The Mayan Apocalypse didn’t occur, so my 2012 predictions survived to face public scrutiny. Before I go into this year’s predictions, here are my own grades for last year’s premonitions:
- “Mojo shifts from Amazon to big-box retailers” D+
The state sales tax amnesties needed more time to see their effects, so going big and bold on this prediction was admittingly premature. I would have given myself a C+ if I only included Walmart, Target and eBay (up 75 percent for the year) as comparables with Amazon, but Best Buy pulled me down to a D+ since their stock is down 50 percent for the year and Amazon is up 50 percent. Also many are expecting Best Buy to go the way of Circuit City within a few years. For Amazon, many questions still surround the strength of their business model, but Bezos is leading them into bold new territories that my new name for him is Jeff “Cortes Magellan” Bezos.
- “RIM finally sells” B-
RIM is still surviving like the pesky gopher from “Caddyshack”, so I want to hold this prediction out until 2013. I gave myself a B- since RIM didn’t do anything to right their ship. If this doesn’t happen in 2013, then I’ll change my grade to an “F”.
- “Android takes 50 percent of the tablet market” B
The 43-percent figure by IDC is close but no cigar. The iPad mini’s launch prevented my prediction from coming true — and the fact that those 15 million-plus Samsung Galaxy Notes (I & II) are not classified as tablets is something I’m going to campaign for in 2013. Forget phablets, they should be double counted as smartphones and tablets.
- “Zynga loses half its market cap and its hold on social gaming” A+
When I made this prediction, Zynga’s market cap was over $6 billion and now stands at $1.8 billion. With a loss more than 70 percent since that time, I gave myself an A+.
Now, here is the sixth annual edition of my technology predictions for VentureBeat.
Yahoo acquires Twitter
While Twitter can take its sweet time to develop its business model and revenues, Yahoo cannot wait. It needs an infusion of a mobile strategy, top talent, and new potential revenue streams. Some of Marissa Mayer’s prayers can be answered with such an acquisition. The question and potential hurdle is financing of such a deal and terms for Twitter’s shareholders and management team. Regardless of this issue, this is deal that could tremendously help Yahoo and the scene from Star Wars with Princess Leia calling for Obi Wan Costolo… er, Kenobi’s help keeps repeating in my mind.
3D printing goes mainstream
By the end of 2013, 3D printing will go mainstream. Staples already launched “Easy 3D” in Europe, so you will see it in the U.S. through them and other channels. This will also be the beginning of a shift in the manufacturing industry towards the U.S. again. This growing innovation in manufacturing will displace thousands of jobs in China and the “next Chinas” — so for Kenya, Tanzania, and others, I would recommend to skip traditional trade skills and focus on software engineering.
Online gaming’s black hole
With the decline of Zynga and the failure of Google+ as a gaming platform, there is a black hole in the online gaming space in the U.S. market. Who will fill this void? EA, Apple, Disney, Samsung? Maybe one of the dominant players from Asia, such as Tencent, Nexon, or Gree? Probably some mix of two or three of these different types of players within the gaming universe, so 2013 will be an interesting year for online gaming.
Quantified self space gains momentum
The launch of the Nike+ startup accelerator wasn’t a reflection of the accelerator space being inundated (which it is) but a sign that the quantified-self space is rapidly developing. The instrumentation and measurement of all things physical and within a person’s daily life will become more ubiquitous, and self-tracking and body hacking is a trend to follow for 2013.
I briefly spoke with Peter Hsing, a General Partner at Merus Capital, who told me, “The promise is that quantified self will lead to better healthcare not only for the individual but collectively as a society. The critical ingredients that are missing — the inputs: what is the individual consuming, being exposed to, how is s/he expending her/his energy, how much sleep, etc. It’s just the tip of the iceberg that we are seeing today.”
Gangnam Style hits two billion views
I’m Korean American, so I have to give props to Psy and predict that “Gangnam Style” will hit 2 billion views in 2013… “Ehhhh, Sexy Lady! Op op op op oppa Gangnam Style!”
Bernard Moon is co-founder and CEO of Vidquik, a new web conferencing and sales solutions platform, and co-founder of SparkLabs, a recently launched startup accelerator in Seoul, Korea. Follow him on Twitter.