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2020 Predictions 🔮

Scott Galloway@profgalloway

Published on January 24, 2020

7-min read

So, why make predictions? Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is indispensable.” The same is true for predictions — they matter for the strategy and data behind them. Predictions are useless, but scenario planning is invaluable. 

Review of 2019 Predictions

Snapchat is the walking dead and will be cut in half … again

Snap has essentially become the R&D department for Facebook, so I thought Snap was going to be roadkill because of Instagram. But 2019 brought increased awareness of the performative aspect of the gram — it’s communication from one to many, while Snap is one to one. Teens love the authenticity and lack of pressure on Snap, so the stock has doubled. I’m now rooting for Snap, since I like Snap board member Joanna Coles and think Facebook is a threat to democracy.

Tesla comes undone

Tesla’s stock has hit an all-time high, with a market cap over $100 billion. The company is valued at 4x revenue while other auto makers are valued at fractions of their revenue. The markets assign Tesla $280,000 in market cap per car produced vs. $6,000 in market cap per car produced by both Ford and GM. Scary how wrong I got this. 

A mentor of mine from when I lived in San Francisco, Paul Stephens, summarized my error: “Never bet against a company that has a great product.” He’s right, it’s a great product. I love my Tesla, and not going to the gas station is gangster, though I prefer the throttle of an internal combustion engine. The stock is dramatically overvalued. 

Sheryl Sandberg resigns, and stock is up $50 billion within 10 days of her departure

Sheryl Sandberg wins the silver medal, second to Zuck, for making the most money while doing the most damage to the world. Facebook’s gross negligence has resulted in an illegitimate president who is adding members to the Supreme Court who seek to erode a woman’s right to choose. Despite writing books about women’s empowerment in the workplace, Sheryl Sandberg will be remembered for damaging the commonwealth, especially women. Katie Couric was right to question Sandberg’s legacy. I spoke about this last week. Lately Sandberg is MIA from public exposure, being erased from Facebook like Trotsky from photos.

AT&T will write down Time Warner and spin it

AT&T purchased Time Warner in the hopes that phone service and content would yield a peanut butter and chocolate combination. Instead, AT&T is junking up Time Warner’s luxury product, HBO, and turning it into HBO Max. This is the equivalent of Hermès selling JanSport alongside Birkin bags.

Amazon spins AWS and becomes one of the most valuable firms in the world

If you assign Salesforce’s multiple to AWS, it’s worth more than Amazon right now. If and when they spin it, it will go up in value. Antitrust isn’t punishment, it’s oxygenation of the market. For the first time, we witnessed analysts and media begin to ruminate on the idea of a spin.

The consumer world begins to distill to a small number of mega-brands or networks (rundles)

People don’t want more choices — they want to be more confident in the choices they make. Retailers are consolidating, as the market has seen few winners: Amazon, Walmart, Lululemon, Restoration Hardware, and Warby Parker. Most overs have shed value. Specialty retailers aim to find a life raft in the form of recurring revenue, but the value proposition doesn’t go anywhere near the value proposition offered by Amazon or Restoration Hardware. Disney+ and Apple TV+ are the missing pieces at the center of the best rundles (recurring revenue bundles) of 2019. 

WeWork will be in the news for all the wrong reasons

$47 billion in long-term lease obligations with $3 billion projected revenue, scaling losses faster than revenue, yogababble, cult-like leadership, drunk investors, and an $8 billion face-saving rescue package. We’ve never seen someone register a $2.5 billion commission for losing $17 billion of other people’s money. The notion that Adam Neumann was fired? He got on the last helicopter out of Saigon. The bailout just kicked the can down the road. The company has real value that can only be recognized under the cloud cover of a restructuring (bankruptcy), which will happen in 2021. More spectacle than historic as the markets, after getting burned by Uber, did their job and shut the fire door pre-IPO.

Amazon HQ2 will be in the DC/NYC Metro Areas

When you’re 55 and the wealthiest man in the world, you are the master of no. Add to that that you’re about to be newly single — would you decide to spend 13 hours, much less 13 weeks a year, in Indianapolis? How did I know it was going to be NYC or DC? I have personal insight into midlife crises. 

Despite acting spurned, Amazon is building HQ2 in NYC, adding nearly 3,000 jobs in the New York area since they “pulled out.” At this rate Amazon will add more than the dangled 25,000 HQ2 jobs over the next 10 years. So HQ2 is, after all, NYC — minus the tax incentives. Google is bringing 20,000 jobs to NYC and asked for no subsidies. Bezos is the mother of all welfare queens. De Blasio and Cuomo’s legacy is the worst poker players in history. 

Big Four valuation will grow by Airbus + Boeing over 6 months after DOJ & FTC announcement

One of the most accretive things that can happen to an industry is antitrust regulation. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole. 

Libra is dead on arrival

A stablecoin currency is a great idea, unless it’s from a company no one trusts — Facebook.

Immunities kick in, and we make progress against the threats of technology and kleptocracy

States and nations are beginning to take action and put in place privacy protections and laws to safeguard users, workers, national security, and the tax base. 

MacKenzie Bezos marries Sheryl Sandberg, and they legally adopt Evan Spiegel

Do any of us really know if this did or didn’t happen?

Selected Predictions for 2020

        “The best way to predict the future is to make it.” — Peter Drucker

2020 is the year of health tech

Amazon experimented internally before going prime time with its most impressive and valuable business, AWS. It’s doing the same thing with healthcare. Amazon is the second-largest employer in the US and is now offering health services to its employees. Healthcare likely costs them between $3 and $4 billion per year, and using employees is Hitler in Spain, fine-tuning his war machine (note: a metaphor, not comparing anybody to Hitler).

Our time on earth is finite, and the most value-accretive firms and offerings in the future will be those that extend or enhance time. They will be time machines.

Amazon will also reduce the staggering amount of time/life being absorbed managing your own, or a loved one’s, healthcare. Caring for a child with diabetes requires an average of 192 minutes per day, which translates to 4 years of time over the next 30 years. Healthcare is ripe for disruption. Amazon will bypass $1 trillion and begin its march toward $2 trillion as the pharma and insurance sectors begin leaking value to Amazon. 

War of egos 

As nations command fewer resources due to a baby boom generation focused solely on their own financial well-being, individuals with greater agility (the wealth of small nations) and less oversight begin proxy wars against each other. First up: MBS vs. Bezos.

Democratic nominee is Bloomberg or Buttigieg

Democrats are rallying around one thing … who can beat Trump. Two things matter when removing a standing president from office: activate the base and appeal to centrists. 

Trump will activate the Democratic base. Dems will realize, per Obama’s admonition, that they need to appeal to the middle. In this economy, a sociopath beats a socialist seven days a week and twice on Sunday. Trump and Bloomberg are running Super Bowl ads. We have a reality TV president, and viewers translate what they see on TV to real life. All of America will see the ad match-up between Trump and Bloomberg. They’ll start believing that’s also a match-up for the ballot box.

The other candidates will beat each other up through Iowa and New Hampshire, with no clear leader, and show up to Super Tuesday with little money, a billionaire having purchased the best seats. It will be Super Billionaire Tuesday.

Cybersecurity firm stocks soar in 2020

The US receives more inbound cyber attacks than any other country. We’ll see a step-up in brazen attacks, especially leading up to the election. Cybersecurity stocks will be up 20-30%.

Apple up 30% on move to rundle

All the pieces in place, more than 90% of the Fortune 500 have a recurring-revenue relationship with Microsoft. Apple will launch a rundle relationship with the 100 million wealthiest people on the planet, who will get their phone, watch, listening device, laptop, music, news, and validation that they are our economy’s apostles: wealthy people who think different (innovators).

Other predictions

  • Sonos acquired, most likely by one of the Four
  • Hulu brand goes away (absorbed into Disney+)
  • Roku & Shopify make iconic acquisition
  • Tesla stock declines 50% (sorry, can’t help it)
  • Tom Petty, George Michael, and Prince tour again (hologram live performances become a thing)
  • Uber exits food delivery (sells Uber Eats)
  • Netflix stock declines 20%+ as capital floods into category; the firm makes an acquisition focused on distribution (a weakness)
  • FedEx is acquired
  • A stablecoin, eerily similar to Libra, is introduced by a company that commands the trust Facebook lacks 
  • Mark Zuckerberg and/or Adam Neumann is criminally charged

I’ve been told by CEOs and elected officials that our predictions made them contemplate actions they hadn’t previously considered. Put another way, predictions aren’t guessing, but catalysts for thinking and action.

So, my prediction is I’ll make a greater effort to match my mood to my blessings — less anger, more appreciation. Also, that I’ll have the courage to not assume people are telepathic, and tell them I respect, admire, and love them. 

What are your predictions?

Life is so rich,



  1. Tyler says:

    What is your prediction about Tesla?

  2. Chris says:

    Would be fun (and fair) to split 2020 in two and make new predictions for the remaining 5 months.

  3. Neil Matlins says:

    I am speaking retrospectively but is astounding that most of the comments are about politicians and ideology. Follow the money people. You will have a much better shot at an effective policy response if you do.

  4. Sihem Jouini says:

    I like the content and the tone

  5. Don Mertle says:

    A friend just introduced me to your web presence. I went back to look at these predictions. Focus on the political- You seem in a financial dreamworld to imagine the Mayor Pete or Mayor Mike had any chance at nomination. Here’s a real prediction. Trump resigns as Republicans find him too great of a liability to their existence. He goes to exile in Nevis. Like your takes on Tesla, and Fedex, Apple yes a long play. 100% out of equities was my call since September. Wait for deals in real assets no PE ratios.

  6. PeterW says:

    Some additional, non-specific, predictions: 1) DTC unicorn collapse as VC-funded darlings fuel growth through increasingly expensive customer acquisition and face retail reality. 2) Big city office real estate glut as post-COVID companies realize they can actually operate just fine with a largely remote workforce and exit expensive leases. 3) Podcast ecosystem begins to look like cable television, cheaply made mass market content, niche plays, DYI (public access-like) garbage and a few HBO-like hits. 4) New respect for CPG companies; food, household cleaners, toilet paper….the stuff we actually need.

  7. Manikanta Anantula says:

    Seems like the prediction for Uber Eats is right. They are already in process. They sold its business in India to Zomato

  8. Claire Lovell says:

    Hi Scott – I saw your prediction about stablecoins on your livestream. Coinbase already has a stablecoin in partnership with Circle, called USDC. Gemini has one as well and it has the blessing of regulators. Stablecoins are already out there and successful. Tether has the biggest market cap, but is facing several criminal investigations. The really killer application is putting one on a network used by billions of people. So maybe Visa comes out with one.

  9. Tony Fleming says:

    Make no little predictions!

  10. Ron Galloway says:

    Great last name!

  11. Alex Birch says:

    You were 100% right and I was 100% wrong when you suggested Bloomberg should run. I thought it’d hurt Joe, but this Burisma bullsh*t echoes of Hillary’s emails. BTW the Russians hacked Burisma’s servers so expect some WikiLeaks without Roger Stone

  12. Cole terzia says:

    I bet Palo Alto Networks gains more like 50-100% market cap this year. Companies are realizing how important security and uptime are

  13. c1ue says:

    Always entertaining. Casper not going IPO – that seems to be already wrong. Never underestimate banksters putting lipsticks on pigs? Tesla: a number of very smart people have made very specific allegations of outright accounting fraud at Tesla. 1) Interest paid on cash is extremely low (0.25% vs. 1% or more per quarter), suggesting the possibility of accounting shenanigans over cash held 2) Warranty accounting magically went from a cost to a profit center Those of us who watched Enron and Worldcom flame out – many of the same arguments were made about those companies… Politics: I note that you don’t say that B or B will beat Trump… Lastly, Amazon and health care. Disagree there. Amazon can innovate all they want, but the health care companies – insurers to pharma to hospitals – have multiple rings of defenses against intruding outsiders like the US government. Amazon won’t fare any better. How’s that Amazon Whole Foods thing going?

  14. James Clark says:

    I think a lot of these are spot, however, I can’t see Politics returning to the centre until another lurch in the opposite direction. It has the get worse before it gets better.

  15. Antoine B. says:

    China will run into major issues and wreck havoc the whole economy. That could mess up or accelerate your predictions!

  16. George Finley III says:

    My grandson forwarded your 2019 Predictions, plus your 2020 Predictions, & suggested that I subscribe – which I have now done. Like your work!

  17. MillionDollarRenovationsToAHappyHome says:

    No way, anyone is getting criminally charged. Not even a 1% chance, this is America.

  18. James says:

    Amazon enters health care by entering the Part D (drugs) insurance market. Wealthy taxpayers are penalized with a luxury tax (IRMAA) and avoid Part D. Amazon can offer an alternative and cherry pick healthy, wealthy clients (Amazon Prime members).

  19. Sritam says:

    Zomato has acquired Uber Eats in India

  20. Ron Dion says:

    “or Buttigieg” Huh?

  21. AARON says:

    I predict Warren Buffett and his team at Berkshire Hathaway make a large acquisition this year for an industrial conglomerate like either Danaher or General Electric.

  22. S Wood says:

    Would you consider adding that 2020 will see the first big stock market correction caused by a virus?

  23. James Somers says:

    I respectfully disagree with half of your assertion that the two things that count in unseating an incumbent are rallying the base and appealing to centrists. You’re right about rallying the base. But the base in the Democratic party has moved sharply left since 2016. And it’s the centrists that are the elusive part of the equation. Hillary tried your strategy. So did John Kerry. The people who upset the applecart in 2018 were people like AOC and “the squad,” who won their seats be ignoring the centrists and reaching out to disaffected working class voters. And in one way or another, that is what Warren and Sanders, the two progressives, are doing. Combining their support yields almost 50% of the electorate. Put that together with the base, and all those who have sworn to vote blue no matter who, and you have a winning formula.

    • Cohyn says:

      Sigh. Stop being so myopic. Bernie means more Trumps just as Trump meant more Bernies. The most effective way to accomplish effective progressive policy is to appeal to the center which would pacify the right even more so than the left. If you go full bore in matching Trump’s authoritarian personality in order to unseat him you will face the same wave in the next mid-terms that Trump faced in 2018. Thus, nothing gets accomplished. It is long past time that people learn that politics is an art and not of a game of conquest and total control. All this accomplishes is producing more and more authoritarian zealots. Please stop.

    • Cohyn says:

      @Cohyn Furthermore, I’d just like add as an example that I have never met a center-right moderate that wasn’t in favor of healthcare reform. There is a great wealth of voters in the center on both the left and right that don’t want Trump or Bernie in 2020 that still want to get things done and end the stagnation. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but in this instance pushing further toward change in divisive times means less will get down — not more. Meanwhile, the center has finally been shaken awake by the reality of a Trump presidency and are now willing to deal.

  24. Rick Vaughan says:

    Uh oh I left health tech for the first time in 15 years (no equity left on the table at least).

  25. Näte says:

    Might as well take your political predictions a step further. Pete will outperform in IA and NH, and gain enough momentum to edge Bloomberg on super Tuesday. At some point, he’ll pick up Cory Booker as his running mate. They will not call themselves the Killer Bs, as much as I want them to. Bloomberg will drop out and put his arsenal of staffers, money, and data to work for the Killer Bs, who will beat Trump and offer Mike the Treasury.

  26. Bob Ferdman says:

    Scott, what is your take on Reddit?

  27. Jin says:

    Can you add more color here Scott? “Netflix… the firm makes an acquisition focused on distribution (a weakness)” Doesn’t NFLX have the broadest distribution footprint among SVOD services? They’re across devices (TVs, phones, STBs, Teslas…), locations (hotels… soon airlines), and geos (190 countries internationally). and They (still) command the most leverage when it comes to obtaining placement. For example, a no-cost button on a remote control. What do you mean by distribution?

    • SomeGuy says:

      I think he means an ISP or something in the way of that. How can they control their distribution channels and squeeze others to be a part of it or held out. Similar to apple and Google maps, Android and Amazon, etc.

  28. Charles Sanders says:

    Interesting and informative; food for thought.

  29. Rishabh Gupta says:

    Love u scott

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