While he’s not busy writing instructions on how to lead a tech company or guides for switching from iPhone to Android, Google chairman Eric Schmidt has taken some time out to provide Bloomberg TV with his predictions for 2014. Schmidt has a history of bold public statements, but his predictions for the year ahead are rather tame in comparison. "Everyone is going to have a smartphone," predicts Schmidt. "The trend has been mobile was winning; it's now won," he proclaims, before noting the trend towards more tablets and phones being sold than PCs.
The mobile trend has been clear throughout the past couple of years, but Schmidt also notes the "arrival of big data and machine intelligence everywhere" as significant bases for new services, the ability to locate and rank people, and the way the data can change "every business globally." One of the biggest disruptions that Schmidt admits "we don’t really know what’s going to happen" is the genetics area. Advances in DNA sequencing and the ability to have personal genetics records "will yield discoveries in cancer treatment and diagnostics over the next year," claims Schmidt. "They’re unfathomably important."
"The biggest mistake that I made was not anticipating the rise of the social networking phenomenon."
One surprise prediction from Schmidt is that Google won’t miss social again. "The biggest mistake that I made was not anticipating the rise of the social networking phenomenon," admits Schmidt. "Not a mistake we’re going to make again. I guess in our defense we were busy working on many other things, but we should have been in that area and I take responsibility for that." While Schmidt’s predictions are fairly obvious for the year ahead, he’s clearly not betting on any single Google product to dominate 2014. In late 2011 Schmidt famously predicted that, "by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded." That didn’t come to pass, but Google is betting on wearable computing and robots for its future.