5 Predictions for 2019

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Dec 31, 2018
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

I hit about .300 on my 2018 predictions. I fall back to baseball, because saying 3 out of 10 in anything else looks like an epic fail. A few of them, like predicting Glassdoor would go public, were really close. Others, like saying virtual reality was going to hit its stride, sound really dumb a year later.

That said, predictions are fun, and as the clock strikes midnight on a new year, they’re pretty much mandatory for bloggers. So, here goes:

  • ZipRecruiter goes IPO. 2018 was a big year for ZipRecruiter. It raised a bunch of money, added some big names to its board and went full on AI with an eye toward the future. Those alone would be signs of going public, but additional stress of competing with the likes of Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook make an IPO a foregone conclusion. I originally wanted to predict Facebook would acquire Zip, but its recent headaches gave me pause. Wall Street it is.
  • Slack gets acquired. OK, Slack is already scheduled to go IPO next year, which makes an acquisition prediction a little nuts. However, I still think Slack is too irresistible for someone like Google, Salesforce, or even Amazon to back up the Brinks truck in the 11th hour to snatch up the enterprise messaging platform. If Slack goes public, like planned, I predict it’ll be a huge IPO.
  • CEO departure. Three old school job boards all got new CEOs in 2018. Monster hired Scott Gutz. DHI, Dice’s parent, hired Art Zeile. And CareerBuilder brought in Apollo executive Irina Novoselsky to be CEO. At least one of them won’t be in that position by 2020.
  • LinkedIn wins court case against HiQ. LinkedIn doesn’t like its user profiles being scraped from its site and used by others for commercial purposes. HiQ Labs, one such company that makes a living doing just that, is in a court battle against the professional network. In a world where personal privacy is taking a front seat on the news and governments are legislating in favor of the people, LinkedIn will win its court battle and maintain control of its users. Others making their living on LinkedIn data get caught in the crossfire and struggle or go under as a result of the court’s decision.
  • Microsoft acquires Upwork. Microsoft isn’t messing around when it comes to managing talent. Paying $26.2 billion for LinkedIn a couple of years ago proved that point. Gobbling up GitHub for $7.5 billion was further proof. Acquiring Upwork, arguably the best management solution for finding and managing contract workers, would complete a triumvirate of talent that would put Microsoft in a class by itself, and help solidify the future success of its Office software. A recent partnership between the two companies serves as writing on the wall for what’s coming.

You’ll notice there’s no wiggle room here. No grey areas. These are all hit-or-miss predictions, which is how predictions should be. See you back here in a year to see how I did.

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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