How Accurate Were My Predictions For 2009?
by Miles Galliford, SubHub Co-Founder
At the end of last year I predicted what I thought would be the key trends in 2009. Judgement day is here! How well did I do?
Prediction #1 – Online Businesses Without Revenue Streams Will Struggle
Accuracy 8/10: Difficult not to be right with this one. Thousands of online businesses have disappeared over the last year. Many of them backed by significant amounts of VC money. When will entrepreneurs and investors learn that businesses need more than an audience to make them viable?
Prediction #2 – Local, local, local
Accuracy 5/10: I predicted online content and services would target local communities. There are mixed signals here. Google has just announced they are scrapping their local advertising service, which I thought would be a key driver to this trend. However, we are seeing a proliferation of hyper-local news sites emerge, which are hoping to survive with local advertising revenues. The jury is out.
Prediction #3 – Keywords Will Become Less Important
Accuracy 5/10: Keywords are still the best technique for search engine marketing. I still believe that Google and the other search engines are moving away from this blunt tool to more sophisticated algorithms, but there is no evidence of them being in place today. I stand by this prediction but I was a bit ahead of the trend.
Prediction #4 – Regulation, Regulation, Regulation
Accuracy 8/10: Governments around the world are focusing on regulating web users and online businesses. The European Union is introducing laws that will allow copyright owners to get Internet users barred from the web. US State Governments are trying to get taxes from online transactions paid in the state where the transaction occurs. Expect many more pointless and poorly thought through laws soon
Prediction #5 - Open Source Actively Adopted By Big Business
Accuracy 8/10: The recession has forced governments and big businesses to look at ways of reducing costs; using open source software for non-essential applications is one of the answers that they have come up with. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
Prediction #6 – Cloud Computing
Accuracy 10/10: 2009 was the year that cloud computing went mainstream and converted many of its critics. Cloud computing is here to stay and will fundamentally change the way services are hosted.
Prediction #7 – Mobile Web Picks Up Speed
Accuracy 8/10: The iPhone has had a dramatic impact on the take up of the mobile web. With Android gaining momentum, mobile web will become increasingly important.
Prediction #8 – Businesses That Are 'Middlemen' Better Watch Out
Accuracy 7/10: I predicted producers/creators/owners would cut out middleman and take their offering directly to consumers. Consumer and business behaviour changes slower than technology, but we are starting to see producers going directly to end customers without any middlemen; musicians are confident they can prosper without a record deal, authors see eBooks as their way of cutting out publishers, many manufacturers are setting up their own ecommerce stores, etc.
Prediction #9 – Social Media Indigestion
Accuracy 5/10: I predicted people would start to de-friend people to make their social networks more relevant and valuable. In the last couple of months I have stripped back the number of people I follow on Twitter to a digestible number and as a result I'm getting a lot more value from it. Others in my team have done the same. Is this a trend? I'm not sure yet.
Prediction #10 - Customer Service Will Be The Most Important Marketing Tool
Accuracy 7/10: For years online businesses have tried to minimise the amount of customer service they offer because it was seen as a cost. But today online businesses that do not offer high quality and responsive customer service are starting to fail. Even huge businesses like eBay have put a customer service number on every page having buried deep in their support site for the last nine years
I'm quite pleased with the accuracy of those predictions! What are your thoughts?
Have a fantastic 2010