2008 Predictions Retrospective

So 2008 is almost coming to an end and what a wild ride in the tech industry. In some cases we’re better off, no more start ups getting inflated valuations for putting a website (see crazy valuations of facebook apps). On the other hand the economy seems to be going to hell in a hand basket and most startups are going into survival mode.

In the beginning of the year I made some predictions. Lets see how those turned out….

Facebook will decline as people either go to the next hottest thing or advertisers realize their ROI on the FB ad platform isn’t the greatest.50% Wrong/50% Correct
I was wrong on the general consumer side as facebook.com has been increasing steadily on the one metric that matters these days, minutes spent. TC reported that Facebook is gaining on Google and passed MySpace back in March.

However, I wasn’t wrong on the ad platform side. Facebook’s ad platform has fallen flat on it’s face. Facebook Beacon hasn’t been relaunched since the original debacle. Most app developers have moved on as they realized their $0.10 eCPMs weren’t worth the headache. With it’s $15 billion valuation from the Microsoft round is a distant memory, they’re bleeding money.

Google will acquire at least two mobile companies to aid Android iPhone will continue to gain mobile browser market share stagnating the mobile web even more. Wrong
I couldn’t find an authoritative list of Google’s 2008 acquisitions but I don’t recall them making a single mobile one this year. Not surprising since nobody is in the M&A market these days.

Slide or RockYou will be acquired. If 07 was the year of widget, 08 will be the year they cash in. Wrong!
Nobody wanted to acquire these guys… low social network eCPMS with a bad economy equal no cash out.

Google or Microsoft will launch an Amazon AWS competitor Correct!
Google App engine was launched, with just a little fanfare. I think once they start supporting languages other than Python, it’ll do quite well.

Yahoo will close at least 4 more properties in an attempt to slim down. Correct!
I think the death count is somewhere north of 15 properties. This list used to be a LOT longer.

A web 2.0 company outside the US will eek out a new niche – Unknown
Honestly, I don’t know one “web 2.0” company that I currently use that is based outside of the US except for last.fm. If you use one please leave a comment… Is it because startups can’t break into the US market?

At any rate, stay tuned for my 2009 Predictions. Obviously I’m Nostradamus when it comes to these things (/sarcasm)

Yuil/Cuil/Google Irony

Does anybody else find it funny that Yuil, a demo made by a VP of Yahoo! to show off the Y!’s BOSS Search APIs, is supposed to be a parody of Cuil which in turn is supposed to be a Google-killer, is actually hosted on Google’s App Engine?

English majors, feel free to lambast me on my grammar in that last sentence.