Conflating the short-term with the long-term

I don’t publish a ton of content. I don’t have a normal writing cadence, nor do I tweet everyday. I don’t really post to Instagram, and I don’t crave the social affirmation of others. Even though I don’t Tweet a lot, I think Twitter is one of the best places to engage with people much smarter than myself.

Yesterday I saw this tweet by Jeff Morris Jr. outlining his prediction for future social products and consumer behaviors:

Looks familiar, right? I linked my previous post, ‘What’s next for consumer social‘, and got some love from random internet strangers and even Jeff himself! It felt good to be recognized and to know that me and a product leader share similar thoughts on how the world works (maybe I do crave social affirmation?).

While my 15 seconds of fame was fun, a new thought popped into my head:
1) Jeff tweeted mid COVID-19 quarantine. 2) I posted my article one month before any sort of pandemic hit the United States. Despite our different leading indicators, we were both inspired to think about how consumer behavior is changing from online>offline>online.

All of this led me to question whether tech people conflate short term events with long term paradigm shifts? Even though I like reading Twitter threads with smart people debating in public, there’s a lot of pontificating and soothsaying that goes on in the Twitterverse. I’m not a fortune teller and don’t know if social products will move from online>offline>online for sure, but this pandemic’s audience seems to think so.

We’ve been social distancing for a little over a week and people have moved happy hours to Zoom calls, group hangouts to Twitch, and the ‘failed’ startup, Houseparty is now the #10 app in the U.S. overall, and #1 in social networking.

I’m not sure if these consumer behaviors will endure beyond 2020’s COVID-19 quarantine, but it sure seems like people like to predict the future based on immediate events (or at least some VCs do).

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