1) Massive consolidation of technology startups, acquisitions galore – VC funding becomes incredibly selective and lots of solid technology startups, with no paying customers and revenue streams, turn to acquisition as an exit strategy. Similar to mid-1999, some of the big players, go on a shopping spree – unlike ’99, the valuation are quite reasonable.
2) Twitter explodes…in a good way – Twitter is on the verge of insane growth. Personal blogging slows considerably as people meld blogging and social networking and simply turn to Twitter. They break 50 million users in 2009 and become THE place for corporate brands to maintain their reputations. Funds get pulled out of Second-life (and banner ads too) as companies staff “twitter-watchers” to make sure they are on top of any feedback (positive or negative). The race for the best twitter apps continue.
3) The mobile industry is going to be boring – Not that stuff won’t happen, but nothing “major” is going to rock the industry (i.e. iPhone). There will be good advances in technology and finally a shakedown towards development standards. There will be more cool iphone apps but for the most part, the iphone won’t take over the world and app developers can’t monetize other business mobile apps, so 2009 will be more about foundation building than breathtaking announcements.
4) Adobe Air apps rock the world – Tweetdeck is just the start. As people get used to “conveniently connected” desktop apps, developers will take Air to the next level and build some really stunning and highly distributed apps.
5) Traditional Small Businesses move to SaaS in droves – The typical small business is still pretty old-school – Running their business on some combination of E-mail, QuickBooks and spreadsheets. But SaaS costs are coming down and the technology is getting much more interesting. 2009 holds employees demanding on-line payroll, customers who are on twitter and need a response, vendors who don’t want to fax you documents – there’s nowhere to hide. This is the year the average small business jumps two feet into technology and developers will be there to respond – integrated data, drop-dead simple apps, solid value…We’re going to see SMB SaaS adoption skyrocket.
Thoughts? What else is SURE to happen in 2009?