Posted by: Rob Hof on December 29, 2005
Everyone else is issuing predictions for 2006, so why not me? Well, for one, Jeff Jarvis might go postal on me (not that I’m at the top of his reading list). But I just can’t take this forecasting thing too seriously….
* Google’s stock price will fall after its profit growth plummets to 80%, prompting a spate of hand-wringing magazine cover stories on “what’s gone wrong” at Google.
* Apple will release the iPod Pico, but it will fizzle when nobody can actually see it.
* Attempting to capitalize on the popularity of ultra-simple services such as 37Signals’ Backpack, a startup called 0Things will release a service that does absolutely nothing. Following a positive writeup on the TechCrunch blog, it will be a smash hit before selling out three months later to Google for a rumored $60 million, after which people will decide it sucks.
* Even Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft will run out of money to buy all 4,593 Web 2.0 startups, prompting hundreds of failed entrepreneurs to dabble in philanthropy while waiting for Web 3.0, whatever that is.
* Actually, a few of them will found aviation and space startups.
* Likewise, VCs will suddenly realize that a business model that depends on running Google AdWords isn’t really that big a market. That will spark a rush to invest in on-demand enterprise software companies in hopes of flipping them to Oracle, or at least getting a ride on Larry’s yacht.
* VCs also will invest in more makers of consumer gadgets, so they can sell out to… uh-oh.
* Memeorandum will implode in mid-April when, in hopes of pumping their visitor numbers, all 18 million bloggers decide to write about the very same issue.
* When Chris Anderson finally publishes his book The Long Tail in early 2006, bloggers will complain that it’s just not as good as his blog, even though it’s pretty much the same material.
* Amazon.com will keep investing its free cash flow back into somewhat mysterious new technologies, keeping its stock price in check and maintaining the employment of skeptical hedge funds and journalists.
* After Time-Warner threatens to shutter Business 2.0, magazine senior writer and uberblogger Om Malik, with backing from Silver Lake Partners, will tender a buyout offer for the media giant. Analysts will note the many potential synergies between blogs and TWX’s media properties.
* In the wake of publicity about mistakes and fabrications on various entries, the online volunteer-written encyclopedia Wikipedia will see growth skyrocket.
* Psychologists will identify a new disease, tagophilia: the obsessive compulsion to label everything on the Web using del.icio.us and other tagging sites. However, when Web 2.0 companies hear about it, they hire them all, quickly turning a neurosis into a promising new profession.
Well, that’s about as far as my cracked crystal ball can see. Bet you all can do better, though. What do you think will happen in the New Year? Let me know (Comments, below).
BTW, is it just me, or does the year 2006 seem like just too unreal a number to actually be living in?