Predictions 2023: How’d I Do?

Not as well as last year, I’m afraid. I blame Twitter.

John Battelle

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Well that was one hell of a year.

As I do each December, it’s time to grade my own homework. And the past twelve months certainly started out well. But unless a certain fascistic presidential candidate has a change of heart in the next few days (he won’t), I’m afraid I didn’t break .500 this year (last year I was smokin’ hot, I must say).

In any case, let’s get to it. Here’s a review of what I predicted, and my take on how it turned out.

  1. ChatGPT finds a business model. Remember, this prediction came just six weeks post-launch, and given the company’s servers were melting from demand, there was a lot of speculation around whether OpenAI would or even could stand up reliable revenue streams. The company was being compared to early versions of Netscape, Google, and Facebook — and none of those breakouts had real business models in their first year. But OpenAI did in fact find its business model — selling its services to Microsoft, naturally, but also to millions of individual developers and consumers. While profitability is still over the horizon, OpenAI did become — as far as I can tell — the fastest business to a billion-dollar run rate in the history of the Internet. Not bad for year one, even with the goat rodeo at the end

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John Battelle

A Founder of The Recount, NewCo, Federated Media, sovrn Holdings, Web 2 Summit, Wired, Industry Standard; writer on Media, Technology, Culture, Business