Microsoft Will Buy Twitter, Adobe to Buy Picnik, and Other Bold Predictions for 2010
It wasn’t so much the predictions as the discussion that was most interesting at last night’s annual predictions dinner, organized by the Washington Technology Industry Association. Will Twitter be acquired in 2010, and why? Who will have the dominant cloud computing platform in the next couple of years? What kind of startup are you looking to build or finance, and which areas are you staying away from?
A panel of Seattle-area tech entrepreneurs and investors gamely took the bait and had some lively exchanges over the course of an hour. OK, these guys all know each other, and we’ll take what they say with a grain of salt since it’s a public forum—but here were some of the most interesting points they made. (You can read more comprehensive recaps of the panel on Brier Dudley’s blog at the Seattle Times, and soon on TechFlash by moderator John Cook.)
The panel was split 3 to 2, with the narrow majority guessing Twitter will get bought next year. Andy Sack of seed-stage fund Founder’s Co-op predicted Twitter will make more money than Facebook in 2010 (surprising, given the current disparity in the other direction). Glenn Kelman, the CEO of Redfin, an online real estate firm, said Twitter should charge for search (as it has begun to do in partnerships with Google and Bing). Kelly Smith from Curious Office and the startup Pressplane argued that Twitter could be “absorbed by a big company,” but “it’s going to go nowhere.” By the end of the evening, Sack was predicting that Microsoft would buy Twitter next year.
There was a consensus that 2010 could be a big year for acquisitions. Bill Bryant of Draper Fisher Jurvetson boldly predicted that Amazon will buy Netflix, Blockbuster, and Hulu, while opening brick and mortar “Amazon media stores.” Greg Gottesman from Madrona Venture Group said Cisco might buy EMC (for VMware) and Seattle-based F5 Networks, while Microsoft might buy Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone. Sack predicted Adobe would pick up Seattle photo-editing startup Picnik. Rupert Murdoch (News Corp.) would buy Seattle’s Cheezburger Network, and someone would buy Redfin.
Looking back on 2009 for a minute, the big deals that were questioned by the panel included Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture (Gottesman said it just didn’t make sense strategically) and … Next Page »