Opinion and commentary about Mac and iOS applications, publishing and content consumption behavior, web and cloud architectures
January 2, 2012

TRIGG: A Framework for Predictions

Quickly identifying the type of a prediction will help you either create your own list or going through others’ much easier.

There are 4 types of predictions.

  1. Truism. This category should be obvious. Already confirmed facts, sometimes in a new packaging that is supposed to make them sound new, carrying no actual value, no new or interesting information.

  2. PR-esque. There are types of roles—think C-level management—requiring people to formulate some predictions characterized mostly by unjustifiable optimistism. These predictions usually take the form of: “this is the year of our product”. Sometimes there are facts or some truth behind them, but most often these are given an unbalanced weight or emphasis compared with reality.

  3. I told you so or It was me that said this firstly. There are jobs—think analysts or journalists—that require people to throw out the most phantasmagoric predictions in the hopes that at some point in the future they’ll get any form of confirmation thus justifying their titles.

  4. Gibberish. These out of thin air predictions are formulated for making the numbers. Having 5 instead of 4, or 10 instead of 8 bullet points is more marketable.

Update: After some more thinking I’ve concluded there is a form of predictions that could be considered valuable or at least interesting.

  1. Guesstimates: a combination of historical data or experience with a dose of intuition. The trick for these not to fall either in the truism or the “I told you so” categories is that they need to hit just the right balance of data and intuition. Not too much guessing as that would easily make them phantasmagoric (or too optimistic). Nor too much data and no guessing as that would result in truisms.