At the end of 2010, Gridley made ten key predictions for 2011. For the most part, our forecast was fairly accurate. We were right on the money with our predictions about social media becoming mainstream, mobile finally having its day, the continuing momentum in eCommerce, and the surge in SaaS and outsourcing services. Our predictions about disruptive models gaining traction, a healthy IPO market, the emergence of broadcast quality video content, and successful content models continuing to evolve also panned out to some extent. We ended up being surprised that Facebook did not turn into a real eCommerce platform in 2011 and that more VC and PE firms did not seek to more aggressively exit portfolio companies. However, we expect to see these themes play out in 2012.
1. Social marketing will be a focal point within online marketing broadly with companies across the online advertising landscape building or buying solutions.
2. The mobile opportunity will finally become a mass marketing opportunity in social and location based services.
3. Continued shift in the e-commerce landscape as the new wave of social / group buying / flash sales companies took the king of e-commerce, Amazon, by surprise and gained immediate, unprecedented momentum.
4. Big surge in SaaS/Outsourcing Services sector with continued growth in cloud computing based models and resurgence in IT spending amongst a healthier economy.
5. Disruptive payment companies will gain a lot of attraction and attention and there will be at least one “bubble valuation” sale.
6. IPO market will return with multiple Internet treasures going public. Facebook will be the deal of the year.
7. Broadcast quality video content will find a business model that works online beyond Hulu.
8. Value will begin to accrue back to high quality, professional created content publishers and creators. However, the definition of “quality” will continue to evolve.
9. Facebook will become a real ecommerce platform.
10. We will finally see the VC and PE community looking more aggressively at portfolio company exits.