Postmortem on 2009 Predictions

Postmortem on 2009 Predictions

Here are my predictions for 2009, and how well I did with them.

Predictions for 2009

Short term, it's going to get worse before it gets better.

This could last for a full year, as we continue to plummet (I don't believe the recovery will launch at 12:01 on January 1, 2009).


Again, we only ran out of time in 2008, I don't think we ran out of down.

Still feel this way. But I'll call it a win, seeing as the recovery didn't start until March. Don't think that 2010 will be a fun year either, but that's a different post. I also am not sure this is a sustainable recovery.  We can still see down in 2010, worse than the bottom of 2009.


As the economy stabilizes, the cracks that exist for new entrepreneurs will start to be seen.  However, be wary of outside interference on the market.  This fear of interference will be seen by the slow uptake of opportunities.  Unfortunately by the time it is apparent that the market will self correct, it will be too late for most to take advantage of the openings.


On the flip side, several folks who go in early are going to get destroyed as the rules are changed.  Subsidies, protections, etc. are all going to make promising ventures implode.


The Obama economic stimulus will be a lot of highly visible improvements.  But will miss some key infrastructure redevelopment, water, power.

I'll admit I was wrong on part of this, ARRA did build roads and power, but hasn't really focused on water yet.

Economics of transportation will emerge during this year.  The full cost of transportation will be looked at.  From infrastructure and fixed costs to the marginal cost per mile.  Food miles will no longer be the shortcut to determine expense of transport/production.

I'll claim victory on this, I've been hearing several folks start to use the "cost per mile" argument for electric vehicles, not just miles per gallon of gasoline/ethanol/diesel


A lot more entrepreneurs will be starting companies, many because they have no other choice for employment.  The Metoo's will die off slowly.  The innovative ones, the ones who know what they're doing, these are the ones you want to know and keep track of.

Lot of entrepreneurs, forced entrepreneurs are out there looking for business. The difference between self-employed and unemployed is the spelling.

Ideas will go from "interesting" to "obvious".


There will be a huge bias towards survivors come Q3.  This will be understandable, and cause many folks to miss out on the new innovations in Q1 2010.

I was hoping/hedging on an upturn in the second half of 2009.  That might be the case, but I'm not willing to say that there will be copycats of the folks who survived 2009.  Just surviving is enough, trying to copy someone else's business plan takes too much effort.

Wind will be seen as a stable form of alternative energy.  It will be a reliable form of alternative energy when storage is solved.  That solution will not roll out in 2009.

No good large scale energy storage solution yet. 

Solar will enjoy peak shaving status (PV specifically).  Solar Thermal will be seen as reliable power, but no one is going to be brave enough to invest in a new large scale solar thermal plant in 2009.  Not until the credit markets have settled, and those markets still need to get through the consumer credit debt, and commercial credit debt problems.

No large solar thermal up.  Commercial real estate, and debt problems still on the horizon. 

Everyone in the retail supply chain is going to be hurt, a lot.  This is going to delay any appetite for inventory, slack, etc.

Christmas 2009 doesn't look good.  Retailers are trying every trick to get people to buy now.  Discounts and extended hours.  Couldn't have pretended to see the record snowfall on the East Coast, but still not a good holiday season. 

Good times will come again.  Just not in Q1 '09.

Again, I'll claim victory and go home after such an anemic "prediction" 

Companies that are part of the revenue stream will be favored.  Cost cutting companies will have a brief increase.  Until those costs are down to bare bones. 


This is going to be a wild year. Not fun, not exciting.  But the folks who can make money under these conditions are going to be successful during better times.

Still believe that businesses that were able to make money and grow under these difficult times should be able to succeed under better times.  The challenge will be suriving until that point.  Anyone who has a cash burn rate is suspect.  Anyone who is able to break even or do better and continue to do as well in the near term will be around for the medium time frame.