My first two long form prediction posts focused on big topics – artificial intelligence and digital advertising. This one, my last, will focus on a grab bag of market-related topics that have dominated the headlines at one time or another over the past few years.
Let’s start with crypto. It’s hard to fathom how poorly the crypto market has had it these past twelve months, unless, like me, you were a participant in the Great Crypto Winter of 2018. During that downturn, crypto dropped as much as 90 percent – which means there’s plenty of “down” left in today’s already decimated markets. But what I find most interesting about crypto is how much of it is dominated by a day-trader’s sensibility. How much money did we make today? This week? This year? That thesis of crypto – that it’s all about money – was never what drove my interest in the space. Yes, I bought crypto, and yes on paper I made money – and lost more! But the point was always crypto’s thesis of decentralization, of new approaches to governance, and in particular – for me – new ways of architecting data flows in society. Those ideas have been gaining traction all year long, and I don’t see them losing steam in 2023.
Then again, the price of ETH and BTC have become leading indicators of the sector’s overall health, and it’s disingenuous to pretend they don’t matter as it relates to whether more substantive investments are made in projects that truly unlock crypto’s potential. A down market may be the best time to invest, but down markets usually mean far less investment. And I don’t see crypto coming out of this down market over the next year. In fact, I predict that while there may be some significant swings one way or another, by the end of 2023, we’ll have essentially seen a push in the price of major crypto currencies. Is that a good thing? I think it is – the sector needs to find its floor, and start building from there once again. Everyone got well over their skis in ’21-’22 – and many lost their way entirely. It’s time to find our way back.
Well it’s not a long leap from crypto winter to Tesla, which has had one hell of a winter in ’22 – down nearly 70 percent year on year at the time of this writing. I can hear the skeptics among you already rolling your eyes – what does this guy know about cars, much less EVs? The answer is very little – which makes me something of a proxy for a market that, until recently, Wall Street seemed to believe Tesla would dominate forever.
I’ll admit I was close to buying a Tesla this year – we already had an Audi plug in hybrid, but I wanted our second car to be a full EV. When it comes to buying cars, the opinion of my friends matter, and for years they’d all rave about their Teslas. But that is no longer the case. Musk’s psychotic break on Twitter has come home to roost, Tesla has become a partisan brand, and I personally don’t want to drive around in a car that intimates I might be supportive of Musk’s increasingly unhinged trolling. For me, anyway, buying a Tesla is off the table.
Fortunately there are now a ton of options when it comes to EVs – and many more on the way. It used to be your choices were a Tesla or a Chevy Bolt. Now you can pick between a Porsche, a BMW, a Volvo, a Mercedes, an Audi, a Mustang, any many more. Tesla’s stock isn’t falling simply because of its CEO’s Twitter obsession. It’s also falling because the rest of the market is catching up.
This all leads me to predict that Tesla’s stock will continue to fall, reaching new lows in 2023 that will only begin to recover when Musk abandons Twitter and focuses once again on the main source of his wealth. Caveat emptor on this one – I’m no stock picker, but this just feels right.
Speaking of stocks (and winters), it’s been a very long winter for tech IPOs – this list of likely 2022 IPOs from November of 2021 makes for sober reading. Of the eleven companies mentioned, only one – Mobileye – went public, thanks largely to its relationship with Intel. As CNBC put it, the tech IPO market collapsed in 2022. So I may be fixing to ruin an otherwise excellent batting average by predicting this: The tech IPO market will rebound in 2023, surprising pretty much everyone. My rationale? Tech IPOs have found their bottom, and there’s pretty much nowhere to go but up. Tech tends to lead all markets out of rough patches, and we’ve been in bumpy terrain for a while now. There’s just too much capital, too many good companies, and too much pent up demand for a positive story in markets, which are famously narrative driven. Storytellers, start your engines, because Tech IPOs will be back in 2023.
Well, that’s my predictions, but in the headline I did promise a “Trump bump.” I am absolutely not a seasoned politico, but in 2023, I predict Trump fades into irrelevance, eventually pulling out of the presidential race (which, like Elon, he’ll claim as a victory, or perhaps blame the numerous “witch hunts” that will continue to dog him). Others will take his mantle and his votes, or at least split them. It sure feels like the man has lost his power over enough of the base to control the GOP next year. And I’ll add one more bonus to this bonus prediction: In a desperate plea for attention, Trump will return to Twitter, re-joining around the same time Elon loses interest. That will ensure one thing – I’ll be staying off Twitter for most of the year!
So to summarize this last post of predictions: Crypto has a sideways year, Tesla continues to fade, tech IPOs stage a comeback, and Trump abandons his presidential ambitions. My first post, which focuses on AI-based predictions, is here. My second, focused on advertising, is here. And the summary of all of them is right here. Thanks for reading!
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