Bill Gates is a genius. There is no doubting that. Not just because of the technology of Microsoft that he has provided us with but just for the simple fact that he is so wealthy today. One does not acquire such success without either being a genius or winning the lottery.
In 1999, Gates wrote a business book called, “Business @ the Speed of Thought.” He spoke about many things, and made 15 serious predictions for the future that may have sounded outlandish at the time. However, they have come to pass today, or at least come close to it.
But as business student Markus Kirjonen pointed out on his blog, Gates’ forecasts turned out to be “eerily prescient.”
Here’s his 15 predictions and how close they’ve come to playing out:
NO. 1: PRICE COMPARISON SITES
Gates’ prediction: “Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries.”
What we see now: You can easily search for a product on Google or Amazon and get different prices of the same product. Sites like NexTag and PriceGrabber are built specifically for price comparisons.
NO. 2: MOBILE DEVICES
Gates’ prediction: “People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.”
What we see now: Smartphones, and now smartwatches, do all of this.
NO. 3: INSTANT PAYMENTS AND FINANCING ONLINE, BETTER HEALTHCARE THROUGH THE WEB
Gates’ prediction: “People will pay their bills, take care of their finances, and communicate with their doctors over the internet.”
What we see now: Tech hasn’t been able to change healthcare like Uber changed transportation, but there are sites like ZocDoc that makes finding a doctor and scheduling easier. There’s also startups like One Medical and Forward, which are trying to change what the doctor’s office is like by offering monthly memberships for online and data-driven healthcare. You can also now borrow money online through sites like Lending Club and easily make payments through sites like PayPal and Venmo.