Ever since I first saw the three part video series The Triumph of the Nerds, I have loved Bob Cringely’s “I, Cringely” column. He recently released his predictions for 2006 on January 5th. Of these I find that #4 is really interesting to me:
4) Enough about Apple. Google will continue to roll out new products and services as it builds out its infrastructure for a huge push in 2007. They’ll need money, of course, so I predict a supplemental stock offering timed with a 20-to-1 stock split. 2006 is a building year for Google.
Will it be a building year for Google? If so won’t Google want a web product that is aimed at getting the world more fit through information and collaboration? They will. They will buy Collabofit. If they don’t, then Yahoo will.
All right, the 2006 predictions for Ben Wann are over. See you in 2007
Here is the rest of the I, Cringely Article.
I, Cringely: Win Some, Lose Some
Now for this year’s predictions:
1) This one is easy: Apple will eventually announce all the products they were supposed to have announced at this week’s MacWorld show, but didn’t, including a bunch of media content deals, a huge expansion of .Mac to one TERABYTE per month of download capacity per user, a new version of the Front Row DVR application, and two new Intel Macs with huge plasma displays, but with keyboards and mice as options — literally big-screen TVs that just happen to be computers, too.
2) The reason Apple changed its MacWorld announcements at the last minute was because the company sued little Burst.com a few days before, trying to invalidate the Burst patents. But since Apple sued Burst, Burst shares have gone UP by 30 percent. The market is rarely wrong. Suing Burst was an enormous mistake for Apple, casting a pall on their video strategy and potentially costing the company strategic alliances with networks and movie studios. Apple realizes this now and is struggling internally to find a way to change course and put a positive spin on the course correction. Apple will lose and Burst will win, and Apple won’t be able to afford to wait for the courts to decide anything, since time is critical in staking out Internet video turf. I predict that Apple will eventually take a license from Burst, that is UNLESS SOME OTHER COMPANY (Google? Real? Yahoo?) doesn’t snatch up Burst first. Here’s something I’ve noticed lately: Big companies believe in patents as long as they are talking about THEIR patents. Because Burst is three guys in an office in Santa Rosa, companies like Microsoft and Apple tend not to take them seriously. They forget that Burst spent 21 years and $66 million developing that IP, and the company has code that is still better than anything else on the market — code not even Microsoft has seen. Unless someone buys the company first, Burst is going to win this and eventually license the world. They are in the right, for one thing, and in practical terms they now have as much money for legal bills as any of their opponents. Apple can’t win this one.