So my buddy Theo asked me yesterday if I was going to do a follow up predictions post this year. He then politely reminded me of my wildly inaccurate bitcoin prediction :-/ So I figured I should at the very least give myself grades on the predictions from last year before I make new ones for 2015.
To see last year’s predictions go here
So here they are:
1. Amazon takes on chromecast/roku/apple tv.
I nailed this one on the head, if you count the Amazon Fire TV stick. Which I bought for $20 on pre-sale. Regular price is $40-50 like I had predicted. The Amazon Fire TV box is also selling really well compared to roku/appleTV/chromecast.
2. Apple TV comes out and is clear.
FAIL. This didn’t happen. I have different reasons for why I think that may be the case, one big one being that TVs are becoming commoditized. Apple would want to have 8K or very least 4K TVs, and there isn’t enough content out there readily available for them yet. They are moving a lot of Apple TV boxes though. Either way this was a miss.
3. Facebook crosses 1.4B users.
According to Facebook’s own stats page, they had 1.35Billion users in September. No clue on how their growth went during the last 3 months, or if the WhatsApp users or Instagram users are counted into this total. Technically I missed on this one, but was very close.
4. Bitcoin passes $2500.
WOW I got this one wrong. This morning (Jan 4) BTC was hovering around $260. When I wrote the $2500 number I was super bullish on it and it was hovering around $1000. I no longer feel bullish on btc as a currency, or even an investment. I think we’ll see it hover in the 300-400$ range for a while, which is actually unprofitable for mining which could result in it crashing if the miners stop mining. I do see a lot of potential in the technology, but less so in mainstream adoption happening in 2015, and even less so in it displacing a major currency.
5. Amazon takes on payments.
So Amazon did make some moves to roll out square competitor solutions, and also competing with stripe for web based credit card processing. They never did roll out mainstream payment options with big established merchants. It could be just that its such a thin margin business that it wasn’t worth their investment?
6. 7-11 takes on Fedex and UPS
This never happened. Aside from amazon lockers 7-11 added, nothing interesting came out that company this year. I probably assumed the cost of doing anything of this scale was lower than it actually turns out to be. Plus the staff requirements would change 7-11 drastically.
7. JetBlue and Virgin America merge
This never happened either. The fact oil prices plunged in the second half of the year probably helped both firms financially, and perhaps even saved Virgin America which was on the verge of bankruptcy. With less impending doom, I don’t think we’ll see this happen. JetBlue is expanding through LatAm now, and VA probably will add more routes this year. I still think it makes sense, similar cultures, similar planes, lots of consolidation going on in this market (AA + UsAir, SouthWest + Airtran, etc).
8. Same day delivery expands from lots of e-commerce players
So this was a hit, and a miss. We didn’t see Whole Foods roll out delivery, but we did see third party companies tackling this (instacart, postmates, wunwun, etc). We also saw Amazon do same day delivery in NYC, and expansion of Google same day delivery in SF.
9. Twitter will post disappointing revenue figures
Yup this continues to be true. Twitter has lost tons of cash every quarter since their IPO. I bet we see Dick Costolo lose his job before June 2015. I’m still bearish on them (I don’t own their stock, or have any positions on it).
10. Many big box stores start downsizing their stores.
This happened a lot. Sears/Kmart shut a bunch of stores, and repurposed the square footage in a number of others to sublease the space or other real estate plays. We also saw companies like ToysRUs & BestBuy focus on smaller footprint stores.
Stay tuned for 2015 predictions coming soon.
Great recap Brian! You are a tech Nostradamus.
I would counter argue that Amazon is all over razor thin margin businesses (e.g. books & electronics). Not sure why it hasn’t pursued payments more aggressively, but it does seem focused on logistics (robots/ even faster delivery) and content (original video / publishing) for now.
Looking fwd to your 2015 divinations!
By getting more outsiders using their payment network, it doesn’t necessarily bring more economies of scale to amazon whereas robots can reduce their marginal cost of deliveries and also keep target/walmart/kmart/etc at bay with higher barriers to entry.