Business Futurist, Professional Speaker, Marketing Consultant, Sales Software, Web Designer, Author, Marlene Brown
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Trends for the Year 1998

January of '98, in my Mindshare Trends,
I made several predictions for 1998, as follows:

"The U.S. economy will stay robust, continuing to enjoy low unemployment and low inflation; mega mergers and banking consolidations will continue; the shrinking labor supply will continue; high technology companies and plastics factories will be the hardest hit; shortages of skilled workers remains the most acute.

There will be huge numbers of job gains along with huge numbers of layoff's as companies continue to restructure; consolidation in the U.S. telecommunications industry will continue to intensify; after three consecutive years of robust earnings, airlines profits could slide due to competition from smaller rivals.

The Disney Company will continue to see double-digit growth; a complete re-engineering of the supply chain will occur, taking advantage of the Web; much faster PC systems will be introduced and accepted as Intel rolls out Pentium II processors and chips; small businesses will continue to rapidly go online.

The debate over Java will center around its benefits as a development language; services on the Internet will continue to explode. 1998 will be the year of E-commerce on the Web; corporate IS and IT departments will use the Web to empower customers and create new markets; browsers will become more compatible and will include more features, such as DHTML and XML.

Companies will use push technology to keep employees informed; bandwidth will increase, due to cable modems, 56k modems, ADSL Lite, and faster corporate connections; Netscape will build a better browser and stop charging for it, in order to survive the IE onslaught; healthy eating will become more important than ever, with growing consumption of organic and natural foods.

Growth in the U.S. electronics industry will outpace that of the economy; prices of PCs will hit close to the $500 mark. World trade will continue to expand; more environmental issues will emerge and be acted upon; Western medicine will be integrated with complementary Eastern approaches, such as acupuncture and naturopathy.

Las Vegas will continue as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country; businesses will move beyond the service economy into the experience economy; big companies will continue to be vulnerable to smaller companies who meet needs faster; smart cards will be used by more and more companies and people; hotels and resorts will find new ways to improve our office home away from office home.

Personal information will continue to be a hot commodity; cars and kitchens will keep getting smarter; jobs will become increasingly gender-neutral; pets will become more valued; the fastest growing occupations will be in the health care and computer-related fields."

by Marlene B. Brown

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