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A Fearless Forecast for 2017

December 20, 2016

As we wind down an eventful 2016, we offer you a jump on 2017 with some bold predictions.

To see how we fared with last year’s predictions, click here.

Famous people will phone it in instead. As the Democratic National Committee can tell you, there’s no such thing as a private email … anymore. Celebrities, high-profile companies and all politicians will wise up in 2017 and share sensitive information only in conversation. As for the rest of us, we can aspire to be important enough to be worth an invasion of our privacy from The Wikileaks.

Think Different: Alphabet will overtake Apple. With its sleek products and fully integrated interfaces, Apple has earned the title of world’s most valuable company. However in 2017, ten years after announcing the first iPhone, Apple will be forced to watch another take over the market cap throne. As Apple’s grip on the mobile product market weakens, Google’s bet (via Alphabet) on information software will pay off … in the billions. In today’s increasingly convoluted digital world, access to consumer information, intent and whereabouts will be the new must-have product.

Hip-hop will get political again. A quarter century ago, Public Enemy was the most dominant force in rap music, blending African-American consciousness, radical politics and a chaotic wall of sound. Mainstream hip-hop has continued to evolve in the years since, thanks to a succession of talented innovators from Tupac Shakur to Nicki Minaj. But other than an issue-oriented song here or there, the genre has remained largely apolitical. Expect that to change in 2017, as the national mood is ripe for socially conscious hip-hop to reemerge.

FDOTUS becomes the new acronym to know. From an unconventional campaign to an unprecedented election, the unexpected should remain the political norm in 2017. That line of thinking opens the door for Ivanka Trump, the president-elect’s 35-year-old daughter, to play a significant role as First daughter, regardless if the role is official, advisory or merely symbolic. In fact, don’t be surprised if a trio of first kids (Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric), all of whom have held key roles in their father’s organization, have a more significant role to play in a Trump presidency than the First Lady.

Reality TV will jump the shark. Original programming will make a comeback as Americans finally decide they’ve had their fill of reality.

The Indians will win the World Series … in 2056. The Cubs had to wait 108 years between championships, so it’s reasonable to expect the Indians, who last won it all in 1948, will do the same. But it will be a great story when it happens.