2011 Prediction Results

This site is clearly in need of some serious updating (in terms of both content and layout—I only recently discovered the atrocious rendering under IE). Hopefully I’ll manage to get around to that at some point soon. For now, however, I’m just back for my oh-so-brief annual self-shaming: I’m reviewing the results of my predictions for 2011.

1. Patriots win Super Bowl (difficulty 0.6)

Not so much. Moving on.

2. Celtics or Heat win NBA Championship (difficulty 0.5)

Also not so much…although I was much happier seeing the Mavs win than I would have been getting the prediction right.

I think the lesson from the above two is that I just shouldn’t make predictions about major sports outcomes. It’s a mature enough market already, I have nothing in particular to add to the conversation, and there’s no fun or glory in getting it right, anyway. Live and learn.

3. Weakened filibuster and secret holds in US Senate (difficulty 0.4)

I haven’t been following politics as closely in 2011 as in some prior years, but I don’t think this happened either. In fact it appears that the Senate is even using a new procedural trick to prevent recess appointments. 2011 predictions not going at all well.

4. Immigration reform passed (difficulty 0.8)

Listen, if you’re going to get your predictions wrong, you may as well make outlandish predictions.

5. Charges brought against Assange in US; he avoids extradition (difficulty 0.6)

Well he avoided extradition, so that’s something. The US seems to be happy just letting the WikiLeaks thing blow over. As I wrote even before making the prediction, it’s entirely possible that WikiLeaks made it easier for governments to hide information in the future, not harder.

6. iPad remains most popular tablet (difficulty 0.3)

Low difficulty, but I nailed it. Want commentary? Asymco.com provides far more cogent analysis of the iOS and mobile marketplace than I ever could.

7. New iPad released (difficulty 0.3)

I listed a low difficulty, but I did nail all the details: released around April with a camera but no retina display. My accuracy on computing-related predictions is marginally better than my foresight regarding sports or politics.

8. Blackberry loses spot as most popular mobile OS (difficulty 0.7)

Oh what a difference a year makes. RIM went from over 35% of the market in 2010 to under 17% this past November. In the same time iOS grew slightly from the mid- to the high-20s, and Android appeared to gobble up most of what RIM, Microsoft, and Symbian dropped: that platform went from 23 to 46 percent of the market.

Clearly tech industry predictions are my sweet spot. Oh, wait…

9. Ballmer no longer CEO of Microsoft (difficulty 0.7)

I was wrong. But, seriously? Are the shareholders of Microsoft just as complacent as the company’s management? I admit Metro looks good, but MS has lost every shred of leadership and credibility at this point. Sigh.

10. Another good year for stocks (difficulty 1.0)

I predicted 13500 for the DOW, 3150 for the NASDAQ, and 1500 for the S&P 500. Actual opens on the first of the year: 12400 (8.15% below prediction), 2660 (15.56% below prediction), and 1280 (14.67% below prediction). My “partial credit” formula scores this as a hit at difficulty 6.2, which seems a tad high for me. It wasn’t a particularly good year for stocks (but nor was it an atrocious one).

Final tally

Definitely hit three, definitely missed five, and two were middling. In truth, I should have seen this coming; I felt pressure to publish 2011 predictions and so I forced myself to a lot of guesses I didn’t feel very confident about. Under 50% again. Live and learn.