Predictions 2009

by Maxpower & D4V

We're back for another year, predictions 2009. Let's just hit this straight away. 2008 sucked. It was a year where Harpers Collins introduced the word 'meh' as defined as expression of indifference or boredom into the dictionary and it was a year of financial and economic turmoil. Banks which had lasted in the US through the Great Depression failed and while some exhibited schadenfreude at the beginning of the crisis, most are singing a different tune now. I doubt too many people will be sorry to see 2008 go down the tubes. I for one say good riddance to bad years. For those new to Reading For New Times, David and myself, have since 2003, issued predictions on the upcoming year and review the previous year's predictions through the harsh goggles of 20/20 hindsight. The review of previous year's predictions is an important exercise – it allows for pride in our forecasting prowess or shame at our hopelessly optimistic (this year anyway) guesses. Here are the hits and misses of 2008.

MaxPower's 2008 Predictions:

The Canadian dollar will spend most of the year hovering around par with the US$ (+/- $0.05). Ok well "most of the year" basically means until October right? The Canadian dollar reached stratospheric levels of almost $1.10/USD during the summer before plummeting to the current level around $0.80/USD due to the global financial crisis. Half marks? Maybe?

Interest rates will be cut again, but contrary to popular opinion right now, the world will not slip into a global economic recession. Oh good god, talk about being completely wrong. I got the interest rate cut right and things looked ok through June and July and then the wheels came off the freaking global cart in September. Global Economic Recession 1, MaxPower 0.

The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing which has been marked as a “coming out party for China” will go off without a major hitch thanks to China’s communist planning goodness. Ok so I don't know anything about economics (apparently), but I do know that communist planning goodness caused the Beijing Olympics to come off without a hitch. Unless you consider the case of the underage gymnasts a hitch.

E-books will continue to be a failure (I’m looking at you Amazon). E-books? Meh. Oh wait, Oprah loves the Kindle, but does that make them a success outside the "buy everything Oprah says is good" fan-club? I remain unimpressed. Oh and the reaons why Oprah likes the $359 Kindle? It is "an environmentally friendly investment". Now maybe it's just me, but buying a book made from a renewable resource, which I either intend to keep or sell into a used book store so others can enjoy it isn't exactly the height of anti-environmentalism. Plus, a Kindle is made from all sorts of plastics and using a battery is much more environmentally unfriendly than a book. I guarantee my book won't be obsolete and in the dump in five years too.

The new Indiana Jones movie will be awesome. I liked it, which is all that matters for these purposes (Ian might disagree).

Another band will do the “Radiohead” and put out an album either for free or ‘pay what you can’ over the internet and will further cement the decline of the conventional music industry’s road into obsolescence, joining both Blockbuster and TiVo, by showing that you don’t need a label if you have web buzz. Yup, more announcements of bands getting into the concept, with the latest being Sir Paul McCartney.

Grand Theft Auto IV will be a massive massive hit. Grand Theft Auto IV broke industry records with sales of around 3.6 million units on its first day of release and grossing more than $500 million in revenue in the first week, from an estimated 6 million units sold worldwide. Ahhh yeah.

Score 5.5/7 – But I missed the biggie so all the rest don't really matter do they?

D4V's 2008 Predictions:

Facebooks quick climb to a supremely high valuation (what’s a few billion between friends?) will allow them to IPO and continue to be extremely over valued. Secondly, I believe their huge press coverage will slow down as people are tiring of “the book”. People tire of the book that is true, but no IPO thanks to the recession, probably would still be overvalued. Half marks here? I think that is fair.

Apple will release the iPhone is Canada sometime before summer (what in the hell is taking so long anyways). This will cause a shift in the way the Canadian carriers currently play out their monopolistic ways. I would hope to see some unlimited data rates creep in (hey, you can dream can’t ya?). iPhone in Canada, check, shift in way Canadian carries make consumers pay? Mayyyybe like a quarter check (due to those promo rates from Rogers)? Half check?

Music will go more acoustic / organic this year, expect less digital sounding instruments and a resurrection to traditional samplings. MaxPower: I don't know this as well as Dave does but I have noticed a resurrection of traditional samplings. D4V: It sure did, minus the travesty that is M.I.A.

Google will hit a stratospheric $1000/share valuation. Why? That handy looking 700mhz band they are trying to buy, gPhone (ie: Android), and a social networking icing layer. December 31/2007 GOOG was at $691.48, December 15/2008, GOOG at $310.67 for a return of -55% YTD. Uh so, no marks here.

Blueray wins! Not really though, the demise of disc formats come to an end (watch Apple, Joost and open source solutions such as Miro). Blu-ray wins! Who cares! Consumers demonstrate no interest in HD DVDs as many tests show you can't tell the difference below a 50 inch screen! Full marks!

More technology (last one I promise).. Hard drives fizzle out in favor of the ever cheapening solid state alternatives. Traditional Hard drives are still around, but fizzling fast. High end laptops all support a SSD option, and someone just announced 2 Terabytes on a SD card. Storage is forever changed.

Worlds first African American President. Check!

OH! and finally.. My hair will reach record new hugeness. Double check, man did he get some looks.

Score: 6/8

MaxPower's Predictions for 2009

  • Oil will break the $50 mark again. Take it to the bank.
  • C$ will average around $0.85/USD
  • Can I say solid state hard drive alternatives will get cheaper? Yes? Ok they will get cheaper.
  • Laptops will continue to steal market share away from desktops with mini-notebooks will come down in price and gain traction at the < $300 price point.
  • Hybrid car sales decrease because "gas is cheap again… whooo!" Seriously, that is the sound people make when buying a new Escalade.
  • 2009 will be known as a year of recession, but from an economic point of view the recession will probably be over in the second half of 2009.
  • Back in 2006 I called for 2007 to have a "resurgence of all-things 80’s will continue lead by the upcoming Transformers movie". Well going into 2009 I call, MORE 80's resurgence!

D4V's Predictions for 2009

  • Year of the stem cell! Bush is out, lets crack the whip and start growing limbs!
  • Personal computers become less and less relevant. Web applications (cloud computing), and portable computing take a huge chunk out of the marketplace (I'd guess 10%).
  • Wireless power starts to hit consumers (kinda like WiFi, but juicier).
  • Facebook revolt! Droves of people leave, dubbing privacy concerns and a new hippie era!
  • An old school movie franchise comes back from the dead, perhaps Back To The Future 4, or Beverly Hills Cop 12.
  • Hydrogen cars become trendy.
  • Life is discovered on another planet!

Aaaaaaand there you have it.. Another year, another set of wild an audacious predictions come to a close.. See you in 2010. Whoa! A new decade?

  • Predictions 2009
  • by Maxpower & D4V
  • Published on January 11th, 2009
David Gluzman

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