Sunday, 1 January 2012


I wanted to use the new year as an opportunity to pen some random thoughts about the new year. This is, afterall a blog thats supposed to be 1/3 about trying to use models to forecast the future and then using the data to improve the accuracy of our models.

So here are some thoughts:


2011 has seen some really great additions to mainstream consumer web technology. Quora began to take off but still hasn't quite managed to make it mainstream. Google Plus exploded onto the scene but since then traffic trended downwards. Facebook continued its unabated storm to glory. Airbnb also had a break this year. Its more or less consolidated its dominant position now. Dropbox is supposedly running at a mental $5 Billion valuation! From a personal perspective, my friends have finally signed up in droves to twitter.

So, I think 2012 will be another hot year for tech startups. Facebook will IPO though, which will drive stock prices through the roof for a while before it all calms down again. The startups we come across this year will find that their success is made through their ability to forge real connections between people. Android's persistent growth will eventually begin to drive Google Plus this year I think - Google plus signups will stabilise and then begin to trend upward, slowly


Unfortunately, all economists are predicting slow growth irrespective of their school of thought. Luckily for us however, the source of that slow growth varies and so we can therefore attempt to test some of the differences in views.

  • Austrians, like Ron Paul are predicting economic catastrophe, in the form of "unexpected inflation and a collapse in the value of the dollar".
  • British Politicians across the board have been predicting anaemic growth, although for different reasons. The Labour Party Line is that the Treasury Bond yields will fluctuate with the health of the economy (bad economy = low yields, and a strong economy will see higher yields). Conservatives are saying yields will stay low provided that the economy remains on top of its deficit.

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