Predictions for 2020

Since I love being wrong, here are my predictions for 2020

Bitcoin continues to flounder

Over a decade since creation, Bitcoin has failed to establish itself as anything else besides an instrument of speculation. Much like the year of Linux on desktop, the Bitcoin as currency movement isn’t happening, and the HODLers, most scarily, appear to have accepted that. Without the idea of Bitcoin as currency,  the price of Bitcoin will continue to be volatile, but overall deflate, as HODLers move on to newer and shinier altcoins. Markets can stay irrational longer than the participants can stay solvent, and if the participants are irrational as well, that can’t end well. I’m bullish about the blockchain as a technology, but Bitcoin will end up as the Sega Dreamcast of crypto.

Prediction: Bitcoin slowly declines, spending the back-half of the year under $5,000

Trump impeachment trial goes along party lines, Trump remains president

As the country gets more and more tired of impeachment discussion, Pelosi will have to deliver impeachment articles prior to the main stretch of the general election. McConnell and the Senate Republicans will run a show trial that introduces no new info, and will call none of the relevant witnesses. The vote will go along party lines, and Trump will remain as president (and tweet about being vindicated shortly after)

Prediction: Trump remains president, partisan polarization continues to increase.

Shitty companies will continue to stink, as market regains sense of smell

You can go up on a steep hill and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave of insane Softbank fueled valuations finally broke and rolled back. The collective group delusion is done, and 2020 will be the real year of reckoning, for WeWork, Uber, Lyft, Peleton, and other money burners. With no one else to pass the bag too, we’ll see these companies scale back from their grand ambitions and turn into more traditional, smaller, less AI gobbledy-gook versions of themselves. On the other hand, at-scale companies with strong unit economcs (e.g the Zooms of the world), will continue to see their stock price rise.

Prediction: WeWork continues to shed everything besides office space in already established cities, Zoom gets back up to $90/share, Uber ends under $20/share, Lyft ends under $35/share.

Snap continues to show up it’s haters.

It’s been a banner year for the Snap (and it’s stock price), and there’s no reason why it should stop. The worst has happened, Facebook did it’s best to copy all of Snap’s offerings, and Snap stays bloody but unbowed. What’s left is a company with a sticky userbase that has realized it’s not going to be bigger than Facebook, and has set out to build a really solid (dare I say profitable) company, that is finding it’s own (very large) niche.

Prediction: Snap ends the year at over $22/share.

Highly Contested Dem Primary leads to Biden nomination, Trump victory

An overly crowded Democratic field —  with low policy differentiation between candidates, refusals to withdraw, and Michael Bloomberg’s Super Tuesday strategy, leads to a drawn out primary slate, ending up with a battered moderate Dem nominee in Joe Biden. Sanders and Warren will get into each others way until it’s too late, Buttigeg will flame out nationally after good showings in the early states, Bloomberg will be too tough a pill to swallow, and the rest of the cast (Yang, Steyer, Gabbard, etc) won’t ever be serious contenders, thus leaving Joe Biden as the parties nominee. In the general election, Biden’s lack of true fans and unexciting campaigning won’t do enough to affect voter turnout, and Trump’s rabid base will give Trump a victory in 2020, likely while losing the popular vote again.

Prediction:  Trump beats Biden, loses popular vote.

Everyone on Twitter agrees that there are multiple valid ways to grow a company and that VC is neither the solution nor the devil

(just kidding)


1/2/2021 Update

Now that the year is over, we can review the predictions I made

I was wrong about:

  • Bitcoin floundering. I expected a slow decline, with the price ending the year sub 5k. Instead, it rose to $29,000. One part – “Bitcoin as currency movement isn’t happening, and the HODLers, most scarily, appear to have accepted that” has definitely turned out true. My corresponding prediction that new alt coins would take over has not. I don’t hold any Bitcoin positions (in either direction), and have no plans to.
  • Uber and Lyft stock prices. Instead of declining sharply, Uber and Lyft both ended up far above their starting 2020 prices. As predicted, these companies definitely scaled back further from their grand AI-powered ambitions this year and are focusing on profits. However, I have realized the naivety in me trying to predict specific stock targets (especially downwards).
  • The presidential general election outcome.  While Biden still has few true fans, and ran an unexciting campaign, the 2020 election saw record turnout. The turnout gave Biden the popular vote (as predicted), but also the electoral college as well.

I was right about:

  1. The Trump impeachment trial. Pelosi did deliver impeachment articles, the trial did bring no new info (as the Senate refused to call witnesses), and the impeachment vote went along party lines, and Trump remained president.
  2. Zoom stock price. Obviously COVID sent Zoom stock soaring to an unimaginable price. However, Zoom crossed $90 in mid February. Even with a lesser impact from COVID, I am confident Zoom would have had a banner year, due to their high-quality product, and strong unit economics.
  3. Snap stock price. Despite doubters, Snap had a strong year, and has definitely carved out a large enough niche that it can’t all just be copied by Instagram. They cleared my $22/share prediction easily, and are poised for a good 2021.
  4. Democratic primary results. As predicted, Sanders and Warren got in each other’s way, Buttigieg did flame out nationally after a strong initial showing, and the rest of the cast got nowhere. This left Biden as the nominee.