Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Internet Surprises in 2006

I just read Bambi Francisco's Internet list for 2006 on and offered her my reaction:

I read your "Internet list for 2006" with great interest, but it sounds like 2006 will be a rather dull year. But, maybe that's where we really are anyway.
I don't have a forecast, but here are some questions:
1) Will any new exciting startups become media darlings? Will any new net personalities rise up and capture the limelight?
2) How many of the remaining dot-coms will finally kick the bucket? What will be the most prominent casualty?
2a) Will the short-sellers take's stock down into the toilet? Or will the stock become one of the year's big successes?
3) Will AOL's legacy dial-up customers continue to be considered a drag on the business or become an exciting, un-tapped opportunity?
4) Will PeoplePC thrive? Become a big success? Or shrivel up and go away?
5) Will Microsoft increase its investment in MSN or look to distance itself from the unprofitable portions? Will they hang on to their legacy dial-up users (e.g., me since July 1999 @ $19.95/mo) or finally hang up on them for good?
6) Will Google finally find a way to stumble?
6a) When will those a-holes over at S&P finally add GOOG to the S&P 500 index?!
7) Will a blog-related firm rocket up to the Tier 1 internet level, or will the blogosphere implode in a cloud of confusion, self-doubt, and acrimony?
8) Will there be any mega-deals so that one or two or three of the Tier 1 Internet players are "taken out"?
9) Will white-knight Carl Icahn manage to con[vince] Time Warner to spin-off AOL into a free-standing enterprise with no management strings attached?
10) Will high interest rates significantly slow the tech sector, or is cash simply not going to be an issue at all?
11) Will an average investor do quite well just buying the top-10 internet stocks (or some equivalent ETF) or will that be a bad choice and significant cherry picking is required?
12) Will Microsoft finally make a big dent in the Internet business in 2006 or continue to circle around the perimeter, nibbling a little now and then, and continually making loud snorting noises?
13) Will Yahoo and Microsoft finally wake up and realize that a competitive answer to Google's AdSense revenue-sharing program would be a really good move?
Maybe I'll close with a little prayer: "Dear God, Please let SOMETHING exciting happen in the Internet sector in 2006."
-- Jack Krupansky

Any comments?


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