Five assumptions to question

Five common assumptions, ranging from China and blogs to Microsoft, that we should question
Stephen Baker

Think back five or 10 years. Were there blips that you took for trends, fads that had you snookered? Step back 15 years, if you're old enough. Did you believe back then that Japan would eventually dominate the industrial world? Most of us have fallen into these traps. But which ones are we falling into today?

I've come up with a list of five common assumptions in 2005. Will they stand the test of time? Please send your thoughts on these, or add other assumptions that we should be questioning.

My preliminary list:

1) China will grow to become a dominant economic power, passing Japan in 15 years, the U.S. in 50.

2) The 30-second ad is dying. Newspaper classifieds are a relic. To survive, mainstream media must come up with new business models and embrace citizen's media.

3) American tech leadership hinges upon the country's ability to educate more scientists and mathematicians.

4) Terrorism is the leading military threat to democracies.

5) Google and Apple have mastered innovation and design; Microsoft is a fading force.

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