Evolution Shift
A Future Look at Today
February 6th, 2014

Forecasts – Part Two

This is the second of three columns where I look at all the forecasts I have made about things that might happen through the end of 2013.  As I wrote in the first column here this is not an exercise in self-congratulation.  It is an opportunity to look back not just on forecast accuracy but to analyze why or why not trends developed, things happened and perhaps what that might suggest going forward.

Almost all of my forecasts about specifics are on the forecast page of my web site

Date of Forecast

September 2008

Forecast

Complete genetic mapping for individuals will be available at a cost of $1000-1500 by late 2013

This forecast is not accurate due to the use of the word “complete”.  Significant genetic mapping is now available but complete genetic maps that are totally accurate for each individual are not fully available.  This should be true by 2015.

Date of Forecast

December 2008

Forecast

There will most likely be deflation in the U.S. for the next 6-12 months

This proved to be accurate.  At the time this was not a widely held view as there really hasn’t been deflation in the U.S. for most of my lifetime.  The difference I saw was that the global recession would lower energy costs, buying power would contract and a “thrift is the new cool” mindset would greatly lower consumer purchases.

Date of Forecast

January 2009

Forecast

Unemployment in the U.S. will top out at 9-11% in the second half of 2009

This was an accurate forecast.  At the time the Fed and the Obama administration was estimating 8%.  My thinking was that the downturn would be worse than expected and that this would accelerate the evisceration of the concept of “jobs” as society moves ever more toward independent contractors.   Clearly around this time I was making economic forecasts, as that was the overriding issue in CEOs minds.

Date of Forecast

March 2009

Forecast

2012 could well be one of the most disruptive years in the US and in Europe in decades

This was not specifically accurate as disruption was spread out pretty evenly 2010-2012. 2012 was not the singularly disruptive year I had expected it to be.  The Euro zone was in collapse 2010-2012, Arab Spring was 2011 and the presidential election was not the confrontation about big ideas I had thought it would be.

Date of Forecast

August 2009

Forecast

There will be 6 billion global cell phone users sometime in 2013

This is accurate in that there were 6 billion cell phone users in 2013, but that number was actually reached in 2012.  The growth curve will slow now that the 85% market penetration level has been reached.

Date of Forecast

October 2009

Forecast

The cable television subscription business will decline by 10% in terms of numbers of subscribers between 2009 and 2013

This forecast missed its mark as the number was closer to 7-8% based upon various sources.  Close.  One of the reasons is that the cable companies began to successfully create new models for the explosive growth in tablets in 2013, slowing the “cutting of the cord”.

Date of Forecast

November 2009

Forecast

Streaming video programs will be a disruptive force to the television “business” by 2014

Totally correct!  Think Netflix with “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”  A new phrase -“binge viewing”- came into being as consumers watched entire seasons of shows over a weekend.  This was the nail in the coffin of the “appointment viewing” network model established in the 20th century.  Everything is on demand, all the time.

Date of Forecast

January 2010

Forecast

There will be no significant inflation outside food and energy – in the U.S. in 2010

Accurate.  The Great Recession took care of inflation

Next week will be the third and final look back on forecasts through 2013.

[This column was first published in the Shift Age Newsletter #27 ]

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