2017 Track Record
2016 Track Record
2015 Track Record
2014 Track Record
2013 Track Record
2012 Track Record
2003 Track Record
2002 TrendReport Q3-Q4
2002 Track Record 2002 Q1-Q2
2002 TrendReport Q1-Q2
TrendReport 2002 Q3-4
Stanley Bing, the pseudonymous Fortune columnist
and real-life PR chief for CBS, was right about the first half of 2002. It did
feel a lot like 2001, "a year that was distinguished, more than anything
else, by the fact that we survived it."
Trends and Lessons for the 2nd half of 2002
- Death of synergy for global media players
- After Vivendi, AOL Time Warner, Bertelsman, there are few solid global
media companies left. News Corp. is shaky. CBS may be okay.
2. Hot products:
- DVRs (digital video recorders like TiVo)
- Multi-function wireless phones (providing desktop-like PC applications,
advanced browsing, video/audio functions)
3. Hot issues:
- Digital rights management "Hollywood vs. recordable DVDs" Record
industry vs. peer-to-peer
- The now-you-see-it-now-you-don't economy
- what color is your recovery?
- Changing choices for health insurance, retirement investment
- Greenspan, the Fed & interest rates
- VCs scorecard follow the money, if there is any money;
and the need for greater transparency in their disclosures. (Check
out: How Long Can VCs Keep the Curtains Closed? by Business Week's
- Computer security it's been just a little too quiet
- E-Christmas, etailers after disappointing back-to-school
seasons, it doesn't look like to be a happy Christmas for retailers
- Airline industry and vacation traveling will continue
to be a bumpy ride
- Cable companies vs. telcos in Internet service market
4. Cold issues (though may periodically rise to the front page)
- The impact of environmental issues on business? Has interest in
this area nosedived, along with stock prices and confidence in corporations?
Or has lack of attention by the Bush administration and talk of war
driven these issues into the background?
- Meanwhile: The National Environmental Trust just put out a
report that says that babies born in LA inhale higher levels
of air pollutants during the first few weeks of life than people
are supposed to inhale during a lifetime.
- Meanwhile: There is no clean water left in the U.S. Some states
have taken it upon themselves to impose very tough environmental
restrictions on manufacturers, farmers and developers. Will more
- Meanwhile: Globalization took a major hit with the refusal
of the U.S. to back the Kyoto Treaty, and there are minor rumblings
of some sort of economic retaliation by a handful of nations.
5. Impact on business & tech media
- Now that Upside is down, what will happen to Red Herring?
- Shrinking news hole makes competition that much harder
- Blogs Web logs where reporters and others present their unvarnished
opinions. This is a mode that's becoming increasingly important because
of the phenomenal growth of people who operate their own Blogs, including
traditional journalists (like San Jose Mercury News' Dan
Gillmor and Newsweek's "The
Practical Futurist" by Michael Rogers) and traditional outlets
(like MSNBC's Weblog
Central. Check out the Los
Angeles Times article and Wired Magazine's "Big
Media’s Me-Too Blogs" (www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.09/start.html?pg=6).
- Spam continues to be a source of annoyance and a topic for
discussion. Articles in mainstream press cover impact on businesses
(because everyone spends too much time deleting spammed emails), about
anti-spam legislation and technologies and approaches for reducing
spam hitting your inbox.
6. Politics intrudes on business
- War with Iraq
- War against terrorism
- Anti-globalization/anti-America movements in Europe
- Political implications of fighting the war
7. Corporate Scandals, continued:
- Accounting for stock options
- Quality of earnings
- Corporate governance
- The role of CEOs now the butt of punchlines on the comics
- The role of CFOs enhanced "transparency"
- The role of board members
- Continued media assault on accountants, auditors and SEC and
more criminal indictments
- Continued media assault on banks and financial analysts spilling
over to industry analysts
- Lawyer backlash in terms of accountability, since they have
not been sullied by corporate scandals
- Investor lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits
Track Record for Q1-Q2
We did pretty well with the trends we predicted for the first-half of
- The War Against Terrorism and Security: Unfortunately,
we were right about this prediction. Balancing security and privacy
will continue to be an issue. The media will continue to be interested
in advances in biometrics devices. Impact of terrorism on the economy,
business travel, insurance, etc.
- Pharmaceutical Pricing: We thought
this issue would become a more important story closer to the mid-term
elections, but the possible war against Iraq overshadowed the overall
health care issue.
- Convergence and Home Networking: Though
this was a big trend at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we overstated
this trend (although right about DVDs). Perhaps this will pick up during
the Christmas season.
- Layoffs, Bankruptcies and Industry Consolidation: Unfortunately,
we were right that layoffs would continue through much of 2002 (albeit
at a slower pace than 2001), despite some economists seeing the light
at the end of the recession tunnel. But we did not anticipate how many
large companies would declare bankruptcy or have to restate earnings
due to fraud or how many executives would do the "perp
walk," head bent as they were led to a waiting police car.
- Whither IPOs?: We predicted a rise
in IPOs compared to 2001, but the bigger story was "Whither VCs?" Lots
of media wrote about give-backs in which VC firms released money collected
or waived obligations on funds not yet collected. As the market continues
its bi-polar swings, the media will continue to look at the future
of VCs, start-ups and corporate innovation. The latest trend: .
- Airline Industry Slump, Travel/Transportation
Alternatives and Increased Security: We were right in predicting
continued bad news for the airline industry and the type of coverage
it would receive. There have been a bankruptcy, but no consolidations
(yet). There's been a lot of attention paid to labor disputes. And
the media will continue to cover new security technologies and regulations
and their impact on the passenger experience (screening time, costs).
Amtrak's role and subsidies will continue to be covered.
- Mid-term Elections: We overstated
the impact of this. Most of the change in newspaper coverage has been
since Labor Day.
- Nanotechnology: We continue to predict
that there will be significant media attention when the first nanotechnology-based
products actually reach the market.
- Rise of Biotech Sector: We predicted
continued good news, but now this sector is hit a bunch of potholes.
- Broadband glut: We were right about
ongoing debates about the Telecom sector and when to expect a recovery
- Return on Investment (ROI): We were
right about this. For VC, reporters and investors, the most important
three factors in business remain: ROI, ROI, ROI