I've been writing about technology in various forms for about 10 years, and while I make highly arguable opinions fairly often, there's one reliable principle I can strongly recommend -- avoid this often unspoken, but all too common assumption:
"Since I don't like or use it, it will fail."
That, or its opposite, equally flawed assumption: "Since I like and use this, it's going to be big." I've learned this the hard way myself more than a few times, and when I read posts about technology trends today, it's an assumption that keeps coming up -- made by both writers and their readers in comments -- over and over again. Actual examples from actual articles I've read over the years, re-phrased to protect the identity of the silly: "Online worlds are weird and boring, so they must just be a niche." "My kid loves his Sony PlayStation 3, so I think it's going to take over the market." "Cheap smartphone games are lame, so they're just a passing fad." (Actually, the CEO of Nintendo basically expressed that last opinion a couple years ago, so it's no surprise Nintendo is currently floundering.)
Speaking of mobile games, I thought about the "Since I don't like or use it, it will fail" assumption while reading over the comments to this post on Linden Lab's move toward making mobile products. The existing data consistently suggests that mobile/tablet sales and usage keep growing strongly, while desktop PC sales (Linden Lab's main platform, for Second Life) remain stagnant. But point this reality out, and you're sure to get resistance from adamant desktop PC lovers. That's no surprise: