The pandemic brought great uncertainty to the world resulting in the loss of many jobs, the closure of many companies, and a disruption in many industries. One thing that seemed to flourish and grow was the tech industry. The bloated market valuations became even more bloated. But, after the end of the pandemic, uncertainty reached the tech industry too resulting in record job losses along with much lowered valuations.
Earlier Google had changed its name to Alphabet to showcase its diverse portfolio. Facebook did a similar pivot with Meta with disastrous consequences. The Metaverse simply refused to take off. The fortunes of Meta crashed, despite having the largest base of users in history (Facebook + WhatsApp + Instagram).
Twitter was taken over by billionaire maverick Elon Musk as users found myriad changes each and every day. The platform became X and promises to become a one stop shop for many things. It’s still a work in progress and nobody knows where it is going. Another interesting company is Uber, probably one of the most useful concepts around, but which has sunk the most amount of money for any large company.
The China story peaked in 2019 and faces great uncertainty in the post-pandemic era. Supply Chain China is no longer trusted by the world, domestic demand is down and the crackdown on the tech industry will not do anyone any good. ChatGPT came and caught everyone’s imagination, but now there seems to be a bit of fatigue in that regard too. Experts are cautioning about the dangers of generative AI as job loss threats are leading to much fear. It’s one of the themes of the Hollywood writers’ and actors’ strikes.
More uncertainty with emerging mushrooming technologies. 5G-6G-Edge. Extended Reality (AR-VR-MR). IoTs. Machine Learning. Advanced data analytics. Industry 4.0/5.0. EVs in a connected smart grid. Smart Cities. Space tech. Even the relatively static education and healthcare industries were not spared during the pandemic. Cloud and digital transformation are given. Next, is what?
Next year, two important national elections are coming up in the two largest democracies of the world: India and America. AI. Fake News. Social Media. Deepfakes. Technological manipulation. They will be burning topics and the world could see further changes after the results.
There’s a Chinese saying: May you live in happening times.
(Of course, that’s more of a curse than a blessing)