communications technology

1993 AT&T Ad Predicts the Future with Amazing Accuracy!

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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att-you-will-adsBack in 1993 AT&T ran the “You Will” TV ad campaign shown below. Take a look…

Amazingly accurate, wouldn’t you say?

Communicators don’t have to be prophets

When I’m engaged in conversations about ministry and technology one of the most common questions people ask is, “What do you see as being the major trends in Internet technology in the next 5 or 10 years?”

It’s an interesting question, and its fun to speculate, but for most communicators it really doesn’t matter.

Our job is to communicate with with our target audience using the media and communications channels they are currently using.

I don’t need to know now if  Vine or Google Glass will be the next big thing.  If and when a significant percentage of the people I want communicate are using them, I will learn learn the platforms and adjust my communications strategy if I believe its the best use of my resources.

In the mean time, I’ll focus on making the most of the technology people are using now – websites, email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, twitter, mobile, Google+ – and continue to watch communications trends. That’s plenty challenging. 🙂

How about you?  How far out into the future is your focus?

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.


    • I wish the creators of Back to the Future were as accurate. I'm still waiting for my flying car!
      Pretty cool to see AT&T's take. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago!

    • I always figure that having the message figured out is the important thing. After that, choosing a delivery method generally becomes reasonably straightforward. Without the right message, the delivery just doesn't make any difference. At our church, we do detailed planning and budgeting annually matching those tactics to our five and ten year strategic plans.

      • Harold, I would agree that figuring out your message is the most important thing. Unfortunately, though,I have seen lots of organizations that do good work and have a good message miss the boat on the delivery.

    • I, like you, usually wait to see what the masses will do as i did with Google+ which now has me lagging a great deal behind. I jumped right on with instagrams video since I spend quite a bit of time there. Google glasses I am looking forward to but when the price drops. And I don't have to know what the price is right now – because if it's new it's expensive. Keep up with the trend is quite a full time job. I try to move with along with the trend but remain loyal to a few of the big guys.

      • Keeping up with trends can be a full time job. That's why we try to analyze and report on trends here – so that you and other readers can save time while staying up on things.

    • Very prescient. I don't know if there is a way to predict what the next big thing will be. Everything is accelerating at an astonishing rate.

    • I think "Brave New World" and "1984" were pretty decent predictions as well – you just have to be lucky on the year 😉

      AT&T went pretty lucky; they just didn't realise people's laziness would lead to all of those options being bundled in one device, the smartphone. And even that won't last, not the way we know it. We'll have a rollout option combining smartphone, tablet, eReader and keyboard in less than two to three years. If people are lazy enough …

      I don't believe in trends. You can make money out of them as long as they last but there will come a time when you don't want to do that anymore.

    • I think our communications tech will continue to advance at a fast pace. The work that Google is doing with Project Loon if successful, will connect areas of the globe that are now outside of the grid. My hope is once internet access is universal, it will somehow play a role in improving the human condition in ways we haven't seen before. In any case, I'm enjoying the present but looking forward to the future!

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