Every year I predict, every year I get at least one thing right. And many wrong. But that’s the fun part, right? This year instead of categorizing based on the technology area, I’m going to organize based on my own scale of how crazy the prediction itself is…
Stuff that is almost definitely going to happen. Except the ones that don’t…
- Twitter growth levels off, though Twitter usage increases. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see the churn rate equal the signup rate as I believe Twitter still has a massive problem with getting new users enchanted with the service.
- A new version of the iPhone comes out that is incrementally better than the 3GS.
- Google launches “Android for Set-Top Boxes” but gains little traction in the foreseeable future. (repeat from ’09).
- CES 2010 exceeds expectations, either in the form of interesting new gadgets or industry-wide product/technology launches.
- BlackBerry overhauls their “app store” to make it more iPhone-y.
- Mac OSX market share continues to rise.
- Superslim TVs (like the Samsung LEDs – drool!) become the hot category for displays. Many of them are “connected” to various Internet services.
Predictions that are a little more “out there” but don’t require any major convincing.
- Zynga files to go public, and the entire “social gaming” category gets even more unbelievably outrageous.
- Yahoo! begins some kind of realistic turnaround. They have far too much foot traffic and too many good properties to continue to fail for so long.
- Hint to Yahoo! – reinvest in your Flickrs, Deliciouses, and other “interesting” stuff that you are good at, and stay OFF the television and other places that you are not good at.
- One PC maker emerges from the trenches with a really well-designed laptop that actually can stand up against a Macbook enough to make people take notice. (repeat from ’09).
- “Real-time Web” loses steam as a meme. While I’m personally very bullish on the impacts and possibilities, it’s far too niche and far too unimportant to “regular folks” to care about.
- Probably same for “Cloud Computing”, but since everyone’s just confusing it with “The Internet” it might have more staying power.
- Apple releases stats on iPhone/iPod/iTunes/app store that are just mind-blowing.
- 4G/LTE networks spread faster than expected, become viably competitive to the mainstream consumer within the year.
- The term “Social Media” finally begins to fade across all industries other than Social Media Mavens, Gurus, and Wizards. The latter reach level 7 and learn how to cast User-Generated Fireball and Community Driven Magic Missile.
- All non-Apple tablets are craptastic. Ditto for touchscreen phones.
- 3DTV gets embedded into lots and lots of TVs, much to the chagrin of consumers who don’t feel the need to look like that goofy guy in Back to the Future, even in the comfort of their own living rooms.
- Note that in my opinion the only thing that really makes 3D “work” in the home is sports. And even that’s a long shot.
Whatcha Talkin Bout Willis?
Stuff that’s probably not going to happen, but ya never know…
- Facebook reveals huge revenue numbers, files to go public.
- Twitter gets acquired by Microsoft. Yeah, I’m being specific here, but it’s the only logical acquisition, and Microsoft’s got deep enough pockets and have failed at virtually all things Internet. In a nutshell, Ballmer wants to bring sexy back.
- The Apple Tablet ships in 2010. Sure all the “in the know” folks are convinced this must happen, but most of them said that about 2009 (and/or that Apple would ship a netbook).
- Some kind of flexible-display type of device is announced (might even ship). If I had to hunch (and I of course do), it’d either come from Apple or as a new Kindle.
- Tru2Way is announced as the new failure of openness from the FCC.
- All versions of Rock Band and Guitar Hero in 2010 fail to exceed sales stats of 2009 or 2008.
- Hey guys – remember how that Who Wants to be a Millionaire show was super popular? Then they started running it 4+ nights a week? Then it moved to daytime? There’s something called a “saturated market”. Stop with all the specialty versions and get back to improving the base game, which you can sell add-ons to.
- Cisco buys a few more gadget makers and technology providers in their attempt to own the Digital Home. In each case they continue to exhibit poor timing and overpay for slightly outdated platforms.
Can I get a hit of that stuff?
Things that are just plain unrealistic, but I’m saying them anyway. This way if they happen I can say I was the first to say them.
- Apple does not ship a tablet. Yes, I contradict the above point, since I do think “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” holds up in general. However, it is Apple, and this is a terrible device category, and Steve Jobs hates doing things crappily. BTW, you really should read this piece if you are even remotely following the Apple Tablet news – it’s extremely well written and insightful.
- Facebook buys Twitter. It’s not really all that out there as a concept (although I’d wager the personalities behind both companies are big forces against it). Both companies need to continue rapid growth. Both companies need to create lots of revenue. Both companies want to be “empires”. There are many overlapping aspects, but the combined entity could realistically “own” the social network.
- A new game console launches. I put this in the long-shot category because nobody is really incented to create a new console right now. The Xbox 360 is finally hitting it’s strides; the PS3 has way too much cost to recoup, and the Wii is enjoying it’s ride. If I had to guess, I’d wager on a 4th party entrant (Samsung?). If one of the big three, I’d pick the next console as a “Wii HD”.
- A “Lifestreamer” device comes to market. It’s not quite a phone, but it’s always on, always recording, and has amazing synch with some Web service. Never takes pictures, only video. Able to “Tag” moments. Has real-time streaming capabilities.
- Scoble buys units for himself and entire family.
- Microsoft (or possibly Yahoo!) goes on a major Internet services acquisition spree, picking up companies like Zoho, bit.ly, Adobe (yes, Adobe), Pandora, Evernote, UserVoice, and more.
- The TwitterPeek is the #1 hottest selling device of the year!
That’s all folks, see you in 361 days for the results.
Note that I anticipate much snarkiness in the comments. Have at it.