Hello 2009 — Predictions for 2009

By Sean Fenlon on January 1, 2009

Happy New Year everyone! :-)

I’ve literally been trying to time this blog post to be one of the first blog posts in ALL of 2009 (EST), so I’m literally hitting the “refresh” button on Google using the search term “TIME” to determine the “Official” start of this new year.


Cool. The Google clock just turned. I’m going to hit the “publish” button now.

For many, 2009 represents nothing but uncertainty and fear. I Can empathize with each and every one of you, but during a different “year” (aka 12-month span). DoublePositive is a business located at ground-zero of this economic/market mess (housing, mortgage, advertising, etc.). FWIW, I felt the same fear and uncertainty during the second-half of 2007 and the first-half of 2008. Then, all of a sudden (almost as suddenly as the negative had appeared), things began to turn positive for us.

This is not revisionist history. Here’s the email I sent to everyone on our newsletter list:


And now on to my much-anticipated Predictions for 2009:

1. Things Changed

Is this a prediction? Probably not. Things are STILL changing. Things WILL CONTINUE to change. Now THAT is a prediction. Probably not particularly valuable, but true. Another way of saying this is economic prosperity still arrives but slower, fewer people will have a job in 2009 than in 2008, and consumers and businesses will find it more difficult to secure credit than in recent history. Aside from that, nothing has changed. Look in the eye of everyone you know and ask yourself if they have fundamentally changed in any way in the past five years. The ultimate answer is that things changed, but people have not.

2. People and Businesses Will Try Harder than Ever to Avoid Pain

During the dot-com bubble, there was the “Greater Fool Theory”


The past few years has led to the “Well, there’s someone smarter than me who knows what the hell is going on Theory.” Sorry, no Wikipedia entry on this one yet.

Bottom line is that businesses and consumers will begin relying on their own mind, thinking, and thought processes than anytime in recent history.

3. People and Businesses Will Try Harder than Ever to Gain Pleasure

Whatever it is that made you happy today. could it make you happy tomorrow? If yes, lather, rinse, repeat.

Expect TV consumption to go up (the cheapest form of entertainment), video game consumption to go up (the cheapest form of entertainment for young males), average weight per-capita to go up (tighter times means cheaper and more-fattening foods), etc.

4. “Other” People in our lives become more clearly classified as either People, Friends, Community, Network, Associates, Colleagues, Traffic







See “LIVE Matters” below for more color on this concept.

5. The “Best” Athletes Emerge

2008 was the year of the athelete… Tiger Woods (winning the U.S. Open on a broken leg), Michael Phelps (winning 8 Gold Medals and setting a new world record), the Redeem Team, etc.). However, something tells me the REAL athlete stories won’t break until 2009. No clue who or what they might be, but my Spidey-senses are tingling on this one.

6. Internet Collaborative “Art” is officially born.

This may have officially begun in 2008, but will continue to blossom in 2009.

Here’s one of the first examples of this concept of “Internet Collaborative Art”:


7. Science Wins

As valuable as “gut calls” have been in the past, data-driven “Science” will again rule the day in 2009. Hopefully will a more scientific acknowledgement to “The Black Swan” than in previous years.


8. Mobile Explodes (but not Mobile Advertising. yet)

I love my iPhone. I use it more than my computer. I love competitors to the iPhone almost as much. Nuff said.

9. LIVE Matters

Looking into the eyes of people and shaking-their-hand/touching-their-skin becomes more important than ever.

10. Don’t Panic. Be Happy

Fans of Bobby McFerrin and Douglas Adams will rise up and proclaim “I’ve been telling my philosophy for years!”


p.s. Hey Mr. Fellow-blogger. what EXACTLY did you predict? Please use the comments to add your links.

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