As you can see from this historical chart of the S&P 500, my prediction might turn out to be about right, give or take a few months. And now the latest news is that consumer confidence rose by an "unexpectedly" high number.
My real estate broker tells me that the market for homes in our part of California is white hot. Every property is getting multiple offers, and real estate hasn't been this affordable in a few decades. Prices aren't rising, but they abruptly stopped falling.
Inventories have shrunk, which is generally a good sign for the future, and the public has an unusual level of confidence in an American president for a change.
Gas prices no longer seem so high, and the war in Iraq appears to be "won" in some fashion, depending on how you define that sort of thing.
We still have high unemployment, which will dog us for some time, and a crushing debt that seems impossible to fix but probably isn't. But for now the media is tired of reporting bad news, partly because doing so is bad news for their own bottom lines, so expect to see some new media-driven economic bubbles forming by the end of the year.
Disclaimer: Don't get your financial, legal, or medical advice from cartoonists.
1. Your best time for thinking might be the other guy's best time to take a nap. If that's the only time you can have a meeting, one of you isn't going to be operating at peak performance.
2. Credit for success is distributed across the team. So is blame. If you believe people are motivated by a desire for credit, or a desire to avoid blame, teamwork is a blunting force.
3. In any group of three people, there's generally at least one disruptive moron.
4. People have different work styles. Some people like to do everything just right. Others like the quick and dirty approach, fixing things as they go. In a team, you spend half of your time arguing over the best philosophy for every action.
5. To mediocre minds, a brilliant idea and a dumb idea sound identical. A team will vote out the best ideas along with the worst.
6. The dominant team members will get their way over the objections of the meek, no matter how competent the meek might be.
7. In a team, you must continually explain yourself, defending every thought and every action.
8. Everyone has a different risk profile. Your appetite for risk won't be shared by the group.
9. Everyone wants to do the fun stuff and not the boring-but-necessary parts.
10. You eat when the team agrees that it's time for lunch. That means you're often hungry while trying to work, or wasting time eating when you're not hungry.
11. All meetings last longer than they should.
One of the implications of more people working for themselves, and working from home, is that people will be somewhat freed from the tyranny of teamwork. I wonder if that bodes well for the future of humanity.
As you approach your car, it senses your phone's proximity and unlocks the doors nearest you and adjusts the seats for you.
All of this technology already exists in some form, or will soon. In the future, the only computer you will ever need will be in your pocket.
Obviously all the technology to make this happen already exists. It's a matter of getting the cost down, negotiating all of the various licenses, and building an interface that is easy to use. It's probably ten years out, but it seems inevitable.
[Update: I will acknowledge "it already exists" if you can point me to any link for a system that can do these two things:
1. Stream 3 different HD shows from a central DVR to different rooms at the same time.
2. Stream iTunes-selected songs to multiple rooms, each its own song, at the same time.]