2008 B.C. Business Forcasts

Okay, this is the time of year for predictions. So here are some of my admittedly skewed predictions for the B.C. business scene this year.

Okay, this is the time of year for predictions. So here are some of my admittedly skewed predictions for the B.C. business scene this year.

— Yeah, well Web 2.0 this! B.C. businesses will finally see through all the chatter, hype, and gibberish of the Web 2.0 evangelists and realize that it isn’t a revolutionary business model, but is mostly just a collection of useful communication tools that help create customer or stakeholder communities. Okay, this is B.C., so some businesses won’t get it. But enough will so that half of Yaletown and Gastown will be crying in their beer and talking about those crazy days of 2006-2007.

— How about chunder? B.C. police forces will ask for greatly increased funding to beef up their market research and communications teams so they can come up with names for new drugs that drug dealers are supposedly developing in the ongoing game – and B.C.’s biggest industry — that’s cops and dopers.

— Humongous Games & Media Inc. The electronic games industry, recently shocked by the merger between Vivendi’s Blizzard division and Activision, will undergo a spate of consolidation as really big media operations move into the high-growth space. The resulting giants – including Vancouver’s own Electronic Arts, which is bulking up in anticipation of a war – will become global players, hot-footing it to wherever they can get the most work done for the cheapest cost. And that’s not Vancouver.

— Hello! Big guy emerging here. B.C.’s technology community will continue in its quixotic campaign for large homegrown companies that can act as anchors for a widely expanding technology sector. The B.C. government will continue to refuse substantial encouragement because it’s a lot easier to ignore thousands of little companies than a few big guys with workforces of thousands. Besides, no one can ever understand what those people are talking about. “Paradigm shifts, cellular pain blockers. Etc. etc”. — Huh, what? Did someone say something? Forestry, which insists on doing things the same way it always has, will continue to shrink as an economic sector. Too much competition and too little innovation. And the pine beetle is killing all the trees. Meanwhile, the industry will stand transfixed by the abyss in front of it.

— Earth Wind and Fire. B.C. could become Green Power Central with an industry built for the 21st century if it can get its act together and stop arguing over the correct way to do things. The year 2008 will be the turning point that decides whether we’ll leverage our natural lead in all things green and alternative power, which the world desperately wants, or descend into our endless political infighting over environmental management, union involvement, private vs public ownership, yadda yadda yadda.

— And the gold medal goes to… B.C., maybe, if it can leverage the frenzied energy and expertise that it’s putting into the Olympics to create an economy for the post Olympics. This year will be when everyone takes a breather and recognizes that, holy crap, we’ve been so busy throwing up condos and Olympic venues so we can gouge all those tourists, we forgot to plan for anything beyond 2010. Will we finish in a medal position? I doubt it.

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