Had an interesting back and forth this morning with my friend Natasja about best of versus prediction lists. I like being nostalgic, but my preference is for thinking forward. Natasja’s point about lists being based on the “now” and not saying anything new, is a good one. But still which trends are going to follow through and which are going to explode is an art form, but I’m going to give it a shot. So here are my thoughts on what things are going to carry on from now and into the next year.
First the obvious, the continued explosion of social media – This whole post is a great excuse to highlight the fact that Rage Against the Machine is the Xmas number one in the UK. A purely grassroots social media campaign got the song – which is over 15 years old – to the top spot. Regardless of what you think of the song, you gotta love the fact that a Facebook and Twitter campaign toppled the machine (get it, rage against the…) that is the x-factor. People trump marketing dollars in this instance. I think more and more companies are going to spend less and get more mavens, influencers on board to promote goods and services, 2010 is the year where marketing dollars seriously move from the traditional to the emerging social channels. An example is the news today that the Economist is going to try and acquire over 500K in facebook fans and 750K in twitter users.
Secondly the less obvious but pretty transparent and related to the first, the continued explosion of local – small is the new big. Being small, being nimble, being flexible is going to win. Big brands are going to lose more and more market share to the little guy. As Gary Vaynerchuk likes to say, “small town rules”, where the internet allows smaller companies to compete. More small guys are going to leverage social and other channels to acquire costumers at the expense of the big guys.
Thirdly, the wild/out there, based on a hunch – Newspapers will fold their print publications. I’d like to see a couple of major newspapers move from a mix of print and online to being purely online. Physical newspapers are costly, not only in manufacturing but also in terms of distribution and other costs. I think we’re going to see some news brands move to less copies (if not none) and more online news distribution as their major means of revenues.
Fourthly, I think we’ll see the return of the IPO. Linkedin or Facebook are my bet for this one. I think one of these companies will get going on their move to an IPO in 2010.
Lastly, the big dream, I believe there will be a lot of good happening in 2010. I think we’ll get closer on the climate change exchange, maybe not a legally binding agreement, but there will be a serious agreement on climate control. I think politics will move in the right direction. I think the US President Obama will have a much better second year than his first. I think he’s inherited and had to deal with some serious challenges and we’re going to see 2010 where the US, and it’s administration, gets over the crap from 2009 and starts really performing.
Not sure which of these predictions will come true and which ones are going to fall flat, but I would totally trade all four of the first ones for the last. Any out there have any predictions for 2010?