What Is Going To Happen In 2017

Happy New Year Everyone. Yesterday we focused on the past, today we are going to focus on the future, specifically this year we are now in. Here’s what I expect to happen this year:

  • Trump will hit the ground running, cutting corporate and personal taxes, and eliminating the preferential treatment of carried interest capital gains. The stock market has already factored in these tax cuts so it won’t be as big of a boon for investors as might be expected, but the seven and half year bull market run will be extended as a result of this tax cut stimulus before being halted by rising rates and/orย some boneheaded move by President Trump which seems inevitable. We just don’t know the timing of it. The loss of capital gains treatment on carried interest won’t hurt professional investors too much because the lower personal tax rates will take the sting out of it. In addition, corporations will use the lower tax rates as an excuse to bring back massive amounts of capital that have been locked up overseas, producing a cash surplus that will result in an M&A boom. This will lead to an even more fuel to the fire that is causing “old line” corporations to acquire startups.
  • The IPO market, led by Snapchat, will be white hot. Look for entrepreneurs and the VCs that back them to have IPO fever in 2017. I expect we will see more tech IPOs in 2017 than we have since 2000.
  • The ad:tech market will go the way of search, social, and mobile as investors and entrepreneurs concede that Google and Facebook have won and everyone else has lost. It will be nearly impossible to raise money for an online advertising business in 2017. However, there will be new players, like Snapchat, and existing ones, like Twitter, that succeed by offering advertisers a fundamentally different offering than Facebook and Google do.
  • The SAAS sector will continue to consolidate, driven by a trifecta of legacy enterprise software companies (like Oracle), successful SAAS companies (like Workday), and private equity firms all going in search of additional lines of business and recurring subscription revenue streams.
  • AI will be the new mobile. Investors will ask management what their “AI strategy” is before investing and will be wary of companies that don’t have one.
  • Tech investors will start to adopt genomics as an additional “information technology” investment category, blurring the distinction between life science and tech investors that has existed in the VC sector for the past thirty years. This will lead to a funding frenzy and many investments will go badly. But there will be big winners to be had in this sector and it will be an important category for VCs for the foreseeable future.
  • Google, Facebook, and to a lesser extent Apple and Amazon will be seen as monopolists by government and individuals in the US (as they have been for years outside the US). Things like the fake news crisis will make clear to everyone how reliant we have become on these tech powerhouses and there will be a backlash. It will be Microsoft redux and the government will seek remedies which will be futile. But as in the Microsoft situation, technology, particularly decentralized applications built on open data platforms (ie blockchain technology), will come to the rescue and reduce our reliance on these monopolies. This scenario will take years to play out, but the seeds have been sown and we will start to see this scenario play out in 2017.
  • Cyberwarfare will be front and center in our lives in the same way that nuclear warfare was during the cold war. Crypto will be the equivalent of bomb shelters and we will all be learning about private keys, how to use them, and how to manage them. A company willย make crypto mainstream via an easy to use interface and it will become the next big thing.

These are my big predictions for 2017. If my prior track record is any indication, I will be wrong about more of this than I am right. The beauty of the VC business is you don’t have to be right that often, as long as you are right about something big. Which leads to going out on a limb and taking risks. And I think that strategy will pay dividends in 2017. Here’s to a new year and new challenges to overcome.

#blockchain#crypto#economics#enterprise#entrepreneurship#genetics#machine learning#policy#Politics#stocks#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    “However, there will be new players, like Snapchat, and existing ones, like Twitter, that succeed by offering advertisers a fundamentally different offering than Facebook and Google do.”FB and Google have *already* won…I think you pointed that out in yesterday’s post. And they’ve won because what they offer advertisers is “fundamentally different”, attributes I think you mistakenly apply to Twitter and Snapchat’s ad products – which as far as I can tell are only exceptional due to their large engaged audiences (which isn’t a fundamental difference, IMHO).

    1. JamesHRH

      Audiences are fundamentally different tho?Kids & ‘engaged’?

      1. pointsnfigures

        The way the interaction happens is different too.

        1. JimHirshfield

          You’re right in re core product. But that doesn’t make their ad product fundamentally different.

          1. JamesHRH

            No, but it gives them a differentiated seat at the table, which means you can’t buy around them.

      2. JimHirshfield

        Age and engagement, among other attributes, are table stakes in advertising. The ad offering is not fundamentally different just because lots of kids give it attention.

  2. Elia Freedman

    Happy New Year all. I think this will also be the year where lots of smaller companies realize it is okay to go without VC investment, even if this means a smaller business.

    1. JimHirshfield

      VC-free Diet? Less bloating, like gluten-free diet?

      1. Elia Freedman

        Reclaiming my time anyway I can.

    2. Rob Underwood

      To put it another way, I think more smaller companies will be content to be slower growth “lifestyle businesses” (CORRECTED — which the AVC community decided in ’15 to call cash flow business) playing the long game, and recognizing that an acquisition (or aquihire) is a more likely exit than a big IPO.

      1. fredwilson

        Cashflow businesses. We have banned the term lifestyle business here. It’s demeaning

        1. Rob Underwood

          Got it. Makes sense and agree. I had recalled this post, http://avc.com/2015/04/life…, but not the final collective decision. Correction made

        2. JamesHRH

          Grrrrr. Still like Owner Operated better.Disney is a CF biz too.

        3. Nuno Machado Lopes

          Nice. Still hear far too many VCs claim that they don’t invest in those “lifestyle businesses” – comforting to hear from someone like you. Have a great year.

        4. Jason Curry

          I like the term cashflow business. No doubt Shark Tank is to blame for lifestyle business being thought of as demeaning. I work with many startups and that show has actually influenced young people across the country (even with scalable startups) to believe that pursuing Angel or VC investment is a hopeless endeavor.

      2. Elia Freedman

        Or independent business. Calling it a lifestyle business is the biggest lie ever.

        1. JamesHRH

          I disagree. I know a guy who owns a restaurant and athe largest independently owned / installed base of high end video games in Southern AB.His lifestyle rocks.

    3. Robert Metcalf

      Hear hear! Been running one of those lowly business for 5 years now. Just reached $6M in revenue and LOTS of happy customers. So thankful to only have our customers to answer to and no one else!

      1. Elia Freedman

        Congratulations, Robert! That is an amazing accomplishment. I can’t claim your revenues but this January marks my 20th anniversary running Infinity Softworks.

        1. Robert Metcalf

          Thanks Elia. Wouldn’t normally throw out numbers, but wanted to reinforce the value of these “cashflow/lifestyle/self-funded/customer-funded” businesses.and 20 years is an incredible accomplishment. That puts you in the top 0.1% of businesses! Amazing!

          1. Elia Freedman

            Actually, I’m glad you said the revenue numbers as I think too many people think that businesses funded from cash flow are size limited. They are not.(And thanks. I mostly can’t believe 20 years have passed me by.)

          2. Robert Metcalf

            thanks for sharing the name of your company – now i can consolidate my conversion and calculator apps!!!

          3. Elia Freedman

            Glad to have you as a customer!

          4. Robert Metcalf

            Paid, downloaded, and added to the Home bar!

        2. Donna Brewington White

          Congratulations, Elia!

          1. Elia Freedman

            Thanks, Donna!

      2. Tim Panton

        There is a possible downside though. A friend recently sold an organically funded internet security business we co-founded 16 years ago. He didn’t make a huge multiple over earnings. To hit scale (and consequent high valuations) some businesses need VC.

  3. Matt Zagaja

    Not really sure what the last prediction is exactly? FileVault, FaceTime, and iMessage work great for Apple loyalists like me. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. have already made crypto communications work well cross platform. It seems like Open Whisper Systems and Apple are the two main players here.

    1. FaizanN

      Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Does this mean one company can provide a solution for all? Would like to know what it really means.

    2. Manfred Karrer

      Govs gave up on fighting encryption because they can get your keys by backdoors in the OS/hardware. And if govs can break in cyber-criminals can as well. So security will be a huge topic.IoT (smart meters/grid) is another box full of security nightmares. Much worse as the one we are used to already as it affects physical infrastructure.

    3. JamesHRH

      One app, all devices and services covered, easy to use & 2 auth.

  4. falicon

    “we will all be learning about private keys”…oh great, the modern version of “duck and cover”! Will prob. be about as useful for the masses as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. LE

      The ‘we’ in that is definitely absolutely not the masses.

  5. Chris Jagers

    Sensible predictions. Surprised not to see any about Bitcoin/Blockchain? I think this will be the year it gains much wider public awareness as cryptocurrency and through new app layer solutions, particularly as the world becomes increasingly destabilized. Or, do you think the blockchain revolution will happen more quietly?

    1. LE

      Crimes are solved in the first 48 hours. We are past that point with Bitcoin. As a result thinking that something will happen specifically in 2017 (as opposed to 2018+) is exactly what @falicon:disqus is talking about:which *might* mean they just aren’t risky or edgy enough

    2. fredwilson

      Number seven is all about Blockchain. I just buried the lede

      1. Vasudev Ram

        You missed an opp there to use tweetstorm style numbering (1/ , 2/ , …)

    3. JamesHRH

      I will bet $1000 w anyone that blockchain never reaches the consumer.Bet payable @ end of 2020.

      1. AJ AJ

        I’m surprised the very 2016ish “blockchain” narrative is still alive and well on this blog. Blockchain anything won’t happen without it being a Bitcoin thing. And Bitcoin has already started reaching the consumer in several countries where it is needed (Venezuela, India, China) for capital control skirting.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Will you accept bitcoin?

        1. JamesHRH


  6. LE

    Crypto will be the equivalent of bomb shelters and we will all be learning about private keys, how to use them, and how to manage them.There is a business opportunity here for sure. However the weakest link in security (and in many things) is humans and their ability to screw up even the simplest procedures and instructions thereby creating a (in this case) security opening.Also there is a paradox in security regarding the use of firewalls that I am sure at least a few people reading AVC are aware of. It has to do with disabling the underlying services behind a firewall and securing the box otherwise. Such that when people have a firewall they think it’s less important to secure other parts of the machine (things left still running or particular ports ‘the firewall blocks that!’). Of course that is not true. Perhaps an analogy would be installing an alarm system at your house and thinking you don’t have to leave lights on when you go away on vacation or stop the newspaper or mail delivery.

    1. Steve_Dodd

      Although I agree “Crypto” and security in general will be huge, it’s not about people “learning how to use them” as most can’t and don’t understand the reality, nor ever will. This blog’s audience is the 5% of people who “get it” not the 95% who have no clue about what is really going on. Until we (the 5%) focus on inherently ubiquitous solutions, the masses (and this ourselves) will remain exposed. And, “we” won’t do that as long as it stands in the way of our monetary interests.

    2. AJ AJ

      Bitcoin Trezor and things like are best positioned. The masses aren’t going to learn how to manage private keys, but they can keep a physical device safe.

      1. Steve_Dodd

        I wish I had your confidence AJ AJ. But its just not only about people. Applications and everything they use are far too complicated for them to cope with these details. Heck, some (many) businesses and governments can’t handle it so how is some basic user to really cope? We cannot lay the responsibility totally on the user. Many of the applications they use are designed to enable many of these problems. Of course, not intentionally, but they open people up to issues the are fundamentally unaware of and cannot be protected from.

        1. AJ AJ

          Originally designed for handling Bitcoin private keys, the Trezor is a USB-connectable physical device that stores private keys in a way that physically sequesters them so that they cannot possibly be read by the computer they are plugged into, but they can be used for signing. It only requires the same security practices as a physical wallet, and can even be further secured to prevent loss of funds even if stolen. It’s about $100 right now, but the price should come way down, and that would go faster with some VC funding (hint, hint).

    3. ShanaC

      Oh, definitely. Crypto is needed, and much too hard to use for the most part

    4. scottythebody

      ” A company will make crypto mainstream via an easy to use interface and it will become the next big thing.”I’ve been wishing for this since 1997! I have yet to convince ONE FRIEND of mine to move to PGP/GPG encryption or S/MIME for email. In my job, people do this all the time, but it’s WAY to complicated for most people.But I would also argue that some mainstream, easy-to-use crypto has already happened for some functions. WhatsApp, iMessage, Signal, etc. all “just work” and are very strongly-encrypted.Full disk encryption hit the mainstream with certain models of Android phones running certain versions of Android, iOS, and macOS. In some cases, like iOS, it’s so transparent that people don’t even have the option to turn it on or off. Once the passcode is set, the disk is encrypted — and very well-implemented for the most part.Now people need to solve it for file exchange (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive (or whatever Microsoft are calling it these days), or Amazon Cloud Drive are VERY good candidates for either solving this or somebody targeting these services with an app/service combination for securely sharing files.So maybe since email proved to be too difficult to secure, some combination of apps, cloud services, and chat apps will solve it.

  7. LE

    I predict JLM and Fake Grimlock will return in 2017 to AVC. Willing to bet on it.

    1. Richard

      I’ll take that bet on JLM.

      1. LE

        So all I have to do is simply get you to bet a large number. Then I contact JLM and make a side deal with him to return to AVC. So let’s call it $1000 our bet. My guess is that giving JLM $900 will make him return hence I would win the bet. The psychology is that he is not going back on his word because I’ve given him a leg to stand on in terms of his pride.

        1. JamesHRH

          Those aren’t large #s for Jeff.

          1. LE

            Doesn’t matter at this point. Fred hexed this with his comments. [1][1] And it’s not about the number it’s about giving someone a way to rationalize their behavior. The only option I have left now would be to convince him to do what (someone who he admires would do) which is not back down and to go offensive. Of course I don’t stand to gain enough or anything to do that. But I am convinced that I could if I wanted to. I’d also have to work on Fred a bit as well.

        2. Richard

          ha, I guess you can pay me now.

    2. JamesHRH

      I won’t on either.

    3. fredwilson

      If he behaves and follow the rules, he is welcome here but it’s been way better since he left

      1. LE

        Oh shit! You are messing up my entire strategy!

      2. JamesHRH

        Quieter. Less colourful tho.

      3. LE

        If he behaves and follow the rulesA few days ago I was interrogated on an airplane for not ‘following the rules’ by two of the air hostesses (or whatever they are called). It was actually kind of fun. To me that was actually a badge of honor. If I didn’t bend and/or exploit the rules I would never make any money or have any advantage. Being an entrepreneur is in part about not following the rules and weighing carefully the risk vs. the reward of that behavior.While away I saw a musician that I had seen in a few music videos and walked right up and asked for a selfie and he gladly gave it to me. My wife otoh (follows the ‘rules’) she was with me on an elevator 2 times with an actress from 30 Rock (was at the hotel we were at) that she really likes and was afraid to ask for a picture. We sat next to David Spade at a restaurant and she forbid me to bother him (and I complied no reason to cause a fight, right?). We actually didn’t go to the same place the next day (had the same table) because she knew he was going to be there (the host told us he is there every day same table same time) and she didn’t want me to go rogue and bother him or take the chance.

      4. thinkdisruptive

        I always valued this space as one of the few places on the web where intelligent people of differing political, technical and social backgrounds could share views, discuss ideas, and openly disagree. Sometimes quite emotionally, but with passion and rigor, not a troll’s demeanor. I understand how heated things got during this political season, and many people were offended by many things on both sides. For the first time in my memory, both teams lived in their bubble and stopped listening to anyone on the other side, which is why in the end, the results surprised so many.On this forum, I disagreed with JLM as often as I agreed with him more than he agreed with himself, but always found his perspective interesting. It would be good if the two of you had a conversation and put this behind you (or determined that was impossible).Your bar, your rules, but we all lose something if this becomes an extension of the echo chamber.Related to this, there are two essays by Charles Eisenstein that I think most participants here would appreciate and benefit from thinking about: http://charleseisenstein.ne… and http://charleseisenstein.ne

        1. Twain Twain

          Thanks for sharing these links.THIS resonates: “This does not mean to withdraw from political conversation, but to rewrite its vocabulary. It is to speak hard truths with love.”

        2. fredwilson

          It isn’t his views I objected to, it was his language

          1. thinkdisruptive

            I know, but if I cut off everyone who ever used offensive language towards me (including my kids), I’d never speak to anyone again, except possibly some new really boring people I haven’t met yet. Not saying this is true of you, but a good question to ask generally is whether anything you’ve said could be perceived as equally offensive by the other person. I know I’ve crossed the line, and at times didn’t even realize I was doing it. When an aggrieved party extends an olive branch, it usually strengthens the relationship.That’s why I suggested having a convo. JLM is a smart guy with value to offer the community.

        3. Donna Brewington White

          Well this participant certainly appreciates and benefited from reading these essays — even clicked over to some of the links that Eisenstein referenced. Some of it immediately resonated, some of it was thought-stretching — which I value.Glad I happened to come across this comment again because I actually tried to hunt down the person who shared the essays to say thank you. So, thank you.

          1. thinkdisruptive

            You’re welcome. Glad you felt strongly enough about it to hunt me down. I had thought about writing something similar myself before I came across Charles’ articles a couple of months ago, but he captures the zeitgeist so well, and is such a good writer that there was no point in duplicating his effort — I couldn’t do it better, or add anything of value.

      5. Aaron Klein

        That’s a sad comment to see you make. But it’s the reality of 2016 America. About half of us simply cannot handle the other half’s opinions even being expressed.I don’t wholeheartedly agree with JLM on Trump, but I wish that other half would pop their bubble and stop using cries of “mute!” “block!” “curate!” “mansplaining!” and “safe space!” to silence their opposition.They might just want to understand what states representing 306 electoral votes voted for. (Hint: there aren’t enough racists and misogynists left for it to have been racism or misogyny.)Here’s hoping 2017 America learns how to listen and learn from each other.

        1. ShanaC

          It wasn’t what he said. It’s how it was said

          1. LE

            I think I missed the “how it was said” can you provide a reference?

          2. Aaron Klein

            Justify and rationalize it all you want, but it’s still extinguishing free speech and it’s got half the country in a bubble that constantly shrieks “trigger alert!”

          3. Anne Libby

            Civility doesn’t extinguish free speech.

          4. Aaron Klein

            I’m a big fan of civility, but let’s not kid ourselves. Requiring civility absolutely could result in extinguishing free speech. How else do you get it if the other person won’t comport themselves according to your definition of it? _____________________________

          5. PhilipSugar

            We are talking about a private forum. I agree if its public. Just like your company you can require civility. Now if I want to spew hate I can as long as it’s not threatening in my own forum. There are going to be some really disappointed people soon on that front. My business partner’s neighbor was detained and had every piece of electronics in his house taken and mirrored after he made threatening tweets about Obama this fall.

          6. Aaron Klein

            I’m not saying Fred doesn’t have the right to control what happens in his forum; I’m just saying that people are kidding themselves if they think they can both require civility (as they choose to define it) AND maintain free speech.Both are acceptable choices, but you can’t have both at the same time.EDIT: For example, my wife and I don’t have free speech in my household…we have civility. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          7. PhilipSugar

            We agree completely. Funny that Fred posted a set of rules today (and I think that is good)

          8. Anne Libby

            I’m not even sure what “absolute civility” would look like.We agree to codes of conduct in most private and public spaces: the subway, coffee hour at church, a movie theatre, the golf course/grill room at a club, our offices….I’m glad to see Fred articulating one here. Most visitors have been behaving in alignment with this as an unspoken code for quite some time, and yet speaking quite freely.

          9. PhilipSugar

            You know what is really strange since our conversation about a month ago what happens when you travel? I have been “involved” in two incidents. Both times somebody came into a bar where I was trying to have a quiet bite before traveling one upstairs at MSP, one right next to the Target Center light rail stop. (I sit there because I hate sitting alone at a table or eating will standing) Both times they were super drunk and yelling obscenities loudly, not really at me, but trying to engage me both times I moved and they were kicked out, and I got comped.This never happens to me. The strange part? Both were middle aged women alone in MN. Totally bizarre. Never seen that once in my lifetime, but twice in December.I am on a 25,000 undergrad student campus that is 2/3rds female. I have been rolled up on many times by some 21st birthday party or sorority party and heard language, seen behavior and dress that makes even me blush but it was no issue other than I did not want to get my picture taken and posted (we have found the best way to prevent this is to offer to take the pictures)Funny that we had the MN office in on November for training and it happened. We had a couple of people mildly offended (most thought it must be good to be so young). I had to say look this is the Tavern Edgar Allen Poe used to go to on his way from Baltimore to Philadelphia. It is a classic. It is what is called a “Public House” on a college campus. What they consider “public” behavior is a little different than we might be used to, so I would add it depends on the forum.

          10. Anne Libby

            Lol, that doesn’t sound like “Minnesota Nice.”And yes, both bizarre — sorority sister/engagement party gangs of women acting out is one level, but your assailants in MN? Well beyond my imagination.(I mean, even thinking about fictional behavior, the young women sort of nod to the “girls gone wild/Bridesmaids” cultural memes. The others? Hmmm. I can’t even pull a pop culture reference out of my pocket on this one. Maybe “acting out on a business trip,” like the female lead in *Up in the Air?* but not quite.)

          11. PhilipSugar

            I was not assailed. I chalk it up to holiday stress. One at the airport, one I think must have gotten dumped at a concert. It was just weird. Downtown MN is weird because you have the highest end hotels (I mean really expensive) right next to adult clubs and when walking up alone you can get attention but it is professional and when you say no interest you are left alone.I accept that there is a double standard and I mostly accept that without an issue. If I came into a bar wearing lace shorts, a thong, push up bra and a shawl and banged into somebody spilling my drink on them I would be out on my face in a second. In a college bar with somebody that is well less than half my age and just turned 21, well a friend can say “sorry” to the “old man” and all is forgiven.

          12. PhilipSugar

            See my comment below it does, but this is not an open forum. If I want to spew un-civil viewpoints on my own blog then so be it.

          13. Anne Libby


          14. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Seems we’ve triggered you and that you feel your safe space here at AVC is threatened.

          15. Aaron Klein

            Ha! Nope, I’m good. I can stand to hear the viewpoints of others.

          16. Kirsten Lambertsen

            OK. But what if my viewpoint is that someone is gaslighting someone else here at AVC? Then is it still a viewpoint you can stand to hear? Or is it a threat to your freedom of speech?By the way, I’ve never once in my handful of years here at AVC seen anyone say they’d been ‘triggered.’

          17. PhilipSugar

            I had to look gaslighting up. Learned a new word, learned a new movie. I don’t know that I’ve seen that.I’ve seen demeaning comments, unfortunately I’ve seen sexist comments (no place for those), I’ve seen people get piled on. I’ve seen people contradict every single comment that didn’t agree with their point of view in an avalanche of comments.I think we learned the lesson that has been know for 100’s of years. Discussing politics or religion at a bar is a bad idea. It’s why I ban it at the office, and why when we have a politician visit we don’t discuss their views.

          18. Anne Libby

            Yes, and I’ve had someone come to me offline, upset about how they were treated here…and gone back to look at the offending comment, and seen “gaslighting.”

          19. thinkdisruptive

            You haven’t seen it yet (triggering), but it’s coming. As someone with kids in college, and who teaches at college, I can assure you, this is the new battleground. Like many things, people can think it without telling you.Have you felt gaslighted by anyone? I suspect that’s not a bad way to describe how many who would disagree with you politically would describe how they feel about societal changes they feel are being forced on them.I’m like Aaron personally. Pretty thick skin that comes with the contrarian territory. You have to work really really hard to offend me, and I prefer a free-for-all where I get to hear all opinions.

          20. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Gaslighting isn’t something felt. It’s something done. It’s like asking if you’ve ever felt like [someone pick-pocketed you] – edit -> like someone ever robbed you at gun point.”I suspect that’s not a bad way to describe how many who would disagree with you politically would describe how they feel about societal changes they feel are being forced on them.” What societal changes are you referring to? I’m having trouble envisioning a ‘societal change’ that capable of gaslighting someone. Perhaps an example or two would help illuminate it for me.

          21. PhilipSugar

            Ok, I help explain to you, please help explain to me.How can something that is not physically done be done not be “felt”?I can understand cursing, sexist, or racist comments those are physical words.We can interpret someone’s nasty comments to me and we can agree that we feel they are completely and totally inappropriate, and the person needs to go.But how is that like pulling a gun on you or touching you or your stuff? Again if I start moving your stuff around and saying you mis-remember I get it. BTW: I am going to use this term on my wife and cleaning lady :-)BTW: when we were talking about Political Correctness what people feel about the terms Mansplaning, Gaslighting, Whitelash, etc, are what I was talking about because people to believe they can be talked about in a certain way but if they dare question that or used terms like that they will be persecuted. And I understand the irony of using the political correctness term. ๐Ÿ™‚

          22. Kirsten Lambertsen

            This is exactly the area of differentiation where many, when it hits them at last (like when it hit me), is the eye opener.One does not have to intend to do something racist to in fact do something racist. One does not have to intend to gaslight someone to in fact gaslight them. And the even harder part to get one’s head around is that it’s not about how it’s interpreted by the receiver of the act. Because a person can experience gaslighting and be damaged by it without *ever perceiving it*. Same with racism.Anyone who cares enough to stop putting racist, sexist, otherist stuff into the world can now easily go educate him/herself and gain an understanding. But people don’t want to. They want their age, their experience, their ‘wisdom’ to mean they don’t have to think long and hard before speaking. They want their good intentions behind their often careless statements to be enough. And you know what the road to hell is paved with … ๐Ÿ˜‰

          23. Anne Libby

            To your last point, one thing that this entire discussion has clarified for me: careless/carefree speaking is the ultimate social laziness.”I can say what I want, any way I want to, whenever and wherever I want to, to whomever I like, without regard for how it may “land” with them — rather than using my intelligence and skill to have a discussion.”(That sounds kind of like a 14 year old. Which harks to a comment made elsewhere in this discussion by @donnawhite:disqus which I’ll paraphrase as “time to grow up.” Sigh.)

          24. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Right. It took me about 40 minutes (off and on) to write that one comment. So the drawback is that I spent way too much time on a blog comment ๐Ÿ˜‰ The benefit is that the async nature of comments allows me to be more thoughtful (and grown up), if I’m willing.

          25. PhilipSugar

            The ability to quickly communicate and not do it face to face is not always a plus. It allows people to write things they’d never say to one’s face, and the speed at which you can do it means you don’t have to think.

          26. thinkdisruptive

            And highly unproductive, unless this is the only and most important thing you need to do.

          27. Donna Brewington White

            Thanks for taking the time and making the effort, K. I understand that painstaking editing process. But if you didn’t take this type of care, you wouldn’t be you. :)Because I am given to self-editing and self-doubt, I sometimes force myself to just say it and leave it, but that is not what normally happens.Growing up means being aware (or at least trying to be aware) of how we affect other people — being conscious of the message that is being received, not just the eloquence of how we say things. And listening! That would be one of my major complaints about the interactions that happened around the elections. Not enough listening!Where does this understanding come from that self-expression equals communication?

          28. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Thanks, Donna ๐Ÿ™‚ Always means so much coming from you!At some point I’d decided to be a voice for some things in places that mattered to me, like AVC (after spending a year strictly listening, mostly on Twitter, to people I wanted to understand, whom I thought could teach me something).It’s been an interesting and worthwhile practice, but I also think it’s time to use that energy even more productively, apply the experience to the next thing. I won’t be taking so much of the bait here ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll return to 90% listening here.The funny thing about growing up, for me, is that I’m still torn at middle age between wanting to be wise and wanting to *never* grow up. Can this needle be threaded? Ha ha!I love your last sentence/question. Incredibly good food for thought.

          29. Anne Libby

            I could not agree more, great question @donnawhite:disqus.

          30. Anne Libby

            And reflecting on your last, wise, question: I so want to understand why some of the folks whose behavior here has crossed a line here feel like it’s okay to do so *here* (and on Twitter) — when they’ve given signals that they participate in communities (like churches, private clubs) where one price of admission is to constrain your behavior to meet community norms. (No jeans at the club, don’t be a political troll at coffee hour after services…)I’m convinced that we could probably invite some of our absent friends to dinner with any one of our grandmothers (if we’re still fortunate to have them with us.)So curious as to why is it different online?

          31. Donna Brewington White

            Disqus didn’t signal that I’d been mentioned. Came over here for something else and saw that you and Kirsten were still in discussion. And of course I always want to “hear” what either of you is saying.Your comment is so very right on.This social laziness to which you refer is a form of selfishness. Doesn’t mean the person is selfish in every regard or is even a selfish person. But when my need to express becomes more important than caring about what you hear, well, yes it is immature.Time to grow up. Yup, that about says it.

          32. Anne Libby

            Spot on, Donna. Selfishness, and (a word that might “trigger” some community members, lol) entitlement.

          33. thinkdisruptive

            I don’t buy this. Racism requires intent, as does gaslighting. You can’t know how the receiving party interprets anything you do. We can try our best, but words are embedded with deep meaning (which are often misperceived), and even if we were perfect communicators, by this definition you could be racist, misogynist, xenophobic — every kind of -ist and -phobic imaginable, all by accident and without knowing it. Right now, I could be interpreting your assertions as gaslighting me, and I could make a pretty sound argument for the truth of that assertion using your definition.I think it’s wise to stick to what we know, and give others the benefit of the doubt until there is sufficient evidence of intent or a pattern of behavior, otherwise we have no hope of getting along peaceably.This sort of impossible world you imagine where every word is perfectly considered and spoken, never rushed, never delivered with forceful emotion or in a state of tiredness or anger, never offensive to anyone, always with exact and perfect intent is an implicit paradox. It’s one where we could never communicate anything to anyone. It’s a completely dysfunctional and impractical model.btw, if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, does that mean the road to heaven is paved with bad intentions? Isn’t that very statement an admission of the imperfections we all struggle with?

          34. Donna Brewington White

            Before reading this comment that I mostly agree with, I had already said some things about self-expression not being the same as communication, and that lazy communication is a form of selfishness and immaturity, etc.Isn’t this, like many things, a matter of degree? So maybe we do not reach this level of communication that you describe as an “impossible world” but does this mean that we can justify laziness and selfishness?And I’ve been treated in a racist manner by people who did not think they were being racist. A lack of self-awareness can wreak havoc.

          35. thinkdisruptive

            It’s not that I don’t believe you, but I’m curious how you could be treated in a racist manner by someone who didn’t think that’s what they were doing. Were you treated differently in a way that was obviously because of your race, and if so, how could someone not know they were doing that?

          36. Donna Brewington White

            One instance in particular involved a situation where racism was deeply embedded in the culture and so certain perceptions and resulting actions were not identified as racist. For instance, people in my husband’s Southern hometown who thought that marrying someone black (he is white) was actually a wrong thing to do. They did not perceive this as racist, but just the way things were. I was told, “Please don’t take this personally. It’s not about you.”In high school, discouraged from certain career options (when deciding a college major) by a well-meaning guidance counselor because they were “unrealistic.”And so on.Amazing though what happens when you are willing to fight those battles and see paradigm shifts occur. Although being a human shield can be wearying.

          37. thinkdisruptive

            Hi again Donna,I live in the south, and am well familiar with people who have attitude issues. In my experience, they know what they are saying is wrong/racist whether they’d be willing to admit that to you or not. I don’t know how any rational and objective person could say interracial marriage is wrong without having racist intent. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is 50 years old now, if they don’t have a strong enough compass to come to that conclusion on their own.I get the guidance counselor being an idiot — we experienced that with our kids. They seem to put the worst possible people in those positions. Giving that individual the benefit of the doubt, part of what they were suggesting is that there would be obstacles that made it more difficult, which is true, but my guess is they lacked the tools / intellectual firepower to communicate that in a helpful and less offensive way, or to go beyond and offer assistance to break through the barriers. It could also have be overlaid with racist intent, which is equally likely.I don’t doubt that you’ve had bad experiences, and it’s definitely hard to be the person who always has to tell others when they’ve stepped over the line (I assume diplomatically, since you seem like the type of person who prefers educating rather than accusing). I do think that deep down the people who treated you that way knew what they were doing, and were conforming to cultural norms because that’s the easier way to handle any situation, rather than sticking their own necks out and having to deal with the disapproval of their peers.Racism is exercised more subtly today — I rarely see overt nonsense anymore, and it stands out (i.e. we notice it right away) when it happens. On the other hand, I’m less willing to think people do stuff like this “innocently” — more likely they want to appear as not being racist, while still harboring the attitudes that betray themselves in actions.

          38. Donna Brewington White

            Thanks, TD. But don’t feel bad for me. So much of this was so long ago in my life. The experiences surrounding the early days of my marriage brought it back to the forefront on a personal level but because I was getting a behind-the-scenes look, I was more fascinated/incredulous (and admittedly amused) that there were still people that thought this way. Keep in mind though that this was a couple of decades ago.For me, having racism go underground and become more subtle is not enough.The subtlety actually allows it to remain hidden and people don’t have to recognize and confront it within themselves and others, and this allows it to continue to have power. We can kid ourselves into thinking that it doesn’t exist. I actually think that the recent events that so many complain about in terms of racism (and other -isms) coming out of the woodwork is a positive thing. Those things wouldn’t emerge if they didn’t exist. The opportunity is now before us to deal another blow to these beasts.

          39. Donna Brewington White

            Your points about tools / intellectual firepower, etc., are well-taken. In the “Southern” case these were people who were more oblivious than anything. Not stupid or uneducated, but it’s as though they embraced a certain blindness and were invested in perpetuating it. I saw something very similar visiting South Africa just after apartheid. People living in a haze.The guidance counselor (and so many others in that particular era and area) was walking in his sleep. That’s a whole other story. I still visit that town. It hasn’t changed much over the years and it is a depressed place. True rustbelt-esque setting. You can’t know a town like this and be too surprised that the election went the way it did.

          40. Dave Pinsen

            It’s jarring to read about subliminal racism after someone was kidnapped and tortured based in part on his race – and perhaps incited by frequent, subjectively defined accusations of racism going the other way.

          41. thinkdisruptive

            I just heard about this and saw the video the kids recorded. It’s pretty clear that this was not “in part because of race” — it was entirely about his race. It’s astonishingly horrific, blatantly racist, and very sad and sickening commentary on youth today. It’s not hard to imagine idiocy like this inciting the worst kind of reaction.It’s also very strange to me that the police don’t consider this a hate crime (and that in itself is racist) — there is a good 30 minutes of hateful vitriol, beating, torture and scalping on that video with the participants calling out his race in every other sentence. It rises to the level of Dylan Roof as the most extreme kind of violent hate crime, with the only difference being the victim wasn’t killed. But you could make a good argument that killing him would have been more merciful than what they did — this poor guy is scarred for life (physically and emotionally).Extremely hard to watch for even a couple of minutes, but I think you have to in order to understand the depravity, and complete lack of humanity.Dave, I don’t know if you mean to suggest that the more subtle forms of racism Donna talks about are less problematic. We should be working to eliminate all racism — all forms are hurtful and damaging. But I hope these kids are locked up for life — they are beyond redemption — when they start laughing about what they’re doing and discussing how funny it is, it goes beyond pathological and enters the realm of complete obscenity.

          42. thinkdisruptive

            No, I disagree. If I don’t feel the emotional torture, or respond to it, then it isn’t gaslighting. If you feel threatened, intimidated, or psychologically bullied into believing or doing what someone else wants, then you might perceive that you were being gaslighted, even if it wasn’t the other person’s intention. Being robbed at gunpoint is an objective fact. Being gaslighted is a perception (unless you know the other person’s intent with certainty).When I speak of societal change, I mean a whole panoply of things that half of society could feel are psychological terrorism. An example is recognition of transgender rights, and who uses what bathroom. Or, imposed use of gender-neutral pronouns. Another is the whole idea of “microaggressions” — something that a minority of the population believes is real and needs to be controlled/mitigated, while an even larger number feels it is silly oversensitivity. Groups can also do this to an individual or to other groups.If you are sensitive to any of these (on either side) you could view yourself as a target of gaslighting.So, my point is that whether you feel you are being gaslighted is a matter of perspective, and probably also related to the power relationship between the gaslighter and the gaslightee.

          43. ShanaC

            Really Aaron?There are ways to talk about all sorts of ideas. There are ways not to. That our media makes it so you’re more likely to get heard by talking in the “not to” way doesn’t mean that you and I shouldn’t.Also, this trigger alert bubble doesn’t really exist…

          44. thinkdisruptive

            “How it was said” is a problem no matter what your point of view, especially with regards to this past election. Many of those who have (deliberately) pushed the boundaries perceive political correctness including/especially the language contortions like ze or xe for he/she to be a deliberate denial of truth and find that offensive. We are going to go through a lot of vigorous and unpleasant debate before there is a new consensus, and that means we’re going to have to forgive each other, or permanently live in separate worlds that get farther apart, not closer together. The only way to figure it out is to keep talking and determining where compromise is necessary.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          Here’s hoping 2017 America learns how to listen and learn from each other.We have a very long way to go.If we can’t do it here, in what JLM fondly called “the salon”…

      6. Rick Mason

        I have to disagree. I think he added a lot to the discussion and is missed.

      7. Parkite

        JLM is as smart and generous (with his knowledge) as anyone I have encountered on the Internet. Big loss to this community. Had the election gone the other way, there would be no issues. Think about that.

      8. Donna Brewington White

        Was this misbehaving and not following the rules isolated to election related issues?

        1. LE

          Since we are speculating my theory is that it goes deeper than that. In the past JLM has been absent for a long period of time (may have been either early last year or in 2015 I don’t remember. There wasn’t any defining event (I actually checked the comments right before he left.). Consequently I felt that there was more to this than meets the eye. Something we don’t know about. JLM has been a bit harsh and belittling with Fred in some of his comments (as he has with some others). Generally I didn’t agree with him (JLM) on that just like I don’t agree that anyone should be treated in that way but especially the host. Judging by Fred’s “better without him” my guess is that there is some underlying issue or problem. All inside baseball stuff.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            I am not speculating. He is gone from AVC.

          2. LE

            “We” meant “me”.

      9. cavepainting

        I disagree with JLM on most of his political views and even his tone on some occasions, but have to say that I miss his participation on AVC. I hope there is a way for him to come back. But.. every bar has its rules and the host makes the final call. There is nothing wrong in drawing a red line on what is appropriate and not.

      10. jason wright

        we lost a ‘voice’. not a good outcome. simmering in silence for months on end getting more and more hacked off was not management of the issue.dissent is good, and also potentially profitable, as you well know.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          No one seems to be lamenting the voices that have been lost here because of JLM’s and others’ refusal to recognize and curb chilling language towards others.The group here is quite comfortable debating within a certain cozy familiar context. When someone outside that context enters the game, they’re often gaslighted and tone-policed in a ‘polite’ and supposedly legitimate way. But the effect is the same. They’re gone. Yet I don’t see anyone mourning the loss of their dissent.

          1. thinkdisruptive

            We lament what we know. If people have silently left, how do we know to lament them? (I’m one who might absent myself from the discussion for months when I don’t have time for active participation, and then resurface when I have time or spot something I really want to add to. How would you know if I was gone for good?). Don’t forget that in the social wars both sides perceive the language and attitudes of the other to be “chilling”. Ironically, it is a complaint most often expressed by progressives, yet it is the explicit purpose of labeling and calling out things like mansplaining, microaggression, trigger alerts, etc

      11. jason wright

        perhaps we need a new year refresh. what are the rules here?

    4. ShanaC

      I miss fakegrimlock


        ME TOO.

        1. ShanaC

          GRIMLOCK!! YOU’RE BACK!!!!

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

            ONLY SOMETIMES.

    5. Lawrence Brass

      I will bet too, but as stubborn as both Fred and Jeff are it will surely require some negotiating skills from a goodwill negotiator. Any ideas?

    6. Twain Twain

      JLM, sigmaalgebra, Fake Grimlock will return. Other regulars may take breaks from AVC. Some lurkers will comment more.And good bars always learn, laugh, brawl and clink the glasses of friends, foes and strangers alike in cheers.

      1. Lawrence Brass

        Any respectable bar has bar fights. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. LE

        I have inside info on SA so I didn’t take advantage of others and make a bet on that. Shows what an honorable guy I am.



  8. falicon

    I can’t really find any fault/issue with these predictions…they all seem reasonable and even somewhat likely to me, which *might* mean they just aren’t risky or edgy enough?What’s the biggest “controversial” predictions everyone’s got heading into the year?

    1. LE

      which *might* mean they just aren’t risky or edgy enough?Great observation. And what I was thinking after reading yesterday @philsugar’s saying Fred’s 50% was a great number. It’s easy to win bigger if you don’t go out on a limb and take on much risk in what you invest in or predict.

      1. Richard

        Moreover, take a look at the predictions from last year. 50% was a little generous.

      2. Girish Mehta

        Regarding – “It’s easy to win bigger if you don’t go out on a limb and take on much risk in what you invest in or predict”.Not win ‘bigger. I think you mean to win ‘more frequently’. To win bigger, you have to do the opposite.Frequency vs. Magnitude.

        1. LE

          Well not sure of that. In theory if you are going out on a limb you are investing in things that others are not taking a chance on. As such the price you pay is less and the potential gain is more. [1]Winning with more frequency is another issue.[1] Example: I think X neighborhood is the next hot area. So I will buy low (little competition) and get tremendous rewards if I am right. The reason I can buy low is that nobody else is thinking like I am.

          1. Girish Mehta

            Am saying the same thing.You said earlier – win bigger if you don’t go out on a limb….

          2. LE

            My mistake yes I was referring to two different things and most importantly the context of ‘big win’.

    2. jason wright

      That’s right. I don’t hear anyone laughing, and that’s a signal.

    3. ShanaC

      The genomics one is very risky. The field is changing very rapidly, you’re dealing with the Fda, and the initial stages are capital intensive.That said, there is tons to do and with that, tons of ways to make money

  9. LE

    some boneheaded move by President Trump which seems inevitableThere are trading and money making opportunities in those ‘boneheaded’ moves. [1][1] Keep in mind though that you have to separate tweets from actual action. Actual action (‘moves’) requires many players and is done after consultation from different sources.

  10. Alex Bugeja

    >> Investors will ask management what their โ€œAI strategyโ€ is before investing and will be wary of companies that donโ€™t have one.Perhaps sometimes management should also be wary of investors asking that question…

    1. pointsnfigures

      For many businesses, the correct answer might be that it doesn’t make sense. All depends on who your customer is, how you execute, and how difficult it is to utilize AI. For many, the educational issues with implementing it might far outweigh the cost.

    2. fredwilson

      Sometimes??? Management should not be trying to please investors. They should be trying to please customers

      1. Alex Bugeja

        That was my point. Added “sometimes” later as an edit to concede that there might be specific instances in which having an AI strategy is indeed a good idea.

      2. Twain Twain

        The Atlantic on how mgmt over-focuses on pleasing investors and how this threatens innovation:* https://www.theatlantic.com

    3. cavepainting

      you are correct in that AI should be a part of the solution only if it makes the solution smarter and better for customers. There is really no point in rebranding something as AI based if it does not make sense to the problem being solved.

  11. Manfred Karrer

    Maybe you missed one important trend: DAOs will allow people to work together and fund their efforts without the need for external investors. It will enable real P2P economy. Not the fake one like Uber or Airbnb though projects like Arcade City.Ps.:With DAO I am not referring to the completely flawed TheDAO or the sort of ICOs we see a lot atm but to the very idea of a decentralized and autonomous organization. We are still in the infancy and the successful models will likely look very different to the models we have seen so far. Avoiding risks will be key in those models. So you probably will not read in the news as they will not collect 150M to get into the headlines…

    1. JimHirshfield

      Interesting, but does it take off in 2017?

      1. Manfred Karrer

        Hard to say. The tech is there at least.

  12. Richard

    genomics has been an investment category since 2007. Are you saying tech vc (vs pharma vs?) is late to the party and doesn’t have the skill set to invest.

  13. Korf

    Agree on “AI is the new mobile”, would love to hear more of your thoughts on that point and who you currently follow as thought leaders across various sectors and verticals in the AI space. Dr Watson (IBM) is an example a dear friend who has cancer mentioned as giving him hope over the holiday weekend.

  14. LE

    like Twitter, that succeed by offering advertisers a fundamentally different offeringLike I am really tempted to buy some of that twtr thinking that you know something that the rest of us don’t.

  15. JamesHRH

    A little disappointed not to see predictions on:1) VC industry / funding trends2) alternate sources of news / biz models / echo chambers issue3) energy issues ( growing sector in VC, no ?)

  16. pointsnfigures

    somewhere, someone is working on a blockchain app to verify news. I read a piece on the election and I pulled this quote from it. I think it’s dead on and neither political party gets it yet:We are now undergoing a Second Reformation during which the relevant question is not whether big government or small government is best, but whether government is in principle better or worse than a decentralized marketplace in which peer-to-peer exchange largely replaces a centralized system for the allocation of scarce resources.I also love this one and sums up a lot of issues perfectly:Facts are neutral until human beings add their own meaning to those facts. The meaning they add to facts depends on their current story. People stick with their story, even when presented with facts that don’t fit. They simply interpret or discount facts that don’t fit their story. This is why facts aren’t terribly useful in influencing others.-Annette Simmons

    1. falicon

      This is what I tweeted as my initial reaction to the election results:https://twitter.com/falicon…Still feel it. The ‘killer app’ everyone has been looking for isn’t an app, it’s a situation where “freedom” is threatened or at the very least questioned. (btw, agree that BitCoin as gold is also a killer app/use; there can be more than one thing that makes it eventually “win”).

    2. Twain Twain

      Facts are never neutral.Every so-called “fact” has been subjectively defined by someone, at some point in time.

        1. JamesHRH

          A certain someone we know is circulating an article re: NOAA fudging temp #s for the last 15 yrs.

  17. Twain Twain

    HN 2017, all!I predict open data platforms will be seeded that are neither Blockchain nor Ethereum.And tech will fail to retain and resource for diversity & representativeness, so the echo chambers that have produced biased AI, fake news and empathy vacuums will “rinse and repeat”:* https://www.scientificameri…* http://www.newyorker.com/bu

  18. Vendita Auto

    Agree re Crypto. The IoT front of till mesh Siri Alexa Google Alibaba cannot create the economies of scale required for in-house (partial) transfer of risk that will win the real deal game of thrones.

  19. jason wright

    One hundred years after the Russian revolution we will be saved from capitalist free market monopolies by blockchain socialism. Welcome to 2017. Now is the future. Don’t miss it.

    1. Girish Mehta

      Since you brought up the Russian revolution Jason, I’ll just leave this here. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  20. Steve_Dodd

    I’m not sure I agree that Facebook and Google have “won” the adtech business. And, I find your comment somewhat conflicting with the statement “there will be new players, like Snapchat, and existing ones, like Twitter, that succeed by offering advertisers a fundamentally different offering than Facebook and Google do.” This leaves me with the feeling that they only won round one and there’s more yet to come. They certainly “clobbered” rivals but I believe there are others out there who will potentially clobber them as they move from an innovative “clobbering” strategy to one more intent on protecting their dominance. That is when the giants fall. And history has a very crowed room reserved for fallen giants.

    1. fredwilson

      What I mean is they have won but there is money to be made in the scraps that are left. Online advertising is $25bn (ish) annual market

      1. Steve_Dodd

        Thanks for clarifying, Fred!

  21. ErikSchwartz

    Happy New Year AVC’ers!

  22. John Francis Charles

    I love these predictions, especially the AI strategy. It’s obviously on our minds yet I need to make it a central focus of my operation.While I am tired of the political demons, I think you are correct Fred in that the antitrust issues will again become a factor. It is interesting to consider the contrast between this White House and the next, with the portraits coming down and replaced with (attached?) something new. The image and personality do have an affect on morale: how a President Trump composes himself within the PR machine of a White House also concerned with global leadership and security is more than simple face recognition by the components of a massive regulatory bureaucracy. Google was in the West Wing, and Bill and Melinda Gates were expecting to be as well. Some of these issues were being worked out quietly. With Trump, it seems nothing is.Let’s hope that the more dangerous aspects of our relationship with Russia and its friends in the middle east and Asia will be soothed even if the significant technical threats continue to divert resources.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  23. William Mougayar

    Xiaomi will enter the US market with their panoply of competitively priced kick-ass devices, and US consumers will realize that Apple and Samsung have been taking them to the cleaners.

    1. Twain Twain

      Except Trump may impose lower import quotas for Chinese goods and higher import tariffs.

      1. William Mougayar

        Maybe yes or maybe no. The iPhone is made in China too, btw. In any case, you’ll be able to order it via Canada.

      1. William Mougayar

        That’s a new one. I didn’t know.

  24. jason wright

    Crypto = bomb shelter?Iron Man suit. One size fits all.

  25. popbijoux

    Disagree re: Snapchat and Twitter. Snapchat has been disavowed by the ad industry behind the scenes. They grudgingly pay for the absurdly high ad rates and have said repeatedly brands cant see data value outside of marketing vagueness. As soon as a competitor comes around they are bailing. The zeitgeist has changed profoundly since the election and this sort of whatevah we cool u old we make 29.99-looking glasses that sell to old ppl for 130 thing wont be “okaay” anymore.Fb and Google are dominant bcs they work and they provide the only thing that justifies p&l expenditure: data.Blockchain…bs. Call 1-800-money-laundering. Does anyone actually believe finance folks care about anything other than $$$??? I love how all these proto communist words are used to justify what imo will be the next “derivatives”. Speculation and fraud on a massive scale.Twitter??? I believe (guess) at least 40% of their users are bots. That is why they will never solve the trolling issue. At least half their metrics will go out the window. VCs pumped the egos of these dudes far too much. Twitter’s problem is that it sees itself as a product, not a company, and instead of looking at it coldly, it acts defensively towards it, like a fortune 500 company. Dont get me started on “Jack”: dude has been high/checked out since day one.

    1. ShanaC

      What competitor?

    2. Drew Meyers

      Twitter problem is they don’t solve a real problem for the average consumer cares about imho. Iit’s amazing for b2b purposes, but that’s not a broad “everyone in the world” use case the way “keeping in touch with my friends and family” is (FB).

  26. charlieok

    As to your last crypto prediction:> A company will make crypto mainstream via an easy to use interface and it will become the next big thing.The leaders as of right now seem to be Signal for text messages and ProtonMail for email. I look forward to continued improvements with those and to others that may match or exceed them.

  27. thinkdisruptive

    Security and privacy are huge, related, and rapidly growing problems. Two factor is important, but it needs to be made trivial and the default for it to really make a difference. More important than things we do consciously are the things we attach to the net unconsciously without considering how secure they are.When a few hundred million security cameras can be mobilized to paralyze large chunks of commerce, I worry about every sensor, smart fridge, smart tv, toaster oven, car with auto-pilot, medical devices — all the things we expect to drive the economy forward and the lack of security and interoperability standards between them.At the same time, we need to enshrine consumer rights to own data that is collected about them, and to only share it when they want to (and not unknowingly), insist on its destruction if desired, and the ability to sue when privacy rights are violated — this would cause companies to get real about their incredibly lax security as they realize what huge liabilities they are carrying by not properly protecting their systems from unauthorized access.Real security can’t exist without privacy protection. These two related things will create massive opportunities for existing and new players over the next 5 years.

  28. thinkdisruptive

    I hope you are wrong about antitrust. The best way to protect consumers against monopolies is to ensure the ability of startups to disrupt them by not imposing labyrinthine regulations that end up protecting incumbents, and by ensuring fair competition is possible. We can’t afford our best companies to get bogged down in endless litigation and consent decrees, nor for the government to be wasting 100s of millions if not billions of dollars engaging in these fights. It is nowhere near the top priority for the country, even if some consider it to be a problem (wrongly, imho).

  29. Guest

    why no mention bitcoin???

    1. fredwilson

      Great post. Lots of agreement

  30. Pete Griffiths

    AI is the new mobile :)yep

  31. creative group

    FRED:We have benefited from Trump hucksterism in the exuberant market and really didn’t feel ashamed because Trump didn’t create the market.We concur with many of your predictions but definitely not one.”However, there will be new players, like Snapchat, and existing ones, like Twitter.”We really believe Jack Dorsey is great on innovation and poor on management. We posted over a year ago when Jack decided to run two companies that he should only concentrate on Square. Now Jack is asking Twitter users how to improve Twitter. If he is soliciting users opinions on running the company why pay a Board of Directors. All board members should resign, be voted out or removed for failure of their fiduciary duty to shareholders. There is an abundance at Twitter of drinking their own KoolAid.The Twitter C-Suite is emptying at record levels and the executives continue to push a view all is good. Just diminishes the credibility of respected people. The house is on fire but everyone in it is saying no it’s not everything is fine while the fire department is hauling ass towards it.DISCLOSURE: NONE/No financial position.

  32. hardaway

    Fred, I think you are going to be right about most of these things, especially about crypto and ease of use. We are all longing for a user-friendly way to secure both ourselves and our businesses.The one place I think you may be off the mark is in thinking that Facebook and Google have won. The election vitriol has made many people either delete their FB accounts or at least get them off the phone, and that combined with the 3x embarrassment over incorrect metrics that FB had to admit this fall will cause advertisers to be more careful. And don’t forget to add the “fake news” stuff to FB’s woes. I feel a decline coming on.

    1. fredwilson

      I hope so

  33. creative group

    FRED:How will crypto technology be at the forefront of the United States tools to combat State cyber terrorism when PEOTUS doesn’t acknowledge his personal buddy is responsible for the breach? He is inviting the equivalent of Bin Laden to a State dinner and declaring the Spy agencies are inaccurate.PEOTUS doesn’t even hold security briefings. He has the chief conspiracy theorist Flynn at his side. The optimism presented is encouraging but definitely not realistic. Only to those still drinking the Kool-Aid.

  34. samshawki

    Encryption needs to be part of easy to develop with, and use, platforms, rather than stand alone techniques. This is how we hit two birds with one stone: hardened security, and better usability

  35. Lawrence Brass

    Happy New Year Fred and AVC community!A new page to write, a new path to follow or maybe just the same old plan now with new hopes and energy. For entrepreneurs and believers out there, let’s make this year the best of your lives, deep in your hearts you know it is only up to you.

  36. TeddyBeingTeddy

    FireEye will be the Nvidia of 2017

  37. Kurt Stangl

    Happy New Year and thanks for a great post Fred! Having your wisdom to bear helps a bit.Best,

  38. ShanaC

    I think genomics is a much longer term play than just 2017.Lots of problems, too much to do

  39. cavepainting

    I am betting that tools that support an inverted model of marketing that make it easier for buyers to find sellers will start to take hold in multiple industries. They may use a variety of new technologies including AI, block-chain, mobile SaaS and others to make this possible.The worst kept secret in digital advertising is that with the exception of bottom-of-funnel search advertising, it is hard to prove that other forms (native, display, mobile, video,etc.) are helping to generate profitable customers. Yes, it drives traffic, but if you to take into account fraud, flawed metrics, click bait, accidental clicks, and the low conversion rates post click through, you will have to wonder if non-search digital is generating positive ROI for marketing dollars.

  40. Donna Brewington White

    It is so much easier to meet challenges against a backdrop of economic strength. Let’s hope your first two predictions are the ones that are accurate and that there will be sufficient mitigating factors (checks and balances?) against “some boneheaded move” by Trump, at least at a disastrous level.In part, I am banking on his will to win and that he has something to prove.

  41. Banet

    In what category is Apple anywhere near a monopoly? Not desktops. Not laptops. Not smartphones. No TV App-driven devices. Not streaming music. Not eBooks. Not driving directions. Not AI Assistants, either on your smart phone or standalone hardware. Not Bluetooth headphones. Not cloud based services.I suppose they have a lock on MP3 players with their iPod Touch. That, and smartphone *profits*. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Ryan

      What I find amazing with Apple is the fact that they turned thei back on the education market (that they owned). They have tried to make strides to regain their position, by Google is eating their lunch. Think of all the students growing up Google. What’s the long term impact here?They have priced themselves out of the market for one, and have not made using their devices easy for most classroom teachers.Chromebooks are Google’s Trojan horse for the long haul. I wonder if Apple has a monopoly on being short sighted with education?

      1. Vasudev Ram

        >What I find amazing with Apple is the fact that they turned thei back on the education market (that they owned).Yes, I read that Apple made its first hundreds of millions largely in education, with the Apple II, etc. There was a good long article about them in National Geographic way back – going into many pages. It had a photo of Steve Jobs at that younger age, riding a motorbike that looked like the Indian Royal Enfield bike :)https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…I’ve ridden that bike – a real thumper.https://upload.wikimedia.or

        1. Vasudev Ram

          Lots of foreigners who come to India to stay for more than a short time, prefer to buy a new or second-hand Bullet and ride it around while in India. It has a fan following among many of them and many Indians too.The older models (like the original Bullet 350cc), did not have the modern technology features that the newer models have. e.g. no electric start. You had to kick-start it the old-fashioned way, and it was a hard kick, and if you did it wrong, it would bounce back and hurt your leg / shave off a good chunk of skin …

    2. fredwilson

      They are half of the duopoly in mobile OS

      1. Banet

        The government has stopped many a merger that would’ve led to a duopoly. Cell phone companies, cable companies, etc. but I can’t think of any time in which they’ve seen a duopoly and decided to go after one of the two players that naturally evolved into that duopoly. Especially when a player is in the minority.

  42. Donna Brewington White

    Happy New Year, Fred!2016 was a hard year. We are weather worn. We’ve had some fatalities. But it is still a phenomenal thing you do. Thanks, again.

  43. cavepainting

    I predict that there will be a national or international security crisis of significant import in 2017 that will threaten the prevailing global order post 1945 and the interlinked global economy. How the new administration deals with it will shape the rest of its term.

  44. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Fascinating predictions, as always. I love that you do these posts.I’d add: an observable wave to end the race to the bottom in online advertising. Serious players with fresh ideas and technology entering the market.Extending upon your crypto prediction, as people around the world teach each other how to conceal their activities in order to participate in active resistance, an upsurge in the sale of mobile ‘burner’ devices.An explosion of creativity in the arts of all kinds โ€” a renaissance of the underground.

  45. Scobleizer

    You totally missed the biggest thing that will happen in 2017: Apple is coming out with a group of epic products — all mixed reality based. Start with the iPhone that does AR and VR and MR — all together.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Scoble in the house. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. fredwilson

      I am an AR/VR skeptic and an Apple hater. So that is not something I care about in the least

    3. Rick Bullotta

      You have incorrectly used the MR acronym. It will turn out to be “manipulated reality”, as advertisers find new and unique ways to trigger neural signals that will result in more consumption…

    4. Joey1058

      I think the whole world is waiting on Apple at the moment, and sadly, they know it. They’ve been quiet for so long, when they finally reveal, it will either set the world on its ear, or bury them.

  46. allegro101

    You predict that “A company will make crypto mainstream via an easy to use interface and it will become the next big thing” Trezor hardware wallets have been doing so already for two years now.

  47. leigh

    Re Ai: We went on an offsite about six months ago looking at what’s next for my marketing company. There’s a shift going on. It’s really interesting how many consulting companies are buying up ad agencies and the Ad world naively believes this is because the big 5 want chief creative officers. What’s really going on is the connection (finally) between Marketing Automation, AI and the connection of upper and bottom funnel communications. However, most companies don’t have the processes or the understanding on how to connect brand/customer/business to each other (never mind culture). So for the next say couple years, most companies are going to f*ck their brands by digitally stalking their customers through data and not understanding how to build and operationalize brand value across a network. For the first time in about six years, I’m actually excited to be working in marketing again ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Rick Bullotta

    Two things I would love to see:1) Investors restoring integrity into the startup world by being the first to “out” fraud or questionable ethics within portfolio companies or investments2) As part of the tax code reform, some type of return to “income averaging” as a means to equalize the tax burden resulting from a windfall following a number of lean years

  49. Benjamin Guthmiller

    >> AI will be the new mobile…Perhaps this is a component of your bold prediction around AI, but I think the Echo/Google Home platform will be the next “smartphone” platform.

  50. Steven Nargizian

    Yes, Google and Facebook have won. But that doesn’t mean everyone else has lost. There is still enormous opportunity in Ad-tech. Companies yet to be created will share the stage with Google and Facebook.

  51. hooman

    @fredwilson:disqus – you said there will be IPO fever in 2017. Who do you think is on deck for ’17/18?

  52. Robert Metcalf

    @fredwilson:disqus thank you for having opinions and sharing them with all of us. I’m grateful for AVC and the community and discussion you’ve built here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insight with the internet at large. It’s a generous act, and much appreciated!Happy New Year!

  53. Robert Metcalf

    A secondary effect of bullet #1 – there’s speculation that pass-through-entities (LLCs, S-Corps), will be granted the option to be taxed as Corporations for non-distributed earnings. This would provide a clear benefit to those taking the self- vs VC-funded route.In the long-run, this will result in double taxation, but in the short-term/early-years of a company, being able to retain that much cash from sales will be a massive impetus to bootstrapped companies. When you’re on the “raise money” instead of “earn money” path, you don’t have to worry about taxes until you hit the pay window (at which point you’ll complain a lot). If you build your company with sales, that tax hit adds friction from day one (or, more precisely, the tax year following Day One). Being able to file as a C-corp instead of a pass through last year would have given me enough surplus cash to hire an extra employee. This next year, it would probably be three employees.I’m a socially liberal guy, but I also know that I’ll take better care of my employees (full EE and dependent healthcare, $15/hour company minimum wage, etc) than our federal government can with the same funds. As a small business owner, It’ll be nice to have tax strategies other than “have really high expenses (aka, no profit)” or “buy a bunch of capital equipment at the end of the year”.

    1. Robert Metcalf

      This said, people may not realize that benefit until they do their taxes for the following year (assuming that the pass-through as C-corp tax filing becomes law), so this may be a better prediction for 2018!

  54. Andy Werner

    I like your way of thinking. More for the analysis than necessarily counting on you being “right.” Happy New Year!

  55. Steve Weston

    Fred, agree with you on most of your bullets, especially the last one. Happy to discuss with you what we are doing at Perpetual Encryption (http://perpetualencryption.com) and get your feedback and guidance!

  56. alan

    Fred, what are your thoughts on OTT services (Direct TV Now, etc) and cutting the cord with cable/Fios? We are seeing big moves in this regard, especially in NYC which is woefully under developed from a broadband standpoint.

  57. Joshua

    Re: private keysAre you talking about PGP? Or something like it? I’ve looked into it a couple times with not much luck. First Google result being this site which looks like it’s built in 1999: http://www.pgpi.org.

  58. Sherman Williams

    I agree that some that many of the genomics investments will go badly, and this will be mainly due to a lack of understanding of FDA regulation. What do you all think? I do suspect that in a few years Medical Technology will become a “known entity” for current, straight-tech investors.

  59. Eric Dolan

    @fredwilson:disqus what will 2017 mean for digital health companies? Since changes in ACA have been spoken about alot and many investors are warming up to health care investments, how will a Trump presidency and current market conditions affect DH?

  60. Artificial Intelligence

    What the optimist says

  61. Jeffrey Dobin

    Your track record and reputation speak for itself, Fred. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Looking forward to seeing how things shake out this coming year. Only the best!

  62. defcon_5

    Fred, 3 questions – “Twitter will succeed” – what’s your thinking here at this point? (or do you feel obligated to publicly support as an investor… which is entirely understandable). The note about “AI” becoming the 2017 must-ask – how are you defining AI? Rapidly meaning everything and nothing, no? And finally blockchain – is your context for this the publishing/content/media companies or are you also thinking about fintech, other sectors?

  63. Gregory Magarshak

    These predictions seem legit. About Facebook, Google coming to be seen as monopolists — it’s because the technology to run decentralized social networks of any quality is still lacking. Something open source that communities can install like WordPress (look at how many websites it powers) but for Social apps. A unified platform that standardizes social apps and what users come to expect from them. In the end open source projects (Linux, Wikipedia, WebKit) beat the silos because improvements can come from anywhere. And open source serves the long tail better.IMHO this is also the reason Facebook and Google are the exact companies looking to extend the internet to Africa (drones & balloons), India (internet.org) etc. Their business model is all about getting all the data to flow through their massive server farms. Google docs. Facebook chats. It’s totally centralized topologies but they were the result of the business models.The protocols from the dialup era, email, IRC, the web etc aren’t like that. They don’t have systemwide fail whales and don’t require fast broadband connections to get things done. Now we have a new generation – git, bitcoin, IPFS and it’s just the beginning. I predict that in the next few years software will appear to run on VPNs, LOCAL networks and mesh networks. To run on the routers of a cruise ship for example, or of an African village. We already have hardware that can create mesh networks but not much software to run on it. Eventually we will decentralize cellphone signals and power generation, too.

  64. Jason Dea

    Your prediction #3 is particularly timely given Rubicon’s recent announcement of sun-setting the Chango business they had acquired.

  65. Dakini Here

    disgusting… just disgusting… it’s all so fuggin gross, all you poople are just gross. That you can talk about AI like that.. you sickos are demonic….HERE”S what’s really going on:http://prepareforchange.net

  66. Heath

    True. That’s why startups who want to win need to focus on:Verticals that the titans can’t/won’t do, orCustomers that can’t/won’t use cloud or open-source

  67. jason wright

    and a poor choice.





  70. Glen Hellman

    I assert that your inattention to the rest of the world is why the world is in such flux. Look how the poo has hit the fan since you’ve retired from PUNCHING WORLD IN FACE. Russian hacking, Brexit, Trump, Korean nuclear aggression… all these things I blame on you.Imagine if superman just said…. “Sorry guys, but Clark Kent needs to get this article written for the daily planet.”