2023 Predictions

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Our trip around our sun is ending again and we are closing out the year. I started making predictions for the decade ahead in 2020, then made 2021 predictions, then 2022 predictions. Now that I have been doing this for a few years I feel like the pressure is off. I enjoy trying to predict what will happen, and find it freeing to be wildly wrong.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

Bill Gates

This is a fun quote to start things off with because I began this journey with my 2020 predictions. I think I certainly overestimated by year end happenings for sure, but wonder if I will be wrong about the next few to round out the decade. As always I am publicly posted my predictions in this spreadsheet for accountability.

“What would a picture of AI look like if it were being drawn in pencil” DALL-E
2022 Predictions Legend 😡 = -1 😓 = -.75 😅 = .5 😑 = .75 😎 = 1
1/ Ownership of game assets becomes normal switching between games, and platforms. The underlying technology is here and in game progress should be transferrable. This makes for “taking” a game community easier, and introduces new complexity for big game studios I talked about this a bit on the Deep End from On Deck.😡-1: Obviously this is not happen at scale. There were a few arguments about this online but it did not become the norm.
2/ There is no “breakout” Metaverse in 2022. This doesn’t mean there will not be in the future, but we do not find ourselves with a billion people in a leading metaverse platform.😓 1: Nailed it. I think this one was obvious, but with Facebook rebranding to Meta it was a necessary prediction
3/ Apple acquires Peloton. Far fetched, but with a balance sheet that is gigantic and the Peloton stock around $38 ($12bln market cap) at the time of this writing, I could see this making a lot of sense.😡-1: Failed it. Didn’t happen.
4/ the war for the living room is won and the winner is your phone. No cable box, entertainment system or device like chrome cast or fire stick wins – it’s just your phone. Smart casting and dumb TVs become the norm. This is the sun Microsystems future we were promised but our phones are the gateway.😅 .5: I think this one became true for me this year. We are still in the middle of the streaming wars, but its clear that casting to screens is becoming normal in our house
5/ the US power grid becomes a focus point for conversation from a major disruption due to an attack.😎 1: I really hate being right about this one.
6/ Apple consolidates operating systems into Apple OS across phone, tablets, desktops, and cars. A unified approach means cross platform comparability, easier subscription support, and better customer experience.😡-1: Failed it.
7/ Authentication as an Experience – whether it’s a crypto wallet, physical key, or other auth method, websites and entire platform experiences are determined by a login. Much like the promise of sun Microsystems in years past, we will have dumb terminals and smart logins. Your entire experience and process will be governed by a authentication. Identities can be real or not, but if if you don’t have an auth you don’t have an experience.😡-1: Failed it. I still want this to happen, but as I love to tell founders Hope isn’t a strategy.
8/ Liquid Community – communities create and transact with both security and utility tokens they use to reward, incentivize, and govern their groups. If communities are a moat, now they are even more important to protect. The ebb and flow of how communities can rise (and fall) will be fascinating to watch. Game mechanics within communities will be fascinating to watch.😅 .5: I hated being right about this one too because the community I was the biggest part of (OnDeck) really went through a massive ebb and flow this year
9/ Oxygen levels in the atmosphere will decrease by a amount that is noticeable to people. This one comes directly from a conversation I had with my father-in-law (a true scientist – professor – and more) about how global warming will continue, but this will be the first time people notice – due to the % of oxygen change.😡-1: Failed it. Phew!
10/ If the great resignation is upon us, where is everyone going? They are going to work for themselves. Believing in yourself has never had a higher ROI and the past year has shown me personally that this is a good investment. There is no issue with working for someone else, but the idea that you can invest in something on your own – leveling up, learning, getting certified, or other personal investment will have high returns. Thats it for now – join me on Twitter for the conversation to continue.😓 -.75: I wanted this to be true at scale, but it only happened by small amounts.
2022 Predictions Roundup

Onwards to another predictions set.

1/ Year of the launch 🚀: This is a battle cry for myself to launch more things in 2023 but I hope others do too. I want to see more launches, more experiments, and embracing the word F.A.I.L. as the acronym First Attempt In Learning.

2/ AI has its moment in 2023 and beyond. ChatGPT and GPT4 will grow and have huge adoption. There will be a surge in new AI funds, hackathons, and all writing apps, todo apps, and productivity apps will integrate with one or more of the AI platforms. More than 100m people will use these API endpoints and not even realize it.

3/ A new document sharing app will emerge. (think a new DocSend) with AI to make content suggestions. “X% time was spent on your team slide – think about elaborating on it” and “person X has come back to this materials 7x – think about following up with them. This will encourage new content creation and be supportive and changes not just informative with analytics.

4/ There is a breakout video game that uses components of Web3 – nobody knows or cares that there are cryptographic handshakes under the hood. Selfishly I hope this is Wolf.game and the price of $wool soars. I found this game about a year ago, am heavily biased into its success, and jumped in to understand the mechanics of a on and off chain game ecosystem.

5/ Zero Knowledge Proofs have a killer app moment – probably reserves for exchanges and banks. Without disclosing the amounts, institutions can show they have enough assets to back withdrawals. If you haven’t heard of them before here is a great primer. The biggest win here will be that people will use this technology without knowing (or caring) what is happening under the hood.

6/ Peloton is bought by Nike. PTON is down 77% YTD and I was wrong last year about Apple picking them up so this year I’ll go with Nike. I am still a huge fan of this co and use mine (mainly for the screen!) all the time.

7/ Micro PE firms have their year to execute. Funds that raised to M&A struggling SaaS startups take advantage of the lack of fundraising that occurs and they execute on deals they set out to do. Consolidation of ARR companies that are doing $5-$10m happens.

8/ There is a cohort of companies started in 2023 that rivals the vintage of 2008. This one will be hard to measure in 12 months, but I really believe this is a unique moment in time to build something world changing.

9/ Self hosted cloud storage booms. Articles like this one from the NYTimes articulate why and how our data hoarding on someone else’s cloud service might not be so great. Self sovereign data storage becomes normal. Someone running their own VPS or seedbox becomes normalized.

10/ People and companies continue to invest in startups vs. firms and funds – they use platforms like Sydecar to invest without having to raise a traditional vehicles. If the 10 year fund crawled so that rolling funds could walk, the SPV is now in a full blown run. I am biased here because I handle these Special Situations. There has been incredible software, legal constructs, and acceptance of unique investment vehicles allowing new entrants to invest through convenience. The focus on audience, distribution, operational expertise, and vertical understanding matter – startups get funded by “non traditional” leads and this is a good thing.

I really wanted to write that we enter a recession as a prediction (which may be true) but wanted to stick to a glass half full outline for my top 10 predictions so ill include this here “N/ We enter a recession. Not the most prescient, but after reading lots of macro economic outputs over the past few months and watching inflation and GDP this feels like a given.”

That is all for now! Thanks for reading this far and if you agree (or disagree) please let me know. I learn by writing publicly and it is always humbling to put my predictions out there.

Happy 2023

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