Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year Predictions

I think I’ve lived long enough to get a sense of how time flies, and each year’s either resolutions or predictions should be only taken as a trivial rather than with an ounce of seriousness. However, looking back last year about this time, I didn’t blog anything of this sort. So, just what the hack, let me wipe my virtual crystal ball and make some predictions just for fun and thoughts. In 2011…

1. Steve Jobs dies. This is actually a prediction that I would never want that come truth. Yes, we are all mortal and will die some day. Every year, there will be celebrity deaths. Some of them are shocking because of the cause of death and the bigger the names are, like Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, etc, the sensational their deaths were. For the celebrities that I’m interested in, there is nobody bigger than Steve Jobs. Given his health records, I wish him to be healthy in years to come, so he can continue to come up with amazing products and services for regular folks like me. However, I think it will still be a great shock to the world if he dies next year or in few years in the absence of decent successor of him. Cuz, his deep impacts on business, technology, creativity, and culture are just second to none in the past decade. I just think that there will never be Steve Jobs the Second, period.

2. Margaret Thatcher and Jimmy Carter die. As I said, people die. During these day and age, most great leaders die of old age and some terminal illnesses like cancer. Both these 2 leaders are major players during the Cold War which was over in 1990. With 2 decades have passed, they are in their twilight years. I think their deaths are logically imminent, particularly for Margaret Thatcher, given reports of her poor health. Jimmy Carter looks healthy still; he is one of the five living U.S. Presidents. Usually, based on history, there are very rare to have more than 5 living U.S. presidents at any given time. So, he may still live next year, but more unlikely through Obama this first term I guess. So, that’s my prediction, the third candidate is Nelson Mandela, who is in his 90s already. However, I just have a weird impression that blacks are usually short-lived than most people, but those who can ‘make it’, will live much longer than the average. So, he is just a back-up candidate.

3. Steve Ballmer will be fired at his post as CEO of Microsoft. I think 2011 will be a make-or-break year for Microsoft. In spite of the success of Window 7 and Office and the stable business on the corporate side, MS is still very lacking on the mobile, advertisements, and tablet businesses. Those are the hot fronts for future growth for most tech companies. Looking at what MS is doing and its upcoming plans in those areas, I don’t think MS can break through its mode. I don’t know if all the logistics behind in the MS’s board would make firing Steve ‘big mouth’ Ballmer a realistic option. However, I think putting him on a consulting post and getting someone to take over his post shouldn’t be rule out in this coming year.

4. Nintendo 3DS and PSP phone will be flops. Everybody on CES this year are waiting to see when will Nintendo 3DS be released and any update will be shown after its surprising depute last year. It was reported that the 3D technology of this gadget is quite impressive. However, I will apply same reasons to it as well as the PSP phone which should also be out in 2011 that both will be flops. Cuz, I think the gadget market has bypassed Nintendo and Sony. They have their moments in the pre-Android, pre-iPhone4 world. Don’t get me wrong that the Nintendo 3DS and PSP phone don’t have great technology. However, there are other factors that will go against their success. First of all, technology can be replicated, given Google and Apple’s war chest of cash, they can easily pay for any license fee or patent fee involved for those 3D technology. Secondly, the most important thing is the business operation model that comes with the gadget. The creation, distribution, advertising, charging of apps (i.e. games) that Apple and Google have just superior than what Nintendo or Sony currently have, both of the latter will only be playing catch up. When Microsoft is still having trouble catching up with Google and Apple in those areas, I don’t have much hope for Sony and Nintendo to do that any time soon if ever. As such, Nintendo 3DS and PSP Phone for being less multi-functional as iPhone or Android phones, their demises in competition are written on the wall to me.

5. Collapse of North Korea communist regime. The U.S. and China as the big brothers in the Northeast Asian regional politics don’t want to go to war on the Korean Peninsula. However, the fate of North Korean is still in the hand of the people there. Koreans are tough people who can withstand all kinds of adversity throughout its history. However, everything has a limit, I think the handover of power from the second to third generation of Kim dynasty is just not gonna be successful. Korean people would be too dumb to put their faith on a twenty something years old fat slob who has done nothing to deserve the power and the faith of the 20 plus million starving people. Adding to that, I would predict Kim Jung IL will die in 2011 and his son is not gonna be able to takeover. Deep in my heart, that may not happen in 2011, but more likely within next 3 years.

I don’t have any other predictions. Cuz, natural disasters like earthquakes are gonna happened. Releases of iPad2, iPhone5 are givens. Market predictions would be nice, but what market specialists did in the past so far was not much better than darts flew by monkey. So, I’m not gonna play assist monkey myself. So, this’s it. I’m gonna look back this time next year to see how right/wrong I am then. Cheers.

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