Predictions for 2022
This is the fifth year I’ve published predictions for the year. Each year, I learn something new about the predictions I make and am typically humbled by my inability to see into the near future — especially on political matters (good thing I left that career track!).
Here are 5 predictions for 2022:
Build Back Still Pretty Good
Biden’s Build Back Beter Reconciliation Policy may be dead for now, but I don’t see it being dead for good. It won’t be $1.75 trillion, but I expect more limited scope legislation of at least $700 billion to pass in the first quarter of the year. As commentators like Matt Yglesias have noted, there should be plenty of room for a deal on energy and social safety net provisions.
Boom Times for Instant Delivery
You’ve probably heard of Instacart, which will delivery you groceries in an hour or less. There are bunch of newer players that are looking to change the game, similar to how Amazon upended e-commerce with free two-day delivery. GoPuff and Chicago startup Foxtrot promise deliveries in 30 minutes; Getir, Buyk, and Jokr are aiming for even quicker — in 15 minutes or less (as I write this, the Getir app is quoting me delivery 9 minutes).
Over the last two years, many more folks have tried out ordering food and groceries online as a result of the pandemic. These folks are now primed to utilize these newer and even quicker competitors. By the end of the year, some of these service names will become almost as ubiquitous in cities as Uber and Lyft became a few years back. The value prop is interesting and strong, (particularly at first when you get a bunch of sign-up discounts). This is especially true in areas that are dense but don’t have as many walkable shopping options (in Chicago I’m thinking West Humboldt Park and Hermosa as a couple of examples). Not sure I buy the long-term vision of how they will operate profitably, but I didn’t think Snapchat would stick around either so what do I know.
At the end of the year, I’ll poll my city-dwelling colleagues and predict at least half will have used one of these services during the year (up from none today).
The Tesla Model 3/Y Will Be the Best Selling Car or SUV Platform in the United States
Although Americans are increasingly buying SUVs instead of sedans, Tesla will buck the trend with its Model 3/Y platform (their sales numbers get reported together), which I expect will outsell all other SUV and Sedan models in 2022 (the Toyota Rav 4 is currently tops). The company has ramped production significantly over the last year and has weathered supply chain shortages better than most automakers. I think Tesla will achieve this despite the fact that Teslas no longer qualify for the largest available tax credit in the US.
Federal Regulation of Tech
Between the growing concerns that numerous stakeholders have from across the political spectrum and the Frances Haugen testimony, I think that tech regulation of some form will happen in 2022. I don’t actually fare well when it comes to predicting national politics, so take it with a grain of salt, but I actually think the differing partisan viewpoints on what should be done may actually end up leading to something less comprehensive, but bipartisan/actually passed.
The Meta Quest 2 will be the Best Selling Game Console in the US
While I think VR is still a long ways away from being a mainstream item, the Meta (formerly Facebook, formerly Oculus) did sell 10 million units in 2021. Able to engage a different and wider swath of consumers than the traditional consoles (much like the Nintendo Wii a decade ago). I haven’t picked one up personally, but reliable sources tell me it’s fun, easy to use, and that developers are making money on the games for the Quest 2 (a critical piece). I think this product will help consolidate Meta as the go-to VR set manufacturer, in addition to coming in at the top of console sales.
So there you have it: reconciliation legislation, instant delivery goes wild, the Tesla Model 3 and the Meta Quest 2 beat the competition, and federal tech regulation. I’ll follow up at the end of the year and recap how I end up faring.