Predictions for 2019

I have seen lots of predictions about 2019 and I’ve enjoyed reading them. I’m not convinced that there’s much value in making macro predictions but it seems like fun and will be interesting to look back on in a year so I will make some of my own.

I would love to hear feedback on these, please reach out on Twitter if you have any thoughts.

The Mueller Report will be released in the spring. It will contain long histories of illegal activity by Trump and his associates, but the details about Russian collusion won’t be politically salient enough to be a “smoking gun.” Everyone already knows Trump is a crook, and even many democrats are numbed to this fact.

Trump won’t be impeached but will choose not to run for reelection, possibly in exchange for pardons for himself and those close to him.

Facebook will continue to struggle, as usage of its core product declines in the U.S. This, coupled with the PR nightmares that began in 2018 and will continue into 2019, will make attracting and retaining top talent harder (though not impossible) for FB, akin to Goldman Sachs in 2009 or 2010.

There will be increasingly loud calls for Zuckerberg to be replaced with “a Dara,” although my understanding of his control of the board leads me to think he’ll still be CEO at the end of the year.

FB will release its dating solution. It will be widely panned in the press but gain a ton of users because of FB’s distribution advantages. This will lead to increasing fragmentation in the dating space and lead to more niche dating apps based around smaller communities.

I don’t believe lawmakers will make any significant headway in regulating Big Tech in 2019.

The U.S. stock market will have a very bad first half of 2019, finishing down 10% from where it started the year. It will rebound in the second half of the year as the U.S. political situation clarifies and finish right around where it started.

Snap will continue to struggle mightily and an activist investor will agitate for change at the top. There will be lots of acquisition rumors but acquirers will find wresting control from the famously autocratic Spiegel to be too big a risk.

The Echo will continue to improve and voice commerce will become a much more serious platform by the end of the year than it is today.

Mobile payments will finally gain significant traction in the U.S. towards the end of 2019, fueled by incentives for vendors and consumers from Amazon, Apple, Square and others racing for market share.

The softer economy will be bad news for WeWork as small companies reign in spending. It will continue to shift to managed office space for enterprise but will see a significant down round in 2019.

The Lyft, Uber and Airbnb IPOs will be relatively successful. As the economy softens I expect even more people will jump into the gig economy / look to monetize their houses which will help offset slower demand on the consumer side for these companies. Retail investors have a much better understanding of how these companies make money than Snap, for example, and this will help prop up their shares.

Netflix will innovate on what TV means, expanding on the “choose your own adventure” Black Mirror experiment to include “unlocked” stories using location tech or AR.

Thank you for reading! Happy new year.

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