Predictions for 2012

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. 
  • Sprint will continue its unlimited data plan for 4G users and its network won’t break a sweat–this year.
  • Verizon will continue to have issues with data until sometime mid-year. 
  • School districts will buy Makerbots.
  • More schools will drop Microsoft Office in favor of free Google Docs, OpenOffice, or StarOffice. 
  • Adoption of Node.js will accelerate greatly, resulting in high-paying in-demand jobs for Nodesters. 
  • 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. 
  • 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). 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • There will continue to be more venture capital placed than makes sense because of the perverse incentives created by the 2/20 model. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 🙂
  • I’ll finally ship Jawaya, rename it, and get some decent traction, and I will close a seed round by May. 
  • I’ll also ship one of my side projects in Q1.
  • I might even finish the damn book. 
  • I’ll blog less, and comment less at other blogs. 
  • Fake Grimlock will be Fred Wilson’s first guest poster for MBA Mondays, which starts tomorrow. Cat’s out of the bag, Grimmy. 
  • Microsoft will move Steve Ballmer to Chairman and make a products VP the new CEO–likely someone from the Enterprise side. 
  • Microsoft will deeply subsidize Windows Phone carrier deals to boost share. 
  • The US will see its first sub-$50 tablet
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Google might acquire Clear. Here’s hoping. 
  • 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. 
  • The overall economy will continue its upward trajectory, but without manufacturing jobs the middle class will continue to struggle with its debt overhang. 
  • Unemployment will be under 7.5% by the election next year, which Obama will win.
  • 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. 
  • Education funding in PA will be cut again, resulting in larger class sizes, fewer electives, and reduced after-school support for urban students. 
  • The state will do nothing about the pension crisis, leading to massive layoffs of teachers within 3 years.
  • Arnold Waldstein will launch a startup that mixes community and wine.

What are your predictions?

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