On January 8th 2007 all the mobile phone handset providers were rubbing their hands together and counting how much money they were making from the boom in mobile device sales. Then the next day, this happened……

(if you’re short of time just watch the first 3 minutes and 10 seconds, its inspiring)

Steve Jobs talks about how lucky he has been to have worked on three products which have changed everything. He lists the Apple Mac which didn’t just change Apple, it changed the computer industry, the iPod which didn’t just change the way we listen to music it changed the entire music industry and then he introduced the iPhone. He makes the bold claim that

“Today Apple reinvents the phone”

Little did he know 5 years ago just how much the iPhone would change the world we live in.

I think the business world around social media is in exactly the same place as the mobile manufacturers were on January 8th 2007.

The potential benefits of social media to the business world of the future are about 10% of where they could be.

In this series of posts I will attempt to predict how the world might look in the future, if social data is exploited to its full potential. The business world of the future will be full of customers, who will come to expect a level of personalised customer service currently reserved only for the rich and famous. They will expect to have more honest, open and transparent ways of doing business. They will be empowered to buy what they want, how they want and when they want.

I think the person or company who figures out how best to use the mountain of social data out there, in a way which is mutually beneficial, will be the next Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs in terms of how they can change not only the face of the IT industry but the face of business.

Your turn

I would love to know what your predictions are. What do you think will be different in how we do business a few years down the line? How do you think social data can be best exploited?

PS

I know its backwards to write the intro after I have started writing the chapters but I have already kicked off with two chapters about Television and  Retail.

PPS For the record I think “Social Media” will disappear….

… well the phrase anyway. The reasons Gary Vaynerchuk can tell you in 2 minutes better than I can.

He says that Social media is just two words to describe the current state of the internet, in the same way that web 2.0 was the phrase a few years back.

I predict in business “Social Media” will just become “Social Business” and eventually just the way people do “Business”. I will carry on using the terms until either my predictions or someone else’s come true. I bet you a pound/dollar/euro this happens in five years. Who wants to take that bet?

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