In my previous life just 10 short months ago, I made some predictions about our industry in 2008.  This is back when I earned a great salary, enjoyed great benefits, and was referred to regularly as christ (ChrisT was my alias — it made for quite the icebreaker with MS executives).

Anyway, since I've never been one to be shy about confronting the truth ;-), here is the review with my commentary.

1) Tech proves to be resilient compared to the rest of the world economy — other areas of the world economy will suffer, but companies continue to make technology investments in both marketing and infrastructure.

CT — This bust has been deeper than I (or just about anyone else) anticipated.  And although tech is healthy relative to other industries, as I write this YTD we have the following tally — GOOG -55%, MSFT -46%, AAPL -55%, YHOO -44%.  Relative to Nasdaq -41% and the DJIA -35%, tech has been hit harder.  From a scale of 1 (epic fail) to 10 (absolutely happened as I thought), I give myself a 3.

2) Facebook overtakes MySpace as the premier social network destination — improvements in the Facebook API and the comparatively strong user experience will push Facebook over the edge.

Not sure if Facebook has overcome MySpace yet, but this article and the 140M users make me believe that Facebook is certainly succeeding where MySpace is not.  Not to mention the fact that Facebook is as engaging as Google.  My rating: 8.5

3) Paradoxically, Facebook will have problems appealing to older generations — I don't think 2008 is the tipping point for boomers & older demographics necessary to truly take Facebook mainstream.  Maybe 2009.  Naturally the Facebook user growth rate will slow but most folks in the tech press will make this out to be an execution problem that Facebook management will need to solve.  What can I say… it sucks to deal with the law of large numbers.

Facebook's fastest growing demographic is people over 25… but how much older?  I'm finding more and more old friends from high school on Facebook, but are my parents?  Not yet.  It's coming.  I think I got the spirit of this one correct… so I'll give myself a 7.

4) We'll see a handful of great success stories from startups that use utility computing models — I know a lot of you startup folks are using AWS in a variety of great applications, but this is the year that the utility computing model goes more mainstream.  You should know that we're paying attention. 😉

I may have been a little early on this one… or perhaps people don't think of utiliting computing as a major enabler.  Folks at Amazon probably need to do a better job of highlighting success stories.  The area is going to get a lot more crowded.  I give myself a 4 because a number of great companies have been started… we just don't know so much about them.

5) China will fascinate us with the 2008 Olympics — I became a believer after visiting last January.  The Olympics will give people around the world an opportunity to learn more about what is happening there.  Hopefully we'll be able to bring it to you 😉

This was a no-brainer prediction.  China knows how to put on a show.  I give myself a 10 but this one admittedly wasn't hard.

6) The term "Web 2.0" will become dated — Web 2.0 has had a good run, but it's coming to an end.  Early money is on Web 3.0 as being the new term but in my humble opinion, that is lame.  We shall see.

This hasn't exactly happened yet, although I increasingly feel stupid using the term.  My rating: 3.5 but it's coming.  My early detector was on.

7) Designers increasingly become first class citizens in the web development world — Not an altogether bold prediction here, but we're in the middle of a megatrend around user experience that probably has another four or five years at minimum.  Big advances in this area continue.

Interactive and UI designers, perhaps.  Good, streamlined Web UI trumps the best back-end web development in my view.  The UX megatrend has legs but will play out for awhile.  My rating: 6.

and finally….

8) The "Echo Boom" begins — Startups will heat up significantly in 2008.  Look around at all the web innovation sponsored by the major tech companies — Silverlight, AIR, Google's Android, Windows Mobile, the iPhone SDK, Sharepoint, Facebook, OpenSocial, Amazon Web Services, Windows Live, etc.

Arguably, startups heated up a little then began to peter out a bit with the financial crisis.  That said, this is a great time to start a business or invest in a business.  And I think that entrepreneurship will become popular again as we all seek legitimate ways to revive the economy.  All of the platforms listed above still represent great opportunities.  Self assessment: 5.

Overall, that's 47 points out of 8 predictions… for an average of just under 6.  Not bad.  Agree or disagree with my self-assessment?  Let me know.

I can do better.  I will do better for 2009… which I'll post next week.