Predictions, predictions, and more predictions

No guts, no glory

  • The Economist is calling for slower page refreshes, a handheld in every hand, and open, open, open everything. Marc Andreessen qualifies.
  • Read/WriteWeb talks a Twitter buyout, a Tumblr buyout, pressure on Facebook, and rebellion against Google.
  • Mashable says granny gets a Facebook page, MySpace sells, and many startups die. Then there’s what won’t happen.

More are likely to grace us with their omniscience. Vision is in extremely short supply over here, so rather than spew more predictions I’ll toss out a few things that I’d like to see solely because they are completely outlandish, strategically and/or financially insane, and probably fun to watch happen:

1) Research In Motion buys Skype – It would scare the hell out of the cell-cos, but be cool for the customers. RIM could marry PINs with Skype names, making PIN messaging useful beyond pinging your colleague with plain text messages during boring meetings. Both platforms are already geared towards security, and both have tons of developers drooling for them to open up – RIM would get a platform for methodical experimentation. Skype could become a serious contender for business communications, and RIM gets a wee foothold in voice.

SEGMENT UPDATE: Heh. RIM and the “social graph.”

SEGMENT UPDATE 2: Even SlingMedia is targeting RIM. RIM, do something bold!

2) Someone creates a enterprise-quality CRM system around OpenSocial (or makes something like Sugar work with it), and targets Ning – Andreessen and Co. could build it themselves, but the platform is really their core focus. Niche social is interesting, but turning individual sites into full fledged constituent management systems could be a boon for non-profits and for-profits alike. Information dissemination, two-way communication, fund raising, and follow-up all in one place, but for many simultaneously. And all free.

3) Send blogs to print – Localize them and pitch them like tabloids, just without the front page pictures of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Much as bloggers would like to think they are putting it to the traditional media, they are still heard by only a tiny fraction of “opinion consumers” – the mainstream still has a stranglehold on politics and the economy. A TechMeme for issues important moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, available daily at the newstand, could further level the playing field. The publications would be like the free local papers, just with a variety of licensed content pulled from the web. Let one of the online players manage the advertising and the licensing issues.

SEGMENT UPDATE: The timing might be good.

4) Yahoo! buys GoDaddy – Many say Google might be the one, but I’d like to see a turnaround story wrapping this bounty. GoDaddy has a core competency and cash flow that Yahoo! could use, and Yahoo! has plenty of great service offerings that GoDaddy could promote. Merging hosting services would provide some cost savings, and Yahoo! could use the excess capacity to provide more advertising supported services.

5) News Corporation buys Digg, Slashdot, Fark and MetaFilter, and puts Markos Moulitsas (DailyKos) and Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) on permanent retainer. They provide a mashup for all the data on MySpace, and clean up the “creative” MySpace interface while they’re at it.

Additional nutty contributions welcome.

UPDATE: More predictions…I mean “possible improbables.”

UPDATE 2: John Battelle speaks.

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