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COMMENT Seven Thoughts for The New Year by Larry Jordan It is my favorite time of year – a time of resolutions and predictions. Resolutions are fun. They showcase all the things we would like to have happen in the New Year — provided they don’t take too much work on our part. While resolutions are personal, predictions are a group sport. So, after another year writing about our industry and talking with the key movers and shakers, here are seven trends I expect to dominate our thinking in 2015. 1. Hardware and software will continue to become more powerful and more affordable. This mean budgets will continue to contract as clients perceive that high-quality work is, somehow, cheaper because the tools are cheaper. 2. The trend to online delivery of just about everything will continue to accelerate. If you are not conversant in the web, you will be left behind. The new frontier is streaming live and recorded media via the web direct to the consumer. Creative folks need to realize that budgets will continue to contract for the foreseeable future. This means that to combat “bottom-feeder pricing” we need to clearly understand and clearly showcase what makes our skills unique to our clients. However, something I’ve learned is that what we think is a unique strength and what clients think is a unique strength are rarely the same. The more you talk with your clients, the more good ideas you’ll learn from them on how to market yourself. Consumers are inherently lazy. It is becoming harder and harder to get them to go places and do things when, with a few keystrokes, just about anything can come to them. Businesses are not far behind. The rate of change today in any tech-related industry is so great that no one has any time to waste. Anything you can do to save your client’s time and decrease their stress will win you work. To a UK company, your ability to speak English is a given. To a Chinese company seeking to broaden their market in the UK, your ability speak English is something they will pay extra for. It used to be said that the key to success is: “who you know.” While clever, this has never really been true. It isn’t even “who knows you.” The secret is increasing the number of potential clients “who know what you know.” You may be known as “good old Bob.” But, “Bob” isn’t going to get nearly the same amount of work as “There goes Bob – he’s an absolute After Effects wizard!” 48 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 97 JANUARY 2015 3. For better or worse, production and post will revolve ever more tightly around The Cloud. Corollary: Hacking will only get worse. Security and privacy are, essentially, dead once something moves to the web. On the plus side, creative teams no longer need to be located in the same geographical area. This means that you are competing with the world, not just the guy down the block. Broaden your marketing. Leverage social media. Think globally – work locally.