Industry Punditry

The weathermen sure did nail the blizzard predictions for snowfall. </sarcasm>

One of the things that I’ve wondered about since my time at Kozmo.com was if anyone out there keeps the pundits honest. All the analysts who during the dot com days predicted unsustainable models would be huge or that X, Y, Z company would be huge.

You know — the people who make bold claims with the hope that eventually, they’ll be right.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day

One recent example was that ofRobert Cringely who guessed that IBM would be laying off 110k employees. IBM responded with one of the better press releases by a giant corporation:

IBM does not comment on rumors or speculation. However, we’ll make an exception when the speculation is stupid.

What’s most interesting about this is that Cringely made similar predictions in May 2007 and April 2012. He’d predicted 150k layoffs in 2007 and a 78% reduction in 2012.

In any case, all of this got me wondering if anyone has ever bothered to reality check pundit-based forecasts and predictions?  You know – the cloud blah blah blah market will be $18 trillion by 2023 or predictions about layoffs like above.

Would love to know if anyone out there actually sanity checks the pundits.  I know that there are pundit-checkers in politics but is there anyone who does this for the equity research analysts, industry analysts and tech bloggers and their claims at scale.  And how do they make money? Would love to know if there is a sustainable business model for this.

Drop a comment if you know of any.

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