Halfway Through The Year: How’re The Predictions Doing?

It’s time to review how my Predictions 2012 are faring, now that half the year has slipped by (that was fast, no?).

One thing that stands out is the timing wrt Twitter – my first two predictions were about the company, and now that I think about it, given the news just this week (and the attendant debate), I should have realized how the two could be in direct conflict with each other. It all makes for some interesting chin stroking, which I’m busy doing while on vacation – fishing the Rio Blanco up above Meeker in Colorado. Yes, you may now give me shit for writing that.

But to the review: I’ll take them one at a time:

Predictions 2012: #1 – On Twitter and Media

Twitter will become a force as a media company, not just a platform for others’ media.

Well, we’re only six months in, but I’d say this is happening, full force. From expanded tweets to hosting photos and videos to creating brand pages to major deals with entertainment companies, Twitter is certainly becoming a major media company. I predicted it will improve its Discover feature (it continues to – this is and has been critical to its success with Promoted Tweets, esp. in mobile), and that it’d roll out something like Flipboard. That hasn’t happened yet, but I’d wager it’s coming….

Predictions 2012: #2 – Twitter As Free Radical, Swiss Bank, Arms Merchant…And Google Five Years Ago

Every major player on the Internet will have to do a deal with Twitter, and Twitter will emerge as a Swiss like, open, neutral player in the battle for the consumer web.

Hmmm. I am not sure if this is happening quite as I might have predicted. Just this past week, Twitter cut LinkedIn off, but that doesn’t mean a new deal isn’t in the works, or that the way the old deal was going made anyone at either company – or their customers – happy. On other fronts, Twitter is flowing through search results at Bing, but no renewed deal with Google yet. Twitter is on stronger footing with Facebook than it was before – with a reciprocal deal finally in place. But its moves in media might mean it begins to act in a protective, domain-specific way over the next six months. I hope not. In other news, this move – the Twitter Transparency Report – is sure welcome news. I wrote about this just a few weeks ago….and suggested Twitter might be next. See: Google’s Transparency Report: A Good And Troubling Thing

Predictions 2012 #3: The Facebook Ad Network

Facebook will launch a web-wide competitor to AdSense.

Well, it’s certainly looking like this is coming true. Not only has Facebook begun the process by allowing its ads to be shown on Zynga.com, it also has offered its own inventory up for third-party exchanges. Both moves augur a next step: a web-wide competitor to AdSense. I’m still a bit nervous this won’t happen this year, but I’d wager it’s going to come at some point soon.

Predictions 2012 #4: Google’s Challenging Year

Despite doing well overall, Google will fumble one big play this year. 

Well, early in the year, the Search Plus Your World fracas seemed quite a fumble, but that tempest has cooled, at least for now. However, the company is the target of several government probes, and it remains to be seen how its perceived early missteps might play out.

Predictions 2012 #5: A Big Year for M&A

2012 may well be the biggest year of all for Internet M&A.

OK, I mentioned Instagram as a probable candidate, but it’s not like that wasn’t pretty damn obvious if you were paying attention. I don’t have all the numbers in, but man, it’s been a huge year so far for M&A in our space. We’ll see by the end of the year if it’s a record.

Predictions 2012 #6: “The Corporation” Becomes A Central Societal Question Mark

We’ll all start to question what role the corporation plays in our society and culture.

This one is fuzzy to begin with – it’s hard to prove such a zeitgeisty prediction. A challenge to Citizens v. United failed to get the court’s attention, had it been reviewed, we’d certainly be talking about this issue a lot more. I’d wager I might be a bit early on this one.

Predictions 2012 #7: Shooting From The Hip

In which I cover ten or so other rapid fire predictions. In turn:

– Obama will win the 2012 election, thanks in part to the tech community rallying behind him due to issues like SOPA, visas, and free speech.

Can’t call this one yet!

– Both Apple and Amazon will make billion-dollar acquisitions. More interestingly, so will Facebook.

One down, two to go….

– Android will be brought to heel by Google, eliciting both massive complaints and cheers, depending on where you sit.

 Seems to be happening, from accounts I’ve read.

 – Microsoft Windows Phone will become the Bing of mobile (IE, move into double digit market share).

 The phone is clearly a win for Microsoft so far, we’ll have to wait for version 8 to see if it maintains double digit share.

 – Microsoft Xbox will integrate meaningfully with the web (Kinect is key), and start to compete in social across the digital spectrum

This is happening in some ways (an ecosystem is developing) but I’m not sure yet about social…

– IBM will emerge as a key player in the consumer Internet.

 Not yet. But it is an emerging player in marketing IT, which drives much of the consumer Internet.

 – China will be caught spying on US corporations, especially tech and commodity companies. Somewhat oddly, no one will (seem to) care.

It’s happening, but we haven’t yet had the spectacular news (like the Google hack last year) that folks can then ignore.

– A heads up display for the web will launch that actually is worth using, but most likely in limited use cases.

Thanks, Google Glass!

All in all, not so bad for six months in. There’s still a lot of time to either prove me a fool, or of Nostradamus’ lineage.


Predictions 2011

2011: How I Did

Predictions 2010

2010: How I Did

2009 Predictions

2009 How I Did

2008 Predictions

2008 How I Did

2007 Predictions

2007 How I Did

2006 Predictions

2006 How I Did

2005 Predictions

2005 How I Did

2004 Predictions

2004 How I Did





14 thoughts on “Halfway Through The Year: How’re The Predictions Doing?”

  1. I’d say you did pretty darn good!  I am glad  to have found you on Google+ & looking forward to learning a thing or two from you:)

  2. Even though Twitter added Expanded tweets,photos, videos etc etc.. how does it solves the bigger problem of information overload? I miss tons of quality tweets just because i’m following 100+ accounts. Expanded tweets makes sense after twitter solves the information overload problem. what do you think?

  3. Number 6 is probably too broad, maybe some types of corporations will get more attention over different periods. People are already looking at banks, Monsanto and Big Pharma look like strong contenders for early attention. 

    1. I agree – the record fines in the multi billions are quite something, in that no actual people are taking responsibility – it’s just a tax on profits.

  4. Hello Jbat, it’s a very big thing for twitter right now. There should be a information overflow, there is a problem for handling a very large number of twitt.  

  5. Hey john, when we comment here is there a way we can get an email or some notification on twitter(i use twitter login) if someone reply’s to my comment.

      1. If i register on Disqus directly without using twitter account they get my email address. But i’m using my twitter account to login on disqus. So they don’t have my email id and i guess thats why i do not get email. There is no way to add my email address if i choose to login via twitter. Please correct me if i’m missing something.

  6. Congrats on the halftime score! I’m very interested in how/where Twitter builds out and positions their platform this year. One M&A thought: Twitter hugs it out with Apple. I believe in timely advances (windows of opportunity); leverage with iPhone/iPad as it nationalizes across China…

  7. Hi John.

    Great and honest update. Thank you

    I would add few things about Twitter. In my opinion what Twitter built is a
    new form of messaging bus with unique form of message type (140 characters
    with a link). Everybody is welcome to put any message there and anybody can
    pick up any message. Addressing is very simple. It is the simplicity, near
    time delivery and an OK quality of service which won customers, developers
    and vendors over, and allowed to grow Twitter to the level of audience
    which has today.
    I think that Twitter didn’t anticipate that they will create plumbing or
    utility for the rest of us. They want to become the destination now. I
    understand their desire to make money, but I am not sure if this is the way
    to go. I think better model would be the transaction model, where people
    would pay to use the API, pay per post, pay per get. Twitter would control
    the flow, provide data analysis, encourage developer community and charge
    for it. Let others figure out all the possible use of Twitter, don’t try to
    build another social portal.
    At this moment the barrier of entry to build Twitter-clone is low. They
    should take a lesson from Microsoft with the MS Office. MS Word is average
    product, but thanks to macros, plugins, document format Microsoft was able
    to insert itself into a business processes. Therefore it is very expensive
    to remove it and replace it with much better or cheaper products. I don’t
    think, Twitter has reached the level of integration yet. Cutting its ties
    with LinkedIn put every integrator on alert and people might think twice
    about investing in the Twitter integration.

    Thanks for your time reading this.



    1. thanks so much for the thoughtful comments, Vaclav.

      I think Twitter’s moves over the next few months are going to be fascinating to watch.

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