Reviewing my 2016 Tech Predictions

Ben Sawyer
Jan 6, 2017 · 3 min read

In 2016 I decided to think about what comes next in consumer tech. You can see my specific predictions from last year.

Here is my biased readout of how “well” I did…

1. Apple Reinvigorate App Store

I offered a mix of ideas around future of Apple’s App Store platform

GRADE: C+

It did things, but not what I predicted on advertising platform…I do believe Apple’s doing what I predicted about being a compile on demand system but there’s not more technical proof on that front. I believe more will come in 2017. WWDC will see Apple prove it can make significant progress yearly on App Store ROI for developers.

2. VR will be ‘big’ but won’t stave off the ‘indiepocalypse’

GRADE: B+

I think this has been mostly true, though from an indie standpoint it seems things are continuing to “thrive” as new entrants take their chances and there is no aggregate slow-down even if there is no upside for most either.

3. Nintendo Hybrid Console

GRADE: A+ — pretty much nailed that — it wasn’t hard.

4. Draft Kings & Fan Duel will Collapse in Value

GRADE: B+

I think I got this right — except I predicted they’d be acquired but instead they merged — bottom line: value lost, and this is the response.

5. Apple in search engine business…

GRADE: D+

Not really, clearly Siri and in-browser returns via Safari are making this more true than ever, but it’s sub-surface.

Still think it could happen more above the fold in 2017

6. Microsoft will morph Xbox into Cloud based system

GRADE: F

Nope. Instead they went more expensive with Scorpio.

7. Slack gets bought

GRADE: F

Didn’t happen. I’ll double down on 2017 and now say Salesforce most likely.

8. There will be a shakeout in the RFID toy business.

GRADE: B-

This was so close to an A+ except instead of Lego is was Disney who bit it hard and inventory controls was a MAJOR cited reason. Still think Lego is going to get out too but rumors are sales have been ok. I wonder if they’re selling more as just sets than as Dimensions. I bought the B.A. Baracus one for that same reason. Tons of Amiibo sales for Nintendo aren’t even for the games. Same dynamic seems to be at play for Lego which is good at managing inventory so maybe it lasts a bit, and morphs over time into some sort of funny mobile AR product?

9. Cable & Mobile Data Caps Competition Changes

GRADE: A+

This is definitely happening. Comcast increased my cap and I’m seeing more ads for free caps on streaming if I’m a customer of X on TV.

10. As Web advertising comes under Adblock Pressure — In App Advertising grows significantly.

GRADE: C

It seems like this is happening but haven’t found much in the way of headlines to showcase the actual split/growth. So will take a C.

Summary Grade(s)

So in total I gave myself: Two F’s, 1 D, 2 Cs, 3 Bs and 2 As which using GPACalulator.Net turns in a 2.36 GPA or essentially a C+. I’m just above average! If Slack had gotten bought, and I had chosen Disney vs. Lego to flame I’d have pulled close to a B. Oh well. Better luck next year!

Ben Sawyer

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Ben Sawyer helps innovative organizations build games for entertainment, and purposes beyond entertainment including education, health, & science. www.dmill.com