It’s a funny exercise which I would recommend to you as well: pick 10 (less-predictable) predictions and see what would happen.
Let’s take my previous predictions for 2006:
Let’s see how this game will play out:
1) Amazon will come up with more and more interesting stuff. I expect to be surprised.
Yes: I thought – for a company that released the Mechanical Turk, I would expect more surprising things. And I was right – first, the S3 web service for online storage was something revolutionary at that time. Second, the EC2 service, where you can basically “rent” a Skynet for your own needs. I think these services are great, and demonstrate innovation where you expect it the least.
2) Someone, probably Yahoo, will buy digg and memeorandum. These sites are hot.
No: Still, these sites continue to be hot (and digg.com climbed up in the top 20 sites Alexa chart of all sites in US). Apparently nobody wants to buy them. Yet. Too expensive, maybe?
3) In 2004, Google captured everyone’s interest with GMail, GMaps, etc. In 2005, the tables turned the other way around: everyone surprised Google engineers with lots of funny rumors (Google PC, Google OS, Google Browser, Google secret datacenters-in-a-box, dark-fiber secret plans, etc). Ignore all that. The truth is that, right now, every other startup is busy imitating Google. The conclusion? Google will have a really hard time coming with something truly innovative in 2006. Probably their biggest 2006 news would be related with buying other companies or closing expensive deals with other partners. I am not blaming Google or anything like this – they will continue to do their excellent work as usual. It’s just that these new startups will overshadow their contribution in the future, to the extent that Google will not be able to come in front with almost anything new.
Yes: Absolutely. As I expected, Google did not launch any revolutionary products and instead choose to focus on defensive moves: closing a lot of deals through 2006 (Motorola, MySpace, AOL, and others). Google/2006 is very different than Google/2005 which is different than Google/2004.
4) Right now, people love to speculate that the fight for the first place will be between XBox 360 and PS3. Well, I don’t think so. I personally believe that the real battle will be 360 and… Nintendo Revolution. And, not only that, but 360 might have a hard time beating Revolution.
Yes: I remember some people that laughed at this one :-). Who is (was) Nintendo? Well, now the “prediction” seems obvious, but back then, PS3 was viewed by many as the ultimate winner.
5) While technologically very good, from the sales point of view I personally think that Sony PS3 will have a very slow start (read: a big flop). Too expensive, games not spectacularly good compared with 360, Blue Ray not in demand, etc.
Yes: Precisely. Not sure what I can add.
6) Speaking of which, the BluRay vs. HD-DVD battle won’t settle until 2007 (translated = low demand for media in both formats). PS3 will be impacted too.
Yes: That one as well. Even more, the war is not going to settle in 2008 either. My take: see my next predictions (upcoming).
7) I can imagine that, right now, Yahoo is pretty desperate in fighting with Google on all fronts. So I expect that Yahoo will surpass Google at the end of 2006 in several areas where currently Google is a leader. One of these areas? Search relevance.
No: I guess I simply got this one wrong. While desperate, Yahoo seems to still scratch their head what to do next…
8) MySpace.com will enter in a legal trouble or something. They will remain #1 blogging site for teenagers, though.
No: I am actually not sure about this one. While I heard a few cases where it was sued for copyright, nothing major yet. Or maybe I should read blogs more often 🙂
9) 2006 will be the year when we will see more nice desktops in the mini/micro form factor, in the lines of Apple Mini. These new PCs will be advertised as damn fast (not for a gaming machine, though) and reasonably cheap (around $500).
10) End of 2006 (maybe CES 2007). We will start to see cheap cell phones with incorporated flash-based media players (4-8 GB seems reasonable). However, it is unclear what would be the portal to get songs on these devices.
Yes: However, I am not terribly proud about this prediction, as it was not that unpredictable at that time. That said, every other cell phone has now an MP3 player as well, and also Apple launched iPhone (probably as a reaction to that).
To conclude, seven out of ten is a good number. I am actually happy to have more than half predictions true.
(update: fixing minor typos, adding more links)