Friday, December 26, 2008

5 Things That Won't Survive 2009

Although I'm not really the type of person who make predictions for what the year will hold: I'll tell you this - there are some things that will not survive in 2009:

1. Movie Rental Stores

True story: I was renting some movies earlier this week in my local Blockbuster - when a customer asked the pimple-faced clerk about a movie starring Ed Asner. The teen-something clerk had never even heard of Ed Asner, much less some "Christmas movie with something like 'Together' in the title..." So, as the "manager" handed her a (printed!) book with all video titles in it - she couldn't spell "Asner."

So she went to her Pentium 286 terminal with a green-screen interface and asked (in a loud voice) "Do I need to get out of search mode so you can ring up that customer?"

Are you kidding me? In 2008. Blockbuster. Yeah, you're SO on the list for "see-ya" for 2009. People will just get Netflix - (or Hulu) for their movies. Blockbuster - your days are numbered. And FYI Blockbuster - have you never heard of Servoy? I mean, really - WTF?

2. 60% of "Web 2.0" Companies

Well, it looks like the SECOND Silicon Valley "bubble" has burst. And with it all those stupid sites with stupid names will finally go into the "dead pool." HOT TIP: If you've got a web 2.0 with no business plan - you know, one that actually make MONEY - you're destined to become the next Net Van in the world. (If you don't know what Net Van is - and you have a web 2.0 company that's sucking the tit of VC money - don't worry - you'll find out soon)

3. Palm

Elevation Partners, which has among its principals U2's Bono, pumped a whopping $100 million into the failing Palm Inc. this week - obviously have a huge amount of faith in the upcoming Nova operating system. You know, the one that will "really" (pinky swear) be the next iPhone killer. No, really. Did we mention we have Bono? Doesn't matter. Just because you're first at coming up with a concept that everyone loved and was ground-breaking - if you rest on your laurels (like Palm did) - you will have your ass handed to you on a platter. Granted, a "nice" platter, but a platter nonetheless.

4. 50% of all the retailers you got "gift cards" for on Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa)

Kids - if you got ANYTHING as a "gift card" this holiday season, RUN to the retailer (or eBay) and get rid of it as fast as you can. According to the "smart guys" (that still live with their mothers) - only 25% of the gift cards ever get cashed. Speaking on the authority of someone who just found Sharper Image and Linen N' Things cards (worth over $150) sitting the in "junk" drawer - hedge your bets and cash those puppies like they were on fire.

You never know when a long standing company like Mervyn's (almost 60 years old) will go tits-up.com. Like Lehman Brothers (150 years), Merrill Lynch (93 years), etc. There's a strong chance that after the lack-luster holiday season that half of the folks take their dollies and go home.

5. Yahoo

Well... let's save the best for last. It seems that they can't do ANYTHING right. Let's face it. They're a Lehman Brother (in Internet time) - combined with a sprinkle of Palm, a business model like a video store, a future plan like a Web 2.0 company with no business plan, and yes, they just launched a movie site as well.

*SIGH*. Well, here's to the OTHER companies that have a clue, actually give a crap about their customers, who want to really add value and get paid for that value: hang in there another 3 months and all the suckers will be gone by then. It will be YOUR time in the sun...

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