Friday, January 7, 2011

Groupon will become the Sarah Palin of tech, and other predictions for 2011

My 4th annual technology prediction piece is up over at VentureBeat. Check it out!

Groupon will become the Sarah Palin of tech, and other predictions for 2011

2011 will be a year of economic recovery and continued drama in Silicon Valley, marked by the hyped battles of Apple vs. Google, Google vs. Facebook, and Oracle vs. the rest of the enterprise world. Without further ado, here is the 4th annual edition of my technology predictions.

The Groupon Juggernaut Will Slow Down
Groupon is quickly becoming the Sarah Palin of the technology world. It has its haters (Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru), doubters (Flybridge Capital’s Jeff Bussgang) and fans (FM’s John Battelle) like the former vice presidential candidate. Everyone seems to have an opinion of Groupon, whether through their own personal experiences or spurred by a coffee talk at Coupa CafĂ© in Palo Alto. Being from Chicago, where the company is based, I wanted to be a fan, but I have strong doubts on the sustainability of its business model. It will remain successful, but will it be the next Amazon or “Google of e-commerce” as many people predict? I just don’t see it. Maybe its critical mass and huge funding rounds will sustain its market share for a couple years, but the competitive barriers of entry are too low, so I predict its revenue growth will begin to slow towards the end of 2011. A few years from now, this darling of the ecommerce space will be a fading memory... (full article)

This was also republished in The New York Times' Technology section here.

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