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Digital Subscriptions > Stuff > December 2019 > NEXT BIG THINGS

NEXT BIG THINGS

The future of gadgets is always a tough one to predict, so we asked someone else to do the hard work for us

Chimp chauffeurs, roads replaced by tubes and rocket mail are just some of the forecasts for 2020 that look set to miss the mark. No mention of Spurs winning silverware… but it just goes to show, making predictions is risky. So to mark our 250th issue with some future-gazing, we decided to largely wash our hands of it.

Instead meet Matthew Griffin, an award-winning futurist dubbed ‘the adviser behind the advisers’, whose clients include leading tech firms and governments. “I look at two types of future: 0-20 years, where most companies sit, and 20-50 years, where most governments try to sit,” Griffin tells Stuff. “Take Samsung and Huawei. The world’s two largest phone makers are pretty much the only companies I’ve come across that by their own definition live in a permanent state of crisis, fearing they’ll be disrupted, so they’re fixated with continually inventing ‘the next thing’.”

Griffin claims Huawei has a ‘2012 Division’, named after the disaster movie, where a team of over 200 people look at every weird piece of new tech and “have a faff about” to figure out how best to use it – not unlike the Stuff office. Samsung has a team up to 3000 building all manner of prototypes.

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