How to make bold predictions in a terrifying time

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The world is changing rapidly before our eyes. If you advise decision-makers, they crave your leadership right now. But it’s a terrifying moment — you can’t just charge blithely ahead, fast forwarding past a crisis that has affected all of us. Whether you call yourself an analyst, a thought leader, a public speaker, or an … Continued

Election Day predictions

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Here’s what’s going to happen today, Election Day in America, and in the weeks and years that follow. (You will notice there are no percentages here. I predict, I don’t quote probabilities.) Young people will vote in record numbers. But less than half of the young people eligible will vote. Someone will win control of … Continued

Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and the risks of analytical optimism

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True analysts cannot afford optimism. To make an accurate prediction, you cannot let what you want to happen color what is likely to happen. But that’s exactly what I’ve seen in the wake of the conviction of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the guilty plea from his former lawyer Michael Cohen. Trump-haters are … Continued

Revisiting my Donald Trump predictions

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On the day after Donald Trump was elected president, I made a set of predictions. Today I’ll revisit those predictions and grade what I got right and wrong. The true analyst is always looking forward. Most of my friends were in despair on November 9, 2016. But I knew that Trump was a nontraditional candidate, … Continued

Nothing significant will change at Facebook

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In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg appear to be in trouble. Zuckerberg published an explanation, participated in an interview with The New York Times, and appeared on CNN. People are upset and some Facebook users are quitting Facebook. But nothing is going to change — Facebook will … Continued

Bitcoin at $100,000? For any prediction, ask “what’s your methodology?”

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CNBC reported that, according to Saxo Bank analyst Kay Van-Peterson, the price of bitcoin “could hit $100,000” in 2018. This is a good time to as, “Where do numbers like this come from?” Broadly speaking, analysts use detailed analysis and models to identify what is happening and predict what will happen. But what is the … Continued

Analyst Gene Munster says Amazon will buy Target. Is he right?

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On New Year’s Day, Gene Munster, former Piper Jaffray analyst and currently a venture capitalist at Loup Ventures, predicted that Amazon will buy Target. This prediction got picked coverage in hundreds of publications yesterday. Let’s look at why analyst types make predictions like this, how accurate those predictions are, and what they do for the … Continued

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

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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