Making predictions is fun and lots of people do it. We all want to know what's going to happen in the future. We love hot stock tips because of the potential to make some easy money. If we're out of work we want to hear that our skills will be in hot demand. If we're in a cutting edge business we want to know that our business segment is just about to go white hot. But making predictions is really just a crap shoot.

Consider stock market predictions. The market can do one of three things: go up, go down, or stay the same. I used to watch Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser. One of his regular panelists was an inveterate bear. The market could be going through the roof and he'd say that it was about to turn around and go down for the foreseeable future. He always took that position and he was right whenever the market went down. So when people make predictions it's important to have a "by when" attached to the prediction. For example, the DOW Jones Industrials Average will close below 9,000 on June 30, 2009. The prediction will be either right or wrong. Contrast that prediction with the following: There are significant challenges that we're facing currently and the stock market will have a difficult time in 2009.

For many years I read PC Magazine in print long before anyone read magazines on the Net. One of the columnists commented that technology predictions are always wrong. The predictions he referred to were those made in white papers. Those same white papers were almost always sponsored by a technology company pushing some agenda. Any research that is paid for by an organization that has something to gain is suspect. Consider the source

I'm reminded of Moore's Law in which Intel's co-founder, Gordon Moore, predicted that the number of transistors on a chip will double about every two years. The astounding thing is that he's been right for about 40 years! So sometimes predictions can be right and stand the test of time.

So what about our industry? Some industry pundits seem to just have "the touch". They're ahead of the curve and perhaps they draw the curve. If I had to name just one person who's in this category I'd name Jason Davis. How he does it is almost a complete mystery to me. Somehow he has his finger and probably several toes on the pulse of our industry. Other pundits, unnamed here, make predictions that are, at best, self serving. That's not a criticism but you, the reader, should keep that in mind before taking any action based on their predictions.

I remember something that Zig Ziglar said years ago. The problem isn't out there in the world but is right between your ears! So let's create a banner 2009! Let's work to make it a breakout year by all measures.

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Tags: 2009, DOW, Moore's, law, louis, predictions, pundit, rukeyser, street, wall, More…week


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