2 emissions due solely to crypto mining, a number that will only increase as the value of bitcoin, etc increases.

What is the good that has been gained that offsets that?

It's a fraud engine.

The sour grapes on HN is incredible regarding crypto. Never seen a group of tech people more hostile to a fundamental tech innovation!

- more psychedlic tech ipos; websites such as https://psilocybinalpha.com/ gain more tractions; I expect Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS) double in mkt cap

- Terence McKenna becomes more relevant again; recordings of McKenna's talks such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijA5RHTJaV4 reach million views

- if we look back in 2030, we'll see 2021 being the year that marks the beginning of the psychedelic renaissance

- as a consequnce of this, more VC money will be poured into BCI research & meditation tech; I expect headspace to ipo

- not optimistic about neuralink's consumer debut though

I do agree, but think this is not just a psychedelic renaissance but a drug-assisted psychotherapy renaissance.

As Stanislov Grof has said:

> Psychedelics, used responsibly and with proper caution, would be for psychiatry what the microscope is for biology and medicine or the telescope is for astronomy.


Sensible predictions. ATAI Life Sciences is also expected to IPO.

* more countries will attempt fascism or authoritarian type of government

* more countries will have problem with clean water. Hopefully new technologies to make water purification easier or cheaper emerge

* given fall guys and among us success stories, there will be many more games aimed at that gameplay. Likely one or two of those will boom

* non code programming (drag drop, or similar to) will rise. Used to complement customization, not to replace code-based programming (dreamweaver for example)

* PWA or similar web-based app / installer will rise, while having more opposition from apple and google.

> * more countries will have problem with clean water. Hopefully new technologies to make water purification easier or cheaper emerge

Solar energy is dropping in price like a rock, and desalination uses tons of energy. Desalination can run on intermittent energy, storing water in tanks for the periods without sun. So new technologies aren't required, just continuation of existing trends.

I doubt that google will oppose PWA since they are the main force pushing it.

Oh right, it's more that google will regulate PWA's to follow mobile's behavior, such as tracking, ads, etc, to more enrich play store apps.

>PWA or similar web-based app / installer will rise, while having more opposition from apple and google.

Google is the one pushing it, actually. And wasn't there a recent post on HN that Firefox devs are planning to remove PWA support?

2021 will be the year of Linux on the desktop. You heard it here first.

> You heard it here first.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25596401 ;-)

You all are hilarious

2020 kind of became the year of the linux desktop for me after I caught one of our sales guys with linux on his desktop in 2019 and suddenly realized a PM type with one of our customers were running Teams from his Ubuntu computer!

At work it seems anyone can habe Linux as long as they support it themselves and it generally feels a lot like when Mac broke through.

But whatever, 2021 it is then!

Hope to see som really good distro releases this year then and maybe one more vendor will officially supoort it? Or maybe we will see a MS Office for Linux beta release this year?

Microsoft has been flexing their muscles for years now to the point were my personal laptop has a dual-boot partition with official(!) Norwegian Nynorsk(!) language settings.

It means there will be one single dominant Linux Desktop Environment.

And, more importantly, on smartphones!


Prolonged lockdowns and new habits kill 75% of small businesses and greatly increase inequality as the richest 10% stay at home saving/investing instead of spending.

This will trigger an economic collapse which will bring down the eurozone. Germany will want country rated euros to avoid having to bail Italy.

House prices in Europe will drop to a rent / value rate similar to the USA, as property owners scrap for money.

USA will face similar problems and inflation will start being a problem.

China will start buying more in Europe and USA (same as they did with Africa).

If I had a euro for every time I've heard a prediction of the collapse of the euro I'd be rich by now.

> If I had a euro for every time I've heard a prediction of the collapse of the euro the Euro would have collapsed because of devaluation by now.


Let's hope a that a Euro collapse won't lead into the 3rd WW in 3-5 years. People have _very_ short memory and are very eager to point fingers at each other.

I think eurozone collapse will begin in germany, centered around the collapse of deutsche bank. No other scenario will make sense. Although it will still be bad, the uk will have dodged a bigger bullet with brexit.

Since the UK was never in the eurozone, if anything it would be more affected in this scenario following Brexit.

In that scenario, the UK will have no influence in the EU and not a single person in the EU will think it's important to protect Britain's political interests.

You don't think that the EC will make demands that non eurozone countries (SE, DK) participate in non-monetary aspects of bailout of the eurozone in the case of such a collapse?

You don't think they would make demands of the UK?

As the UK didn't use the euro anyway, I don't think it will change how much the country would be impacted by a Eurozone collapse (ie: still seriously impacted)

Italy's sovereign debt crisis is going to be a nuke compared to the firecracker that was the Greek crisis in 2012.

I can't see DB being big or important enough to cause the collapse of Germany. I could be wrong.

Doubtful, the UK would suffer greatly from reduced demand for their goods and services.

inflation will start being a problem

If that happens then interest rates will rise, which will be very, very bad for both businesses and home owners. If it happened quickly enough it'd make 2008 look like a walk in the park.

The US isn't going to start facing meaningful consumer inflation for the exact same reason Japan didn't / hasn't. And for the same reason all the Keynesian economists have been hilariously baffled by Japan's situation for decades now, they'll be entirely baffled (and have been for the past decade) by the US and its 0% rates not spurring rampant inflation. Their dogmatic, borderline religious, belief in their wrong ideology makes it impossible for them to understand what's actually happening. They're entirely blind.

The ever-expanding massive pile of debt robs the economy of dynamism, which prompts an economic heat death. That's what happened to Japan and it's exactly the reason US growth keeps trending ever downward and will continue to and why the Fed has been doing crazy shit and can't spur the expected inflation result. The US has begun to suffer a debt-based heat death economically, where the cost of debt and the (mis)allocation of capital to low-return (de facto junk) debt robs the economy of the capital required for investment to expand effectively. And the more debt piles up the worse the effect gets, until you get to a point where the bureaucrats in charge just start doing direct currency chop-downs (aka mauling the population's standard of living), which is the point Japan arrived at several years ago. You end up with tens of trillions of dollars tied up yielding zip, heat death. Covid accelerated the dire fiscal situation for the US by nearly a decade, which is about to hand China the keys to taking superpower charge of half of the planet (if you're in Asia, you're particularly about to be screwed, as the US is going to be increasingly forced to stand-down there; before the decade is out, a transfer of hegemonic power will occur in Asia). The US is now blatantly bankrupt and spiraling (not just slipping toward it, the US is sprinting at it), it will be forced to pull back. The US jumped right to print to fund everything mode (there is nobody to buy $1.5-$2 trillion in junk debt every year other than the Fed), which will speed up the heat death by a lot (and as that gets worse, the politicians will want to spend ever greater sums to attempt to offset the stagnation to placate the angry voters, which will make it worse even faster; spiral). If China didn't release the virus on purpose, strategically it would make perfect sense to do so (and hell, if you're them you might consider doing it again given the amazing results, their global export share is now the highest for any nation since the US in 1981).

And to throw a new wrench into the economic disaster, the American population has had enough of it all. The clowns in charge in DC can no longer throw around bailouts without having to pay off the public with magic printed money too. They'll never be able to do bailouts again without throwing large sums of money at the public (all via debt and currency destruction, adding to the previously mentioned economic heat death scenario). $2,000 stimulus checks? $463 billion, 2/3 of the military budget. You see the choice that's coming very soon? The bureaucrats can feel it at this point, their senses are tingling; this, or that; this, or that; which will it be? For a bit yet they can pretend we can do both, but that won't last much longer at the rate Rome is fiscally burning. Then all hell breaks loose (already begun) as the factions start to eat eachother over priorities.

Europe is enjoying much of the same effect, including the intense economic stagnation (for 13-14 years now Western Europe has seen zero net GDP growth, and it'll continue). Trillions of euros held in garbage paper yielding negative, their economies have been in the freezer for a long time now. Nothing like paying a government to eat you.

Inflation will once again surprise the clown economists. Golly gee, what magic is this such that 0% rates aren't causing a lot of inflation. Golly gee it worked before, what's different now versus the 1970s. We just can't figure it out, our textbooks say this should work. Print more fiat, we gotta spur inflation! $20 trillion in worthless Keynesian stimulation isn't enough? Print more! We'll find the number eventually, keep digging that hole.

No field has more idiots than economics.

> Keynesian economists have been hilariously baffled by Japan's situation for decades now

Keynesian economimists understand what's going on perfectly well. It's the mainstream Chicago school economimists that can't gasp what's going on. Because Keynesian's totally know what a liquidity trap is. Keynes would easily understand that monetary stimulus in a liquidity trap just results in capital imposing larger and larger burdens on the real economy.

Put the due where it's due. The ideological followers of Milton Friedman the dummkopfs you're talking about here.

Keynes invented the idea of liquidity traps which is what caused the Japanese crisis. Wild that you feel so confident calling economists idiots when you don't even know their positions?

The observation about consumer inflation is very true, the massive inflation is actually in asset values (house prices, share prices, etc) I also wonder how I reconcile the rest comment with others pointing out the vast amounts of money available, especially in the US, for startups in general. When seed rounds can be more than $3M, I’d say there was plenty of capital available for growth investments as well?

> No field has more idiots than economics.

Alternative explanation: economics is hard & illusory superiority is a thing.

Why would interest rates rise? They're completely manipulated. If interest rates rising would kill businesses, then they will be manipulated not to rise.

Because the choice will be interest rates or inflation

But it’s been made very clear every major economy wants inflation. Interest rates ain’t never going back up, ask Japan.

Few trillion in national debt. Who cares.

I thought it was quite interesting that 30% of the budget is debt servicing.

If they didn’t have any debt, they wouldn’t need to loan any money.

> Prolonged lockdowns and new habits kill 75% of small businesses

Hey now, we're talking about predictions, not things that have already happened...

BABIES! So many COVID-induced lockdown babies! I've had so many people, many who were either done with having children, and those who weren't planning to for a while yet, announce their pregnancies.

Wonder if there are any companies I can invest in to cash in on this?

Interesting. I predict the exact opposite: birth rates will decline dramatically. I'm not alone in that prediction. According to this article, birth rates have already started to decline in the US: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/11/covid-19-...

I have never heard of so many babies on the way as now. Heck, even I had a son born in November (so not technically a lockdown baby).

> even I had a son

Baader-Meinhof phenomenon got you good!

I suspect this is a situation where you’re likely to have a lot of sampling bias. Lockdown has been really shit for a lot of people and I would guess that the lack of financial stability or any kind of predictability would put people off. The question is whether this is counteracted by the better off people whose pandemic experience has been more encouraging.

I had my first during the first UK lockdown (ie planned before COVID). Tbh, I thought it'd go the opposite way - I wouldn't recommend having a baby during lockouts. You have to ask family to break rules just to get some occasional rest bite and we've had very little in the way of government or community support - my wife goes to 1 baby class a week, with reduced capacity, social distancing and masks. Being a father is great, but it would have been nice to start outside a pandemic.

`Rest bite' is a great eggcorn.

I wonder if the fact of making babies by couples in lockdown will not be offset by singles in lockdown unable to go out and meet people for baby-making purposes.

That doesnt really seem to be the case so far https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/canada-s-population-gro... maybe when its all over we will have a baby boom with everyone being happy.

Atleast in Belgium, a mini baby boom is already a fact


I would think the opposite. What's the long-term effect on births when the dating world shuts down for 6-9 months? I'm not single though, so I do wonder how much it shut down and was affected by lockdowns?

This has been a theme since the start of the first lockdown, but surely humans in general would seek to avoid having babies during a pandemic?

Why would anyone do that?

Remote as a hybrid approach will be accepted norm. Remote work for few weeks a year will be accepted norm. Remote medicine will co exist will inperson visits. Remote education will co-exist will in person school.

I hope this to be the case, but the large businesses that own large chunks of city real estate will push hard to get people back in and paying rent.

Frankly, I hope some areas are abandoned or made radically cheaper, and are reclaimed by impoverished artists and other bohemians. This process has happened in the past and has enriched many old cities. By the same token, I'd also love to see blue-collar workers able to move back into cities where they work, but where they're currently priced out of house ownership.

We might see a boom in commuting two or three days per week, and a growth in clusters of more localised communities, more like villages than cities. They might encircle a city made of a mix of business meeting places (office blocks) and the more bohemian/blue-collar pockets I mention.

At least, that's what I'd like to see. I don't know if it's a prediction as such.

I'd also like to see desk- and office-rental businesses openly embrace this and explicitly move away from current models that encourage the corporate sterility seen in many modern cities, and towards an enriched, happier working environment.

I can hope!

Tech stocks will drop

More no code platforms will emerge and grow

Fiat currencies will have major moves

Bitcoin will rise big and then drop sharply once people realize how useless it is

Inequality will continue to grow. More controls will be put in place to keep disadvantaged in line. Surveillance, social controls, brainwashing

Real estate will have volatility

>Tech stocks will drop

There is no change in monetary policy globally, and every country injected even more printed money into the system for Covid relief. 2021 should see new all time highs across all equities, particularly tech.


Crypto will have a meteoric run up until the Coinbase IPO in February, and then people will take their profits, but I expect it to rise with the rest of the economy by the end of the year again. Overall, everyone should be buying the major dips on crypto until 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics when China is expected to do a roll-out of their digital currency. I don’t recall if it’s exactly blockchain based, but it’s a sentiment booster for digital cashless economy and should boost the general crypto market.

I personally don’t over think this one, just buy/sell the trends on this stuff. If you bought 1btc at 3kish, you are sitting on 24k. Didn’t we all know Bitcoin wasn’t going to stay at 3k? This will be a never ending cycle and will be our generations Gold (what makes that go up or down now days is anybody’s guess, but the sentiment cycle is real on this stuff and it’s best to surf the trends).


Most likely due to economic growth. In the shuffle, the working class doesn’t get it’s fair share of the pie.


I’ll add five:

1. Tesla really benefited from government subsidies for energy efficient vehicles. I expect the Biden administration, and the Democrats to push hard for “Green” subsidies across the board. Don’t be surprised if suddenly the new meme startup pitch shifts from blockchain over to “green”. Buy anything selling solar, electric vehicles, etc.

2. Restaurants come back different in a leaner way. Smaller locations, delivery first, little to no dine-in. Think more food trucks. Suddenly that mobile robotic pizza truck SoftBank invested in might not sound so insane. What was insane was an entire industry unable to survive because of people and real-estate costs. Not so wild to consider location-less/people-less alternative.

3. If Democrats win the run-off next week and take Congress, marijuana will get federally legalized.

4. Covid annihilated companies will merge or get acquired in 2021. They won’t be given a chance to rebound, but instead be snapped up at the first sign of an uptrend.

5. Online learning platforms will become enterprise grade platforms leveraged by school systems. I expect to see 10x more companies building a Blackboard alternative for k-12, as school districts will look negligent for not investing in one to facilitate remote learning.

As a high school level teacher, I don’t believe 5. will happen in a meaningful way. The fundamental funding models and incentives that brought us to this place of almost universal mediocrity in Ed Tech will continue. With the waning of covid over the summer, there will be a massive push to “get things back to normal” and no progress will be made.

>Most likely due to economic growth.

Growing inequality with near zero interest rates is a sign of wealth re-distribution, not economic growth.

Sorry, I meant stock market growth.

> Bitcoin will rise big and then drop sharply once people realize how useless it is

or when the liquidity catches up to the prices on exchanges, like every bitcoin rally ever and people keep building on it regardless? it isn't controversial for commodities to have cyclical trading patterns.

Tech stocks could decline because they are way overvalued. The digitalization will stick with us. Online commerce will increase because traditional shops will accept that they have to adapt. Virtualization, remote work, and video conferencing will stay with us.

In one year? Or is that a 10 year prediction?

> Tech stocks will drop

As a vaccine roles out, one would expect these online services to die back down again to roughly where they were, if a little elevated due to some good exposure.

> Fiat currencies will have major moves

I see a few large movers now trying to push micro-transactions which could be interesting. I know for example China are pushing Alipay very hard.

> Bitcoin will rise big and then drop sharply once people realize how useless it is

I think of Bitcoin essentially as a pyramid scheme, it has zero real world value. I think banks made a major mistake in trading in it.

I always thought it would be more interesting (if not more illegal) if it was used for solving computationally hard problems, where people post bounties for their completion and it can be proved the computation was done correctly. For example cracking a strong key pair or website certificate, or doing some computation for research like protein folding.

> Inequality will continue to grow. More controls will be put in place to keep disadvantaged in line. Surveillance, social controls, brainwashing

See the point about micro-transactions. Cash-in-hand agreements grease the palms of the working man, if they can make that digital then they can tax it.

> Real estate will have volatility

After the protests/riots in the US and the COVID situation in all major cities, I think many people are looking to move out to more rural areas. In New York I hear the markets are in a very bad way.

The economy will bifurcate into two sections: a corporate economy that builds platforms, and an individualist economy that uses those platform for creative purposes.

Think YouTube + video creators, Spotify + artists, Netflix + more long tail video content, Substack + writers, TikTok + influencers, Doordash + indie chefs, Apple + indie developers.

I believe this will feel like visible people are losing jobs and making less money, but humanity as a whole will see wealth increase.

Isn't this just a continuation of the service economy? It won't feel like people are losing jobs and making less money, people will lose jobs and make less money as they transition to creative domains that AI/automation hasn't captured yet.

Damn I never thought about indie chefs! I heard about ghost kitchens which I think is brilliant but building and promoting your individuality as a chef unlocks a whole new world of possibilities.

I think the more savvy term for it is cloud kitchens.

Cloud kitchens are actual commercial kitchens run by corporations. Indie chefs just cook out of their own homes.

Ah, I was not aware of that distinction

I think Kalanick (the Uber cofounder) trademarked that.

Any source on that? I tried searching for it, seems like Kalanick does have a new venture called CloudKitchens but can't find anything on whether the phrase 'cloud kitchen' itself is trademarked.

I was going by the “®” in their logo. From https://trademarks.justia.com/879/58/cloudkitchens-87958653.... it looks like USPTO acked a plan to use the mark within three years. I don’t know whether that means they could complain if you opened “Talukder’s Pizza Cloud Kitchen.”

Hmm, I see a few publication using the `cloud kitchen` term in a generic way. But maybe if I opened a business, maybe they will see that as trying to take advantage of an existing brand. No idea if that's how trademark works.

Isn't Netflix the odd one out there? They control both the platform and the content.

They’re buying smaller and smaller projects as time goes by, catering to more niche audiences. They understand that they’re in a unique position to work the long tail. Having tiktok like individuals creating content on Netflix is the logical extension of their current strategy, alongside some shows with broader appeal.

Hmm, I think I get your point. But still, I don't see if it will ever be as effective a market for individual creators as youtube.

It won't be a market, but it will be a living. Netflix can pay people a contract or a salary to produce content.

Yeah. But it is still Netflix controlling both end, they are just extending their supply chain to include more indie creators but at the end of the day who gets to get on the platform and how much they can earn isn't a direct function of that creator and their audience. That economy is not a directly individualistic economy like the other examples. But I would really like to see a mix of kickstarter and patreon for indie creators that can run parallel to the OTT platforms, enabling them to create more ambitious projects and enabling their audience to directly support it.

I think Kickstarter itself is a pretty popular way to get projects running https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/kickstarter-film-projects/

1. Money will be printed massively to support artificially covid-impacted economies/businesses. Stocks (from non covid impacted companies) and Crypto will continue to raise.

2. Remote work will continue to gain traction. Remember that in 2020 remote work was terrible for new remote workers, as they were unprepared and face hard conditions (stress, children with closed schools), but shows that remote working can work indeed. New tools for team building will pop-up and social life will be partially transferred to local and non professionnal events.

3. Real estate will slightly evolves as houses/appartment should not only be chosen to live in but could also be used to work : square meters/feet per person will increase, measurements of the quality access to water, electricity, Internet will become a standart. Commercial estate will fall hard. Locations with high life ROI will see new comers and increasing prices. City councils will be on huge pressure.

4. Take-away only restaurants and shops will increase.

5. Universal delivery box will happen to allow asynchronous distribution of goods (by night when traffic is low, by drone ?)

6. The EU e-privacy law altogether with more legal and financial penalties will make US companies to lose momentum in Europe

7. Google Ad network will either dismantled or facing a boycott from other parties

It might not be 2021 but it'll definitely be in the decade, but I believe that people are seriously underestimating the impact that cheap green energy will have on the economy.

Right now green energy is only slightly cheaper than fossil fuel energy so it's effect has been minimal. But the price is forecasted to continue to drop the way it has over the last 50 years.

Energy is a massive component of the price of much of what we consume, from food to travel to chemicals to material.

Solar & wind energy have some troublesome characteristics, like their intermittency. But where some see problems, entrepreneurs see opportunity.

I'm not sure exactly how cheap power will transform the economy other than the obvious (fossil fuel producers are in big trouble). But I have no doubt it will.

Energy prices dropped massively and regularly between the industrial revolution and the oil price shock of the 70s. They've been relatively constant since then. It might not be an unreasonable prediction that the boom times between post-WW2 and the 70s might return.

A restructuring of commercial office real estate around coworking spaces, etc instead of offices dedicated to a company. In the short term this will be disastrous for traditional office real estate.

People still wear masks quite a bit.

Parents of children in closed school systems in the suburban US will get even more outraged as schools stay closed into 2021, with dramatic political consequences.

Finally the US succeeds at anti trust for some big tech, though not for more beloved brands like Apple

Post COVID, Massive explosion of travel and restaurant visiting causes tons of demand that the waning industry can’t meet.

Major industrialized countries have better surveillance for potential pandemics. It’s taken much more seriously.

The major issue shifts to something completely unexpected (not Covid) by years end

My prediction: most of the predictions will be wrong.

Really! Why even bother with predictions, except to reveal your biases?

Related, some enjoyable wisdom from Morgan Housel (one of my favorite personal finance writers): https://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/sure/

I think you're the most accurate here. :-)

Thank you for relieving the secrets of prediction making!

- At least 5 presidents of 3rd world countries will die

- Much, much stronger ties between central europe and china

- Chia will become top 10 crypto

- DNA manipulation will become much bigger

- Facebook will go into proper decline

- Start of the break up of google ad business from google search business

- A few small EU alternative search engines come up

- Battery as a platform continues accelerating - new mobility form factors, battery grid scale storage

- Marketplaces with more than 2 links in the chain start eroding one of the middle links (primary ad channel will connect direct)

- Cross-border payments will become far easier

- Twitter will bring in a bunch of tools to combat toxicity

- So much travel in summer - hotels will have one of their best years ever

- AirBNB stock will do what tesla stock is doing - driven by reddit WSB kids

- Asia will crack down on scammy crypto companies

- MediaSynthesis will advance further - a major new tool that makes it trivially easy

- Google search results will start becoming way better and super personalised as their data efforts start showing results

- OpenStreetMaps will become a serious-serious contender to Google Maps

- Amazon gets into general purpose search?

- SSDs start dominating, NVME becomes standard for new desktops

- Google focuses far more on local, smaller sites to the detriment of big sites. Many well known brands (e.g tripadvisor) lose traffic

- Pinterest gets investigated for finance-related matters

- SARS viruses become the new normal

> - Google search results will start becoming way better and super personalised as their data efforts start showing results

This one is very surprising to me. I think Google's results have been getting worse for me every year for a long time. They used to supposedly have the goal of getting people off the search page as quickly as possible, but it seems to me their recent data efforts have the goal of making people spend more time on search pages where they can see and click on ads. I.e. worse search results, caused by ignoring search terms and showing unrelated things instead. Why would 2021 be any different?

- Google search results will start becoming way better and super personalised as their data efforts start results.

I can believe they’ll do this but it won’t make the results better. Google search would go the way of YouTube.

> OpenStreetMaps will become a serious-serious contender to Google Maps

Maybe not this year, but I can see this happening over the next five.

Speaking from Ireland.

- Car traffic will be only slightly less than 2019 levels, despite rolling lockdowns all year.

- Brexit will start to be noticed on supermarket shelves.

- The built-up stresses of 2020/2021 will turn some relatively minor issue into a genuine political crisis, in a straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back situation. It might bring down the government.

Do you think Brexit reaching a conclusion could spur reunification between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a “United Ireland”)?

(Lived in UK and Ireland, and various other EU countries)

NI is now effectively separated from the rest of the UK, so will rely on Ireland a lot more for trade. For sure there will be more cooperation between the two countries, but in the last survey only 20% of NI residents favoured a united Ireland. [0] I doubt Brexit has shifted that number too much. I'd more expect NI to become an independent country, but Scotland will be first.

In terms of Ireland I think this is good for them, as it'll give them more opportunity to be more independent. At least when I was there (nearly 10 years ago, in Dublin), it felt like 'the UK but slightly different', i.e. very different from the rest of Europe. Online retailers often didn't have an IE store, but most UK retailers would ship to IE for extra shipping.

Now it will probably be the other way, IE retailers will ship to NI for a little extra. The combined markets have a population of nearly 7m people, so it's bigger than a lot of European countries.

As OP says it might be painful to begin with (for NI and IE) as they adjust to the new position. Ireland drives on the same side of the road as the UK, and uses UK plugs, so cars and consumer goods will most likely become more expensive too.

[0] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Northern...

Other polls seem to range from 29% [1] to 80% [2]. I think it depends who's asked!

[1] https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-nireland-poll/poll...

[2] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/election-2020-we-want-uni...

Polls [1] and [2] are polls of the electorate on different sides of the border. Both need to approve for unification to happen.

In Northern Ireland identification primarily with the UK or with Ireland is a defining identity issue for Protestant and Catholic communities respectively. The 29% figure for near term unification can still rise but campaigners for a United Ireland there face two problems: firstly that many in their own community broadly sympathetic to the idea of a United Ireland are concerned that changing the status quo now would lead to a return to the sectarian violence of a generation ago, and secondly that the Protestant community is slightly larger and also less flexible on national identity.

That's a dubious looking poll with three options on remain and one on re-unification.

Yes -

If Northern Ireland is following the Republic of Ireland/EU commercial regulatory framework, and not the rest of the UK's as that quickly diverges, there will be a new pragmatic argument for Northern Ireland to leave the UK.

I'd give it at least 5 years, though.

Maybe "spur" might be putting it a bit strong, but I do think it will make it more likely in subtle, marginal ways. It will be an extra push factor in an already complicated dynamic. In any case, I think a referendum on unity is still decades rather than years away.

It is weird how no one wants to talk about the over-inflated euro and its potential impact on Ireland.

* Baizuo gestapo

* The DJ mix fades slowly from Covid to climatechange

* Bill Gates does geoengineering

* Trillions of dollars printed -> effect -> bitcoin to the moon

* People will say that internet in 2020 had freedom

* Migration of taxpayers to other countries


> Baizuo (/ˈbaɪˌdzwɔː/; Chinese: 白左; pinyin: báizuǒ, literally White Left)[1][2] is a Chinese neologism and political epithet used to refer to Western leftist ideologies primarily espoused by white people.[3] The term baizuo is related to the term shèngmǔ (圣母, 聖母, literally "Blessed Mother"), a sarcastic reference to those whose political opinions are perceived as being guided by emotions or a hypocritical show of selflessness and empathy.[4]

> bitcoin to the moon

if you're assuming that printing money will inflate currency, won't every asset go to the moon (hold its value against depreciation of currency)? why would bitcoin particularly benefit?

Yes, this is true that every asset will go to the moon, especially the stock market. I hope that the mainstream cultural perception of bitcoin and blockchain will change from being purely speculative and related to dark markets to actually being used with a good intent.

What good intent are you suggesting?

Technology is a tool, with a hammer you can smash people's heads or build houses. You never know what ideas can emerge, what creative energy can be formed in the context of blockchain. What comes to my mind is to find a more sustainable and ethical business model than advertisement.

By the end of the year, we'll have started a new roaring 20's. People are pent-up--eager to travel, excited to be with friends, vacation, go to bars, party, see movies. Pent-up demand will help kick-start the economy.

Work from home is normalized. Commercial real estate prices will drop as companies pare-down their office space. Wework has better prospects than ever.

Travel stocks and in person events go crazy.

A renaissance for Ruby on Rails. Old fashioned SPA's are overbought/oversold, the pendulum will swing to the middle for many use-cases.

New security practices are developed, deployed, and become commonplace in the enterprise. I'd invest in this area if I had a way. Maybe honeypots, tripwires, or something new. Whatever can be sold as an antidote to the SolarWinds debacle, irony of security products as a vector aside.

Deepfakes start to surface in the public consciousness in a way they haven't so far. None of this is good.

Looking under Trump's rug gets ugly--Democrats are faced with seeming to "hunt" a political opponent, or letting some really bad stuff go.

The thought that WeWork will ever recover is comical. I’d be surprised if they are alive by summer.

Let me clarify that a bit--their concept has better real business prospects than ever. I'm not commenting on their ability to match their over-promises, their leadership, capital structure, or their misalignment to their valuation. I suppose their ability to stay alive is apart of their prospects, though.

Yea, I agree with the appeal of co-working spaces in general, and do expect them to see an uptick. However, WeWork's model is simply atrocious from a business standpoint. They assume all of the risk and liability by being the leasee in most cases.

> Deepfakes start to surface in the public consciousness in a way they haven't so far. None of this is good.

The scary Deepfakes will be the ones that are 90% benevolent with 10% subtle naughty bits. They'll go undetected by the press. Imagine spreading anti-CCP propaganda in China but not in obvious ways that it can go under the radar of CCP censorship. Complete disarray.

You are probably overly optimistic about Rails, I wish it could be true.

Have you looked at https://hotwire.dev ?

Autonomous vehicles will be unleashed in urban environments. They will kill people in unacceptable scenarios and the industry will be forced to retreat as political and legal pressure mounts. Teleoperation won’t work. Operation of autonomous vehicles in urban environments without a trained safety driver will be severely restricted until there’s a major AGI breakthrough.

Watching recent Tesla FSD beta drives made me understand how stressful/dangerous it is to take a ride in such vehicle.

If they make a 1000x improvement it becomes even more dangerous because it can make you feel safe and unaware of sword of Damocles hanging over your head.

I hope I will be proven wrong, but I don’t think any of the current approaches will deliver level 5 autonomy.

* Jeff Bezos will be the first person to surpass US$1Tn in net worth

* Boris Johnson will resign

* Tiktok becomes the most popular social media platform

* Japan Olympics go ahead causing hundreds of deaths

* Covid eventually fizzles out

Boris’ stock is pretty high right now, he’s just lead the country through COVID and got the brexit deal he wanted at the same time. Whether you like him or not that was no easy feat, it’s unlikely he would have any reason to resign unless something crazy happens in the next 12 months.

The affects of brexit won’t be felt just yet, and I don’t see his party pushing him out unless they’ve found a reasonable successor.

Interesting that you came to this view. Boris seems to have handled COVID incredibly poorly (e.g. the death rate in the UK is higher than comparable countries) and the trade deal is considerably worse than deals he previously rejected (e.g. customs border inside the UK). I expect that once the world stabilizes again, members of his own party will want to take his job.

I agree with your assessment of Johnson, but I don't think the majority of the country (or perhaps more importantly conservative voters) do

We won't really know until the election, but for what it's worth opinion polls have Johnson down compared to when he started his term.

That's a neat alternative universe that you're in. COVID is a complete disaster in the UK (and in plenty of other places, but the clusterfuck in the UK is really quite something), besides that brexit could very well cause the UK to cease to exist or be diminished, you can expect a breakaway effort to start in Scotland just about today.

Imagine the irony of the UK more or less trying to forbid the Scots from seceding the union when they just seceded themselves from the EU. That won't go down well, no matter what legalese the argument will be cast into.

I’m not saying the COVID situation went well by any stretch, but I haven’t spoken to anyone on the street who wants Boris out of office due to it. If a general election happened tomorrow I doubt he would have problems. It’s pretty clear most countries have struggled to handle it so that’s probably why Boris hasn’t had as much flack as expected. Like I said, it’s unlikely that would be the reason he resigns, if that was the case he would have gone already.

Brexit will cause issues, but I don’t think many of them will happen in the next 12 months. The UK won’t “cease to exist” with the next few months let’s not be alarmist. (And I’m the one in an alternative universe?).

It’s more likely that Scotland will continue to ask for a referendum and Boris will continue to deny it.

I don't think Scotland will 'ask for a referendum', if they won't get the permission they seek they will go the legal route:


Scotland will be disproportionally hurt by their lack of EU membership and voted strongly against leaving the EU.

As for people not wanting Johnson out of office due to COVID: we are in a similar situation here in NL, but at the end of the day results are what matter and Johnson has done the UK citizens absolutely no service with is performance so far. Maybe it will take some time before that sinks in and I don't have a shred of doubt that he will try to pin the blame on the EU for all of his own failures.

true, that is one way of looking at it, though I'd still argue that his handling of COVID wasn't the best and same for the Brexit deal. Either way, IIRC there were rumors last year that he might resign in Feb or so, but maybe they were just rumors...

So Boris Johnson just got the trade deal he was hoping for and the UK is leading in a vaccination programme, so I'm not sure he'll want to resign unless the last year has been too stressful for him and he has some kind of breakdown?

Although aliens might invade or some other crazy s*t.

Um, Boris caved in completely and the EU got the trade deal they were hoping for. Politically, Boris may be stronger now within the Conservative Party. I don't expect that to last long.

2021 will be a year of the messy downsides of Brexit becoming ever more clear, plus the economic fallout from mismanaging Covid.

Boris will be history the moment challengers in the Cons Party judge he not they will be held accountable.

He will be scapegoated for the Brexit fallout and the awful Covid response by others in his party who want his job.

Number 55 will be factored using Shor's algorithm on quantum computer.

Please god no.

I’m unsure of whether this is a joke or not.

Average VC fund returns stay below Bitcoin yield on an annual basis. You have to be vaccinated to travel. Fake vaccination certificates become a thing. Contactless retail, robotics and industrial automation growth. Ecstasy decriminalization / legalization continues to gain momentum.

"AI" will become more democratized, regular developers will be able to `npm install` a dependency and benefit from per-trained models, GPT etc...

JavaScript frameworks will feel a lot faster with more accessible implementations of SSR and React finally shipping concurrent-mode.

You can already ‘pip install’ quite a bit (gensim being a prime example), but it takes some knowledge of how/why the general resource was trained to apply it to a business problem.

I think the big leap will happen when a "regular" developer (as in doesn't need to have any specific know-how), when they can just call simple APIs that hide all the complexity, Same way we don't need to know how a GPU works to render a red square in a browser window.

grandparent comment is saying that you _have_ to be able to apply the data and training techniques to a use case. what you're describing is the nocode fantasy where non-developers will be able to name complex apps, but applied to ml

Netflix stock will drop by half.

The singleton will be rediscovered and frameworks, languages and religions will form around the concept.

Care to elaborate on your second point? Doesn't really seem to have been forgotten cries in spring

Why do you think Netflix stock will fall?

GDP will continue to increase in the US while a majority of the population will get poorer.

* EU-based SaaS will become more popular due increased difficulty in working with US-based SaaS companies in a privacy compliant way

* Remote work will stay mainstream in tech, with most employees working at least a few days remote per month

* HN will get a dark mode

>> HN will get a dark mode

Maybe in 2022 ;)

There will be a 20 % increase in Toronto Real Estate. Average house price will be well over a million $$$.

Cannabis will be decriminalized at the Federal level.

Covid Fatigue, no one will give a shit by summer.

DOW 36k. There is no limit to the amount of stimulus.

How many years can it increase by 20%? This is getting ridiculous.

The inequality in the city has reached a point where is impossible for people to catch up.

I predict that we'll see a sharp drop in real estate prices and rents in major cities. They are way beyond reasonable at the moment; my presumption is that the decline of small businesses will open up at lot of space. Given this and the radical shift to work from home, I presume that the cities will attract far less people (especially in high paid jobs) and therefore the apartment searching madness we see right now will hopefully come to an end.

In turn, of course, suburbs will probably rise in value and attractiveness.

I'm assuming this is from a US perspective. Do people in other places with high rents around the world feel the same?

I only somewhat agree.

For example, Vancouver's real estate is pricey because it's one of the nicest places to live in the world. The rise of teleworking won't erase the mild weather all year round, the access to world-class mountain sports (hiking, climbing, cycling, skiing, etc.), the ocean with its views, great asian food, the rule of law, liberal culture, etc.

That's a very different scenario than, say, Winnipeg where it's -30 half the year and the other half the year the insects are so bad they send trucks around to fog pesticides. Plus you have conservative culture, no mountains nor ocean, little in the way of outdoor sports unless you like quad biking and fishing, or hockey.

I lived in Vancouver for a short while, and have visited Winnipeg several times for conferences and work trips. I can see reasons to live in Vancouver even if you didn't have to live there for work. I can see no reasons to want to live in Winnipeg unless someone was literally bathing me in money.

Vancouver is a backwater town compared to many asian cities such as in tokyo. It's way overpriced.

Perhaps, but it's orders of magnitude nicer than many north american cities.

It's a German perspective, actually ;) But I presume it's similar for the US.

This would be great for me (I am in my late-twenties and would like to settle down soon), but sadly I don't think this prediction will come to pass. Urban real estate prices will continue to rise in the US as more and more people move to cities, chasing economic and social opportunities.

Work habits will change: more freelancing and gig economy stuff will creep into white collar job marked. Also there will be new seminal book for new way of thinking about work or work life balance similar to 4-Hour Work Week was hitting nerve with 2008 economic crysis.

I’m hoping people will start realising our technology stacks are too complex and start looking at simplifications.

That'd be great, but from what I'm seeing also an extremely unlikely turn of events.

Health and Human Services will constitutionally designate Social Media as a public health emergency, allowing all states (while in states of emergency) to include restrictions to accessing social media or restrict the function of information on those network or restrict the price of ad bidding and data markets.

This is a bold prediction. It sounds plausible, but I would doubt the ability of the federal government to do this effectively. what constitutes "social media"?

further, shutting down websites at random or just specific domains would be wildly unpopular with all voters. I like how you're thinking, though

I had a similar reaction. I respect how bold it is, but I still think it's pretty fanciful. I suppose I could see the part about social media being a public health issue, but I don't think it's super realistic that the government would straight up be shutting down sites, which to me reads like some kind of bad fanfiction. More likely it would be the usual churn of testimony before congress, news about antitrust cases, new laws requiring some kind of new disclosure, etc.

Talk about a nanny state

Not 2021 per se, but I feel electric cars will be the future. And much of the base for that could be developed in 2021, including maybe some manufacturer finally striking a deal with Tesla for its batteries, and maybe some manufacturer announcing compatibility with Tesla's charging network.

* Facebook will enter a downward spiral and start declining

* A security breach bigger than SolarWinds will be discovered and will severely affect market position of a major cloud provider

* Google will make its biggest acquisition ever

* Inequality, censorship, and polarization will continue to increase

> * Google will make its biggest acquisition ever

Which one?

I have no idea. I believe they will start realizing that click-based advertisement is an increasingly unsustainable and flawed revenue model and will look for a ways to start a significant portion of revenue from another source. Assuming that:

1) They don't have time to build it. 2) Since, they will need to buy it, it should be a business that already generates significant revenue, thus the biggest acquisition price tag 3) The longer they stick to click-based ad revenue the lower their chances to diversify and the higher the chance that someone else comes forward with a new revenue model that will irreversibly undermine Google's.

but to be a biggest acquisition, it has to be a few years old unicorn with a solid revenue models at this point. And among the current ones, I can't think of any that would give Google an opportunity to diversify from their click-based ad revenue. Until they do something radical and acquire robinhood or coinbase.

That's true. I would include Shopify and Stripe in the shortlist.

Actually, Stripe is a really good one. Shopify, I dunno, I can't see it meshing too well with Google's current products or google even doing a good job developing Shopify further, especially after being acquired at more than 100B$ valuation. But a Stripe acquisition, I think, will be mutually profitable.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact