Predictions for 2010

Why stop a bad idea now?
The final week of 2009. The last week of the decade. Some things have
changed our world a lot. Others, not so much.

I'm still waiting for a good way to store alt energy power. Solar
thermal still tops my list. But not much movement on that front that
I've seen. There is probably a lot more going on than in my network,
but still a challenge to find.

I am a bigger believer in water now. Desalination specifically but
treatment and storage are up there as well. Stored cleaned water can
be seen as another form of stored energy. The same way that shipping
food can be seen as another form of exporting water.

Eldercare is still high on my list of long term investment potentials.

But like this time last year, I don't expect the recovery to start at
12:01 AM 1/1/2010.

Things will get worse than they are today, and all
companies/investments will have to prepare for a rough time ahead.
Underlying growth is what I'm looking for. Until core drivers are
found, few of these improvements we enjoy today are sustainable for
the long term.

Electric vehicles will continue to be seen as possibly viable, and as
soon as we breakout of the gas-station model of refueling, they will
be around. Island economies or limited range fleet vehicles (focused
on a city) will be the first wave of electric vehicles. Isolated
regions like Israel also qualify. As long as you know that you'll be
close to an electric plug to recharge, it's the first wave. My long
term view of virtual taxi-fleets where cars take you from one point to
another, and then pickup a different passenger to move again will
require communication/tracking/automatic driving, but will be viable
for major metropolitan regions.

Web mobile will continue to be part of the evolution of communication.
But some elements that are being touted, like monitoring your
electricity usage, will probably not be part of our continuous
knowledge space. Similar to wearing a time-piece, the information
will be available at all times, but it will not be searched for, nor
adjusted to, on a regular basis. Everyone having a watch didn't stop
people from being late to appointments.

Socially Responsible Investing will continue to be part of the
wave/trend in schools, and the front wave of SRI entrepreneurs will
emerge in the coming 2 years. Many of these ideas will fail, not for
lack of effort, but experience. A lot of start-ups will fail.
Unfortunately, because many non-profit mentality approaches will be
used, some of these start-ups will not fail as quickly as necessary.
This will stymie innovation and exuberance in the space, so unlike a
fast-fail model seen in software, we'll have a drawn out and lengthy
failure model, which will burn out many of the initial
entrepreneurs/founders.

The ones who succeed will do so spectacularly, but will probably
follow the tried and true rule of taking a decade to become an
overnight success.

We will still not have a resolution as to how long the average SRI
company will take to become a hit. Numbers range from 3-15 years.
I'm guessing on the high half of that range. And many companies are
not there yet.

Cleantech will falter a bit, the rush is over, and a movement towards
rationality/profits is current.