A year’s worth of innovation in the technology sector is comparable to a decade of change in most other industries. The past year certainly was no exception as new leaders, new acquisitions, new attitudes and new debates prompted an increasingly tumultuous changeover in people, products and processes. For a perspective on technology in 2014 and in the year to come in, we talked with Airfoil Executive Vice President David Bailey in our Silicon Valley office, ground zero for the evolution and revolutions of technology.
What do you think was the top news story in technology in 2014?
I think it has to be an Uber senior vice president suggesting spying on and smearing journalists who don’t cover the company in a favorable way. In some regards, this incident has given credence to a larger, ongoing story this year about the Valley’s insularity and arrogance. The Uber story isn’t over. NPR recently ran a report titled, “Uber Is Richer than Ever, but the Company Still Isn’t Playing Nice.” Who’s winning and who’s losing in the Valley—and how low will they stoop to succeed? It’s an unfortunate theme, but that’s the tenor of 2014, thanks in large part to Uber.
In 2014 we’ve seen more momentum in broadcast networks, news outlets and the movie industry to shift to non-traditional formats. What’s your perspective on this trend?
I can’t tell you how many younger people I’ve talked to who simply don’t have a TV. That’s still inconceivable to a guy like me, one of the 106 million or so who watched the last episode of MASH. Not having a TV would be like not having air or water. Now, millions are consuming content on anything BUT a TV. I think that’s at the heart of the trend, and it will just continue.
One trend in 2014 was an increasing convergence of the automotive and tech industries, with autonomous vehicles, in-car connectivity and a surge of car-sharing. Where do you expect this to lead in 2015?
Airfoil sponsored a Silicon Valley Churchill Club event this year that was all about this. We had a really insightful discussion with Nvidia, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and others. There’s no question that this trend continues in 2015 and increasingly becomes about the bigger picture of connected transportation—smart highways, sensors in the roadways, traffic control, safety.
What person or business do you expect to dominate the technology headlines in 2015?
Apple isn’t going away. The company will continue to surprise and delight. Elon Musk will come out with something else even more audacious than the Hyperloop. And robots—more robots. And more Uber.
In 2015, do you expect Silicon Valley to continue to solidify its position as the center of the consumer tech world, or will it be challenged by other communities?
Silicon Valley will remain the 800 lb. gorilla, although New York will continue to gain steam. But look to L.A. as Re/code has reported, tech startups are springing up there at quite a clip. It’s not all movie stars and wanna-be’s anymore.
Give us the top tech industry headline for 2015.
“Elon Musk Does the Impossible Again, Invents an Uber that Plays Fair”
What are your tech predictions for 2015? Share with Dave via Twitter @dbails and Airfoil @AirfoilGroup.