A week away from Christmas and we're not slowing down yet. Still plenty of things going on and I plan to spend the next 5 days in the office (a first in a year). This is the time I usually make predictions and I am working on a long one to share with our clients. Give you some ideas of what I am looking at:
At the end of 2012, there is the mass push to the clouds and consolidation will happen and India will probably own 25% of the world’s market. Not finished with my spreadsheet models, 25% is close.
At the end of 2012, the idea pf 'customer engagement' will finally emerge as a disciline that sits on top of all CRM, direct marketing, brand activiation or social media marketing activities. Big agencies continue to struggle as they are far behind the curve.
At the end of 2012, social innocation will hit a new high as corporations come to realization that CSR needs to be more than just corporate public relations. It is about issues management, stakeholders dialogue and social empowerment through emerging technologies and interactions design. True experts will emerge to help corporations to navigate this landscape.
At the end of 2012, Yahoo will not exist as a public company and will reach the end of a slow death; its valuation would dropped drastically and ultimately get acquired. The shareholder value destroyed over the next 18 months will be significant and they wish they’d sold it earlier.
By the end of 2012, smart phones/pads will significantly take away from PCs as the most common Web access device globally both from consumer device sales and usage.
By the end of 2012, someone will figurte out how to use iPad as a platform for education. It is a school for everyone and everywhere. Earn your credits or even degree with just your iPad. And free iTunes music for high score students?
By the end of 2012, Facebook will be a key player in the mobile space. What’s the big idea? They will have a platform that includes hundreds of standalone cross-platform applications for iPhone, Android and Blackberries. They would provide mobile developers with tools and support to create and push new 'social' apps.
Today Facebook generates only a little less than $3 per user per year in revenues while Google generates about $25 per user per year (more than $25 billion in revenue from about 1 billion users). Facebook has plenty of rooms to rethink and create new “media” space to capture some of that money. Facebook targeting potential is more attractive and it is an always on for many user (including me) already, it is far better than TVs.
But the bigger disruption is outside the 'media' space; it is payment and shopping – FB social shopping and payment mechanism. Imagine if they plug in product targeting (with what they know about you) and allow users (to be categorized as searchers/opinion shapers/advocates) to use some form of Facebook money to pay for it. Do the math here: FB Shopping + FB Mobile + FB Money.
Facebook will give new meanings to 'social services' and create new shareholder value. Facebook’s value (currently privately held valued between $35-$50 billion) would surely surpass Yahoo’s (publicly held current valued at $21 billion with operating margin at 12%) revenue by end of 2012 and Facebook can get a margin of 37%, multiply that by a moderate 14X P/E and you get a sense of what’s Facebook worth.
If you're interested in trends and forecast, here's a company TrendHunter that produced a good general trend reports and used by many firms. Will provide a review of some of the themes in the next two weeks.