In January 2011 I tried my hand at prediction. Let’s see how that worked out then:
- eBooks will become relatively normal. It will begin to feel a little silly to purchase products that require cutting down trees, chemicals, huge plants, toxic inks and expensive production and shipping. eBooks are cheaper, fast to obtain and just as easy to read, except in the bath. New Zealand will lag on this one, but the switch will gain huge momentum in the USA.
I’ll give myself a qualified YES for this one. Amazon’s Kindles are now on sale in NZ stores, we see eReaders being used pretty much everywhere and a lot of people I know have converted. Whitcoulls and Borders hit the wall for a variety of reasons, but eReaders are a part of their story of failure.
- Pacific Fibre will be financed, and prices for capacity between Australia, New Zealand and the USA will continue to fall.
That’s a NO – or more precisely a “not yet.” I can’t write too much about this, but suffice to say the team of professionals are beavering away on financing as well as operations and sales. They have announced 4 major customers, signed a great contract with TE Subcom for the cable delivery and that’s all I can say. Stay tuned.
- The Apple AppStore will precipitate an app revolution, with the best applications migrating to, and many appearing exclusively on, Apple Macs and iOS devices.
I’d have to say NO on this, as while the app store is showing incredible results for developers and customers alike, and apps are increasingly the place for the leading edge, other formats are also prospering.
- Rowan, Koz and Amnon will do something amazing – though I have no idea yet what it is, and probably neither do they.
Southgate labs invested in and got heavily involved with Vend, TheRugbySite, and GoVocab. All are awesome, especially Vend (which I am a smaller investor in) which is gaining good traction. I’m going with a YES, based on helping Vaughan Rowsell with Vend.
- There will be some significant wins in the Copyright battles for those that want less draconian protections. The lobbying from the entertainment industry owners will continue to backfire as consumers and their advocates fight for what they want.
YES – the S92A wording in NZ was considerably softened, the USA’s hideous SOPA bill is backfiring and the entertainment industry continues to amaze with their inability to understand the internet. (Latest example). There appears to be a growing mood for a major revisit of Copyright law.
- The iPhone 5 will blow our socks off, and I and millions of others will buy one to match our new iPad 2.
It didn’t blow our sicks off with hardware features, but the iPhone 4S with Siri is pretty amazing (it actually understands my weird accent) and it sold 4 million in the first weekend. The biggest change is actually in distribution, as we can buy the 4S anywhere. It did not bring anything truly magical on the hardware side, but I bought 2 of them so I’m giving this a qualified YES.
- The split US Congress will actually deliver some good legislation to be signed off by President Obama.
NO. I think this one was wishful thinking, and the state of politics in the USA continues to baffle the rest of us. What was once an amazing example of civility, cooperation, pragmatism and statesmanship (I refer specifically to the Senate) has turned into two side that cannot agree on anything except for the importance of attracting campaign finance. Sad, but the Occupy Wall st movement, Larry Lessig’s book and what is going to be some blatantly crazy spending by the SuperPacs are promising signs of change. It will take something major to break the system, and that’s sad.
- National with John Key leading will easily win the NZ election and form a coalition government.
An easy YES. I’m very happy with the result, even with some of the ACT policies if not their players, and especially happy to see the Green party field some quality new candidates and get rewarded for it. Labour suffered for not doing so and needs to reinvent themselves and their selection process.
- Powershop in New Zealand will go mainstream – and people will begin to wonder why they ever received paper invoices from their utility.
Powershop has certainly achieved much higher penetration into the public eye, with the switching sites often highlighting their cheaper prices, and a lot of coverage. Powershop deservedly won the Deloitte Fast 50, has a very successful GrabOne campaign and currently have over 42000 customers. My parents use it, so I’m going with a very soft YES. There is certainly a long way to go before it hits the big time.
- There will be no major success from the attempts of large generalist newspapers to charge for content online
Except, apparently, for the NYTimes that is. NO. I have sharply reduced my own reading of their content as a result, and I suspect the jury is really still out.
- The All Blacks will lose the World Cup. Admit it – we have gone into every other World Cup looking as strong as we are now the season before, but when it comes to the crunch each players in every other team lays their individual life on the line to beat the All Blacks in the World Cup knock out stage. It’s essentially impossible to play three or four must-win games in a row with opposition like that. (Clearly I’m very happy to be wrong on this)
NO – and as I said, Clearly I’m very happy to be wrong on this. What I also didn’t predict was just how good the Rugby World Cup would be for spectators and New Zealand. I ended up seeing 13 games live, including the opening and the final, and spent a huge amount more time and money on the festivities than I had planned. It was superbly executed, the atmosphere was universally positive and the crowd management continuously learned and became excellent. A hearty well done to everyone involved.
This predicting business is great fun, but hard. I count five clear noes, four soft yeses and two clear yeses. Some of those noes will turn into yeses soon, though number 11 is certainly going to stay that way for almost 4 years.
There is plenty that I didn’t predict, but on to next year.