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Ask Slashdot: Which Businesses Will Go Away In the Next 10 Years? ( 495

AmiMoJo writes: Ten years ago NBC published a list of business types that it predicted would disappear in the following decade. Ten years later and we can see how good their fortune telling was. What businesses do you think will go away by 2027? Who is destined to become the next buggy whip manufacturer, whose demand dried up due to changing technology and a changing world?

For reference, NBC's list was: Record stores; Camera film manufacturing; Crop dusters; Gay bars; Newspapers; Pay phones; Used bookstores; Piggy banks; Telemarketing; Coin-operated arcades.

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Ask Slashdot: Which Businesses Will Go Away In the Next 10 Years?

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  • Slashdot (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @06:34PM (#55297491) Journal

    just kidding, lighten up

    • Re:Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2017 @06:45PM (#55297579)

      Why not? The quality of the community and articles is not what it was. It keeps getting passed around from company to company. It is just one corp org away form shutting down. What is left is a very loyal community. But not one that probably earns whoever owns it right now much money.

      • They might make more money if they allowed subscriptions (they have been disabled for months as far as I can tell). Reddit had a great little thing going called "Reddit Gold" that you could buy that would give you...something, I don't remember what. I was always buying Reddit Gold for people who were being awesome when most people were being dicks. I'd happily support Slashdot.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Paradoxically, the quality of the comments here would be better if the posting limits were removed. It's stupid that you can only post twice before having to wait long periods of time before being able to comment again. It makes good discussion impossible. Plus it drives away good commenters. The end result is the low quality discussion we now see here so often.

    • Re:Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RhettLivingston ( 544140 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:44PM (#55297975) Journal
      Sadly, when was the last time the "slashdot effect" was actually observed to cause a virtual DOS attack due to a link from slashdot as opposed to some other site?
  • Immigration Lawyer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    After all, once immigration is ended once and for all, who needs a lawyer?

  • Slashdot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chihowa ( 366380 )

    Poorly maintained forums that get sold from sucker in search of advertising revenue to sucker in search of advertising revenue. Doubly so if they don't support unicode (or if they do).

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @06:58PM (#55297681) Homepage Journal

    Now, admittedly, they may not be used for the same thing as they originally were, but the market is increasing.

    I'd tend to say the following:

    1. Repair stations (not tire shops) - electric cars and trucks need about half as much maintenance and a lot of it is instrument driven. A good way to diversify is add bike repairs to one of your bays, or a chai/bubble tea store.

    2. Single gender bathrooms in retail. Most places can't really afford having separate facilities, so you'll probably see most places just have a room with both fixtures. Exception: bars, restaurants.

    3. Fear based local TV news. Unhappy, scared people don't buy stuff. And TV is mostly dead.

    4. Food delivery and prepackaged meal delivery services. Those that survive will transition to restaurant delivery. Uber will vaporize as drones replace on demand delivery.

    5. Furniture places. 2025-2035 will see most people getting smaller places and getting rid of large furniture. Exception: couches, chairs. Best to diversify into Tiny Home style furniture that incorporates storage into the furniture (dual use furniture).

    6. Expensive spicy food places. As Americans age into retirees they will start wanting to go to diner type places. This won't kill ethnic foods, but a lot of current restaurants will suddenly lose foot traffic, as retirees don't eat out that much. Nobody will miss them.

    7. Parking garages. The combination of on demand self driving vehicles, more retirees, more cyclists, more pedestrians, and quiet electric transit will kill off a lot of parking garages and the attached malls. Nobody will miss them, except us skateboarders.

    8. Single family home lawn supplies. Lawns will be replaced by gardens and more people will live in multi-family towers next to green parks. But plants will be in high demand for the apartments and decks. Tiny greenhouses too.

    9. Cell phone stores. The 2025-2035 period will see ubiquitous self-powered wifi devices (like ST comms badges) that run off incidental radiation, and attach to clothes (either as sleeves, belts, broaches, or necklaces. This will save jewelry stores, of course.

    10. Wallets. See 9 above. The new devices will mostly replace wallets and purses. People will wear nifty gem sacks at their belts, in which they store their coins (see how Canada does dollars, or Euro coins).

    • I seriously doubt your assertion about cell phone stores.

      First, the current trend is "more powerful CPU, more fancy screen, more feature-packed, and try to squeeze in a better battery that can run that for a couple hours." This trend doesn't seem to be changing, and so self-powered phones won't happen anytime soon as anything but a gimmick. There's simply no way to keep all these features running off "ambient" power.

      And Wifi range is short enough there's no way you'd see these 'self-charging' phones running

    • by Strider- ( 39683 )

      . Single gender bathrooms in retail. Most places can't really afford having separate facilities, so you'll probably see most places just have a room with both fixtures. Exception: bars, restaurants.

      Actually, these are going away in bars and restaurants as well, at least here (Western Canada). A number of the local bars/restaurants have moved to a design where you have a genderless restroom, which is surrounded on all sides by full-height stalls. These aren't the stupid stalls like you see in most places, but rather completely enclosed, with a full door/lock on it. They're just marked as to whether they contain a toilet or a urinal+toilet.

      I'll admit that the first time I walked in, I backed out thinkin

  • This isn't a business going away, but the need for Trump's Wall will not be needed.

    More and more agriculture harvesting / picking is being done by machine today. This trend will continue and the need for immigrant labor will be reduced to a tiny fraction of what it is today.

  • Comments here are for the US (mostly...)

    Fast food chain burger flipper -- replaced by a robot. There still will be employees at the stores, just a bunch less. Minimum wage laws have made their work too expensive.

    More and more agricultural crop picking work will be automated. Especially if Trump continues to clamp down on illegal immigration. Growers either won't be able to find workers, or the workers that remain will want too much money.

    And this will apply in a lot of other places as well. More and mo

    • by Strider- ( 39683 )

      As both wireless and wired Internet access become cheaper and more ubiquitous, at some point that becomes the end of satellite/cable TV distribution.

      For content distribution, and contribution, satellite will still be around for a long, long time. End user distribution? that's a different beast, but until we have the full demise of the networks, especially the sports networks, satellite will still be around. It's still the single cheapest way to distribute your content to the entire continent in real-time. A typical transponder costs about $1,000,000 a year to lease, and lets you stream out 4 or so HD streams, continuously. You're distributing that to 10

  • they'll get eaten alive by a vulture capital firm in a leveraged buyout. Just happened to Toys-R-Us. I figure a few more retailers are next. Maybe one of the remaining sporting goods stores.
  • Lobbyists (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:15PM (#55297791)

    Just kidding. Lobbying will be a growth industry for the next decade at least.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Naw, they'll be automated:

      while(conglomerate.satisfied==false) {

  • (No explanation needed.)

  • Drivers, burger flippers, mechanics,
  • Uber! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:19PM (#55297831)
    What company will disapear? Uber! You cannot loose money on every trip forever.
  • Youtubers (Score:4, Funny)

    by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:21PM (#55297841)

    Please, for the love of the gods, please let this stop being a profession.

    • Please, for the love of the gods, please let this stop being a profession.

      Why? There are some very good science and learning channels out there that I would hate to see go.

      • I'd guess the OP was referring to people who just talk about random stuff in their lives and -- for some bizarre reason -- become crazy popular, so much so that they become "influencers" that companies pay to promote their products.
      • No one should make a living off of ads...
  • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:26PM (#55297879)
    Goodbye NBC, we hardly watched you...
  • One can only hope it doesn't take 10 years.

  • Ther will probably still be some business entity around called Microsoft but it will be fully owned by the Chinese and will just be an IP troll.
    It will be pretty much irrelevant and insignificant in any real sense, They won't be making or selling any actual products by then.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:51PM (#55298023)

    I'm not being optimistic about renewable energy use or the will of the government to stop pollution, it's just that natural gas has been gutting the coal industry and despite a recent uptick, automation is replacing most workers. The companies may survive another 7 years but the occupation as we know it will die. With no economic incentive (jobs) to keep the sector alive, politicians that aren't heavily bribed will turn on coal completely most likely by other growing sectors that bribe them better.

    Here's the long trend [] and here's the more recent trend. []

    • your graphs around mining jobs are more related to how heavily automated they are now and the heavy machinery used. We have a lot of the same doomsayers in Australia around coal and it seems to come mostly from ignorance of what coal is actually used for, for instance around 50% of the Coal mined here is actually used for steel production. Maybe the US only mines coal for use as fuel in energy generation? I doubt it but could be possible I guess.
  • Hookers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:59PM (#55298059) Homepage

    If the facebook has its way with virtual reality then the worlds oldest business will vanish. Cross physical feed back with AI then things get ... creepy.

  • Ten years? We're talking legacy here. How about 100 years?

    Here's one that's already dying, and should continue to wither: the monologue-centric academic lecture hall.

    Here's another one that will take more than ten years but is already happening: the death of cooking (esp. baking) in U.S. volumetric units.

    No-one in the younger generation thinks accurate digital scales are exotic any longer. And what if you want to make 50% more? And the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp? Oh, dear. So what, apart from

    • Here's another one that will take more than ten years but is already happening: the death of cooking (esp. baking) in U.S. volumetric units.

      No-one in the younger generation thinks accurate digital scales are exotic any longer. And what if you want to make 50% more? And the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp? Oh, dear. So what, apart from inertia, keeps us locked into this weirdly discrete measurement system?

      Umm, hopefully we're still teaching basic math in the future. Like fractions. And multiplicatio

    • Growing up, owning a digital scale that could do tenths of a gram was grounds for being charged with possession of narcotics manufacturing equipment (depending on context).
  • No. (Score:5, Funny)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @11:00PM (#55298793)

    Dammit, that didn't make any sense.

    I guess it's time to close up shop on my Betteridge's law of headlines auto-responder consultancy.

    At least business is booming at my Poe's Law-firm.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @05:23AM (#55299789)

    My predictions for business that may well be dead in the not-to-distant-future (if they aren't already):
    Video rental stores (I am surprised the ones that still exist have been able to hang on for so long given the rise of both rental kiosks and digital content purchase/rental/streaming/etc)

    Landline phones (more and more people will replace home phones completly with mobile like I have or they will get some sort of VoIP service running over cable or fibre or whatever other tech rather than actual proper old-school copper wire phones)

    Tobacconists (as less people smoke, taxes on tobacco increase and more and more general retailers like supermarkets and petrol stations are selling cigarettes, less and less people will have a reason to go to a specialty tobacconist for their tobacco products. Laws regulating how retailers can display and sell tobacco products dont help matters either)

    Paid FTP software (with free alternatives like FileZilla being as good as the paid alternatives if not better, why would anyone bother to pay for FTP software anymore?)

    Classified advertising in newspapers (why would anyone bother with newspapers when buying cars, buying property, looking for a job or buying general crap when things like Gumtree,, Seek, CarSales and others in other countries are so much better)

    Printed TV guides and listings (with digital TV even free-to-air channels give you up-to-date on-screen program guides so you can see what's on and when plus if you do need to look it up without looking on your TV, the Internet has you covered for that)

    Printed phone books (I am surprised these aren't completly dead yet)

    Toy stores (with the recent bankruptcy of Toys R Us and consumers increasingly buying toys from online or from big box department stores that have lower prices than the toy retailers, could the death of the toy store be far away?)

While money doesn't buy love, it puts you in a great bargaining position.