The value of predictions (hint: it’s not accuracy)

Thinkers Stowe Boyd and John Battelle published predictions for 2017. They’re going to be wrong about most of them. Their predictions make you think hard, though, and that’s the value of what they’ve created. If you want to make predictions and be right, that’s easy. For example, I predict that Donald Trump will become president this year, and … Continued

How to be wrong

I have made many predictions in my life, publicly. And I have been wrong plenty of times. If you write boldly, you will be, too. People who are sometimes wrong are smarter than people who are always right. So learn how to be wrong properly. If you’re one of those people who don’t ever want … Continued

We’re living in an April Fool’s joke

To comprehend the absurdity of 2016, just think how it would appear to an observer from 2000. I remember 2000 — it was an intense five years into my tenure as an analyst. We could see where things were going. The Web had vanquished walled gardens like AOL and was about to become universal. People were … Continued

How to see the future

I’ve learned to anticipate what’s going to happen. You can, too, if you combine experience with seeing. I’ll be bombing down a busy city street on my bike, as I have for the last 40 years. I can read the car that’s angled 15 degrees to the left, the truck idling anxiously at the red light, … Continued

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report spawns predictable cliches

Mary Meeker’s latest 197-slide Internet Trends report is not bullshit. While some of the stats on the slides are questionable, overall it’s a pretty interesting, international grab-bag of facts. My issue is with what comes next — media and analyst cliché predictions based on those facts. In the tech world, predictions are predictable. There’s a cliché for each stage of technology … Continued

20 years an analyst

For 20 years, I did the same thing, mostly. I was a technology analyst at Forrester Research from 1995 until last month. If you do one thing for a long time, you should learn from it. My job at Forrester molded my ways of thinking more than anything else I’ve done (save becoming a parent). Perhaps … Continued