Sunday, December 26, 2010

It’s grading time, again! Time to look back on my 2010 predictions from a year ago.

1) A major telecommunications company will recognize the competitive threat posed by Google Voice and begin offering “voice is free” as a method to gain customers and transition into more profitable data services.

Singtel made a big move in this direction, including free incoming calls to prepaid cell phones. They’re the only one, as far as I can tell, so going to score this as 1/2 correct.

1/2 out of 1

2) At least one of the ineffective, post-9/11 airport security theater provisions is rolled back.

Ug. Couldn’t have been more wrong about this. Despite backlash from Europe and the backscatter debacle, groping was full speed ahead at US airports. Happy to not be traveling these days.

1/2 out of 2

3) The current crop of social games will go the way of the original wave of Zombies and Vampires as players tire of the repetitive gameplay and friends start a backlash — again, exactly as we saw with Zombies and Vampires. The winning social game companies will be those which pivot dramatically.

Since I’m now at Facebook, not going to grade this one.

4) Apple releases a tablet and moves computing onto a 4th screen, adding a new form factor to their existing complement of full screen (desktop/laptop), handheld (iPhone), and living room (Mac Mini/MacTV). It will be incredibly fun to use for the range of activities currently least served by current screens — movies, reading, browsing/social media on the run, and video/text chat. It will bring at least one new UX tech to the party to help make it the “ZOMG, WANT!!” product of 2010 — for example, front facing 3D camera for gestural control without touching the screen.

Yup, Apple released a tablet that was incredibly fun to use, but they did it simply by executing really well, not through any magic. Miss.
Predictions looking pretty brutal this year.
1/2 out of 3

5) The 2010 midterm elections will see a degree of negative campaigning and hate mongering the likes of which the United States has never seen. It will be so bad that political and media leaders from both parties will finally remember that the point of politics is not to win but to effectively govern.

Again, think I got this one half right, but the wrong half. On the plus side, Congress seemed to pull up from the abyss a bit at the end of the year, with sanity restored around New START and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Still calling it a miss.

1/2 out of 4

6) Amazon responds to the gaggle of competing copycat ebook readers by turning Kindle into a full fledged book platform: author choice on DRM, p2p sharing, and loaning; community elements for book recommendations, annotations, and ranking; and, user-generated book metadata for series and sequels, to allow author and series subscription for automatic delivery of new books.

Amazon did a lot to make Kindle more social in 2010. Don’t think they’re done yet, but Kindle’s cross platform availability, social functions, gifting, and loans are huge additions to the service. FInally got anther one right!

1 and 1/2 out of 5

7) Backlash against the world’s biggest banks and their windfall profits will contribute to the emergence of new regional, community, and online banking options.

Tons of startup innovation happening in the banking space, many positioning themselves directly against big, old banks. Unfortunately, none have actually emerged as viable options yet, so I’m correct but early. Gonna score this 1/2 right.

2 out of 6

8) The threat of Three Strike’s coming to the United States via ACTA will generate a grassroots debate about the merits of Obama administration’s IP maximalist strategy.

The debate is happening. Sadly, I don’t see it making a ton of progress, but at least the debate is underway.

3 out of 7

9) Heath care reform makes it through the committee reconciliation process and passes despite complaints from all sides.

Nailed this one. Particularly the complaints from all sides.

4 out of 8.

10) I will be back at work full-time on something seriously cool.

Apparently when I said full-time, I meant it!

5 out of 9

So, .556 for ’10. Saved by the bottom half of the order. Stand by for fearless predictions for 2011!

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