Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Predictions: How'd I do?

Last year it was fun to make predictions for 2012. Reading back on them, it strikes me what was on my mind that day--mobile phones and service because I was ditching ATT and wanted to try Android for the first time, startups, and venture capital. 

Let's see how I did; the ones I think were largely accurate are green, ones that were partially accurate are blue, largely wrong ones are red, and undecided, unknown, or TBD are gray.

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Hey, everybody's doing it, why not me? What follows is absolutely armchair conjecture.
  • Android 4.0 will roll out more slowly than expected, and only the wealthy and technorati will be able to enjoy it. The Nexus is $299 with a contract, only on Verizon.
    (it was a very, very slow, painful rollout). 
  • Sprint will continue its unlimited data plan for 4G users and its network won't break a sweat--this year.
    (Yes but its service sucks. Switched to it and its better than ATT but still sucky)
  • Verizon will continue to have issues with data until sometime mid-year. (the best phone service dropped the ball on data)
  • School districts will buy Makerbots.
    (I have to check this)
  • More schools will drop Microsoft Office in favor of free Google Docs, OpenOffice, or StarOffice.
    (unknown but feels right)
  • Adoption of Node.js will accelerate greatly, resulting in high-paying in-demand jobs for Nodesters.
    (damn straight)
  • Node will be ported to Android, Arduino, and other devices and enable a new generation of apps based on the possibility of servers on phones, mesh networks, and SETI-like distribution of computing to mobile. Those possibilities will be explored but won't become significant for a few years. 
    (I sure do like Node :)
  • iPhone 5 will change everything again. I really hate to leave iPhone, but I'm looking forward to checking out the Android universe. The iPhone 5 will likely suck me back over to the dark side (walled gardens are dark to me).
    (It didn't change everything again. Nice but not game-changing). 
  • The angel funding boom will subside as investors start to experience what happens when seed-stage funding runs out and founding teams scramble for bridges to nowhere.
    (Yes, yes, and yes. It's and obvious one though--landing investment isn't easy and of course only a percentage raise a Series A, and a smaller percentage get to Series B, etc. And some just say screw it let's build a profitable, sustainable company on our own terms and time.)
  • This will create opportunities for early-stage venture funds, which will have had a lot of their homework done for them in the seed rounds and inevitable thinning of the herds.
    (would love an early-stage VC to comment on this--what's it like? Better deal flow, better looking opportunities, or just more deal flow, same distribution of quality?)
  • There will continue to be more venture capital placed than makes sense because of the perverse incentives created by the 2/20 model.
    (This is subjective but I'm claiming the win.
  • Liquidation preferences will swing back toward investors a bit, from 1x non-participating to 1x participating, as last year's crop of seeds compete for the next round.
    (I need to check on this, but I've heard it's at least happening on the East Coast to some degree). 
  • We'll start to find out how well 500 Startups picks startups. My guess is it will outperform the general seed stage market, but its success rate will trail Y-Combinator and Tech Stars simply because of the number of startups it funds . This year, anyway. (Performance means follow-on round of funding without cramming down founders :)
    (Dave? Any Stats you can share?)
  • I'll finally ship Jawaya, rename it, and get some decent traction, and I will close a seed round by May.
    (And then HN brought me in and I stopped working on it. So no, big miss. Picked it up over the summer--it's largely done but then I started working on other stuff. I use it but it's still not ready to share :)
  • I'll also ship one of my side projects in Q1.
    (ibid)
  • I might even finish the damn book.
    (this year I swear. Bought Scrivener and have been working on it in that--great tool for writers)
  • I'll blog less, and comment less at other blogs.
    (This is starting to get ugly... blogged more, commented the same)
  • Fake Grimlock will be Fred Wilson's first guest poster for MBA Mondays, which starts tomorrow. Cat's out of the bag, Grimmy.
    (I feel like the Eagles now...)
  • Microsoft will move Steve Ballmer to Chairman and make a products VP the new CEO--likely someone from the Enterprise side.
    (should have happened, should still happen)
  • Microsoft will deeply subsidize Windows Phone carrier deals to boost share.
    (well that was obvious. They're still trying to buy their way in). 
  • The US will see its first sub-$50 tablet(Yep. Not great but it's here  UPDATE: NYTimes article today on how poorly the company is doing, and only "shipping" 1000 per day, but they aren't manufacturing them and reports of poor quality. Let's call this a miss--it's getting there, but we're not there yet.  Here's a $60 one. ). UPDATE II: Found one at $49...
  • Facebook will continue to grow, but more and more people will use it less and join other social networks like Path that enable private social networking.
    (I don't know. I use it more because of Lancaster Community Gardens, but not sure. Guessing yes. )
  • Chime-in will not become a major player in the social space; it will likely be acquired by an AOL, Microsoft, or Google and not Facebook or Twitter. 
    (I don't know anyone who uses it and it hasn't been acquired)
  • Google might acquire Clear. Here's hoping. 
  • (Sprint acquired it and Sprint was largely bought by a Japanese company)
  • The term "Hyperweb" will not catch on, largely because it's an unnecessary fabrication of a couple of venture capitalists looking to position themselves as visionary leaders. Internet-enabled devices will become more ubiquitous, but won't require a new category.
    (I hated that term). 
  • The overall economy will continue its upward trajectory, but without manufacturing jobs the middle class will continue to struggle with its debt overhang.
    (Right on economy, but
    manufacturing jobs increased).
  • Unemployment will be under 7.5% by the election next year, which Obama will win.
    (7.7% in November, but that number will be adjusted next month. Still hope). 
  • The Republican nominee will be Mitt Romney, who has likely already cut deals to get there.
  • Christie will not be his running mate; it's likely he'll choose a social conservative to keep the dollars flowing from the right, possibly the governor of South Carolina.
    (She was on the list, and he picked a social conservative)
  • Education funding in PA will be cut again, resulting in larger class sizes, fewer electives, and reduced after-school support for urban students.
    (what can be said except why? why?)
  • The state will do nothing about the pension crisis, leading to massive layoffs of teachers within 3 years. (happening already)
  • Arnold Waldstein will launch a startup that mixes community and wine.
    (sometimes it helps to have the inside story--way to go Arnold!)

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