Every year, I make a set of predictions as to what the new year is going to bring. At the end of year, I also review how close or far off the mark I’ve come. It is now time to review the 2011 edition of predictions, which I made on the 3rd of January of this year.
Last year’s leading internet political story was the rise of wikileaks and, as such, my views were impacted by it. Surprisingly, there has not been that many wikileaks-like organizations arising on the internet. This may be due to the fact that there just aren’t that many people leaking information.
The power of wikileaks, however, could not be denied, and my predictions of protests arising out of cablegate were right on the mark. This year, cablegate highlighted some of the abuse of governments in Tunisia and Egypt and some of that evidence was part (but only part) of what led to radical changes in those northern African countries.
On the regulation end, the FCC has indeed gotten more aggressive, with its more visible move being its attempt to block the acquisition of T-mobile by AT&T. However, to my surprise, there hasn’t been that much complaining from either political party about this rejuvenated enforcement effort.
Meanwhile, the rise of SOPA is clearly in line with the prediction that the entertainment industry will push for more internet regulation. However, it is relatively easy to predict such thing as it appears the entertainment industry is forever locked into the concept of a more regulated internet. They basically see the internet as competition and would love nothing more than to strangle it to death.
So looking at the political end of the spectrum, I’ll give myself points for good prognostication.
In that category, I decided to stick my neck out on the concept of a public-less IPO and while it was essentially something that happened with Facebook, the concept did not really take off for other companies as they decided to go the public route instead. My expectations were really that IPOs would not come until very late into the year and I was surprised by the likes of LinkedIn, GroupOn, and Zynga managing to get into the market relatively early.
Furthermore, I was pretty much off the mark when it came to NFC. NFC is (and has been) a promising technology but 2011 was not a breakout year for the technology. At this point, only a few select Android models seem to support it and there seems to be little traction from the market around it. While Intel invested in NFC, it may be a technology that grows into usage without having a particular breakout year.
The rise of cord-cutters did happen but not in as large an amount as I suspected. While this is a trend that continue to grow, it is still sitting on the edge and hasn’t gone mainstream yet. However, its a trend I will continue to monitor closely as I suspect this will move to the mainstream in relatively short order.
All and all, my predictions on business were off the mark. Maybe I’ll do better next year.
Gamification continues to grow but did not really have the big breakout year I expected. While more and more companies are continuing to integrate game-like behavior in their applications and workflows, we are starting to experience a period of consolidation in the space, with bunchball being one of the larger players. This seems to highlight that this space is one where only a couple of major players will arise and smaller players are already running out of steam. The focus around developing gamification models for computer-based applications may be part of the reason for this failing to move forward as the trend is increasingly to more and more applications moving to a mobile-first model.
The scan and shoot revolution I predicted quietly made its ways into the mainstream, with smart phones being the new weapon in every shoppers’ belt this christmas season. It’s one of those quiet revolution that arrived in 2011.
And finally, the big bet I had made on a Microsoft Nokia partnership came in mid-february, when Nokia announced that it would focus all its efforts on developing exclusively for the Microsoft platform.
The internet backlash I was expecting for this year did not come to pass. There may yet be more power in the current positive cycle that has been covering our industry and, as such, it appears that the possibility of a backlash against our industry remains a remote but slim possibility at this time.
So all and all, I’d get a barely pass on the technology side.
Arts and Entertainment
The recent multi-billion contract extensions for NFL broadcast rights are in line with my prediction that big event entertainment is becoming the core focus of the broadcast entertainment world. The continuing effort to support the existing model will increase this trend, giving more and more power to producers of real-time events.
Remixing, and Danish coolness, did not come of age in the past year, however. While groundbreaking on Bjarke Ingels first American project happened in New York, Danes haven’t really moved to the center of popular consciousness. The same is true of remixing: while supercuts are still making their way through youtube but, as a whole, remixing is still not something that has made it into the mainstream.
Maybe I should keep to the margins when it comes to making big predictions around arts and entertainment.
All and all, for this year, my performance at predictions has been average. I will try to do better for the 2012 year.