Friday, January 4, 2013

Gutsy predictions that proved true in 2012

Most of the ballsy predictions I aggregated last year on Tech-media-tainment whiffed big time. But, hey, when you swing for the fences, you’re going to get a lot of strikeouts.

Here are a few notable correct predictions from last year:

1. Correct call on Zynga. 

Bernard Moon, co-founder and CEO of Vidquik, predicted that social gaming company Zynga would see its market cap of over $6 billion cut in half in 2012.
Zynga shares started the year at 9.29 and ended 2012 at 2.36, for a market cap of roughly $1.9 billion.

2. Groupon cut down. 

My colleague Brian Deagon at Investor’s Business Daily made 10 predictions at the start of the year. Some of them were obvious (like Google+ not having an impact on Facebook in 2012) and others were frustratingly vague.
But I’ll give him props for the prediction “Groupon will be half off.” He doesn’t mention stock price or market cap in his prediction, just fuzzy references to stumbling in the market and losing market share, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt with that headline.
Groupon stock started the year at 21.55 and ended the year at 4.86.
But since I like to kid my old buddy, I have to poke fun at him for predicting “Ultrabooks will be the next big thing in tech.” In 2012 at least, Intel’s ultrabooks were a bust.

3. Apple declared a dividend. 

Marc Lichtenfeld, senior analyst at Investment U, was among those who predicted that Apple would share some of its cash hoard with investors in the form of a dividend. Apple declared a dividend in July and started paying it to shareholders in August.

4. Justin Bieber caught cheating. 

Psychics had a rough year predicting what would happen in 2012.
Psychic Roxanne Usleman Hulderman was wrong about nuclear war breaking out in the Middle East, but she was right about one young celebrity.
“Justin Bieber in a relationship gets caught red-handed with another female,” she predicted. Bieber, who’s dating fellow singer Selena Gomez, was caught getting friendly with a Victoria’s Secret model.

5. Political predictions.

I’ll give psychic Judy Hevenly credit for some softball predictions about politics. She predicted that Mitt Romney would win the Republican presidential caucus in Iowa and that Barack Obama would be re-elected president.
At least she didn’t fall flat on her face like James Poulos, a columnist at The Daily Caller. Poulos predicted that Romney would be elected president and that CIA director David Petraeus would be his vice president.
Of course, Romney lost badly and Petraeus was caught in a sex scandal with his biographer.

6. Adult studio sued over porn “parody.” 

Black and Blue Media predicted that mainstream media companies would file copyright lawsuits against porn studios doing “parodies” of well-known TV shows and movies.
Writing on the Xbiz.net forums, the author said porn studios have no First Amendment parody protection when all they are doing is adding sex scenes in an homage to the original.
Another forum member, Jacco, agreed, saying parodies are only protected speech when they imitate another work or performance with ridicule or irony. Parody artists can use elements of another author’s composition to create a new one that comments on that author’s work.
“If you look at the current crop of porn ‘parodies’ the ridicule/irony/comments are mostly missing. The imitation part is there,” he wrote. “Just calling something a parody does not make it a parody.”
In November, Universal Studios sued adult studio Smash Pictures for its porn film based on the best-selling book “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Universal owns the movie rights to the book.
Apparently the porn movie was more of an “adaptation” of the sexually charged book than a “parody.” (See articles by the Hollywood Reporter, Techdirt, AVN and Xbiz.)

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