Episode 237
January 7, 2022

2022 Predictions: Back to the Future

“Perhaps the only difference between early adopters and late adopters is the point at which they get bored.” Today, Phillip and Brian sit down to chat about their 2022 predictions. From retail, to health, media, and trends, we predict the winners and losers of 2022. Will Costco be the biggest retail winner? Could TikTok come out on top for tech? Listen now!

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Predicting the Ecom, DTC, and Tech winners and losers of 2022

  • It’s a new year and spoiler alert…Brian still loves Costco. He’s actually banking that it becomes the biggest retail winner of 2022, whereas Phillip is rooting for GAP Brands (Old Navy, Banana Republic, Atheta)
  • Will Amazon come out as the biggest retail loser of 2022? Possibly. Everyone is feeling the effect of disinformation and it doesn’t seem to be getting better
  • Could beauty brands be leading the way in DTC this year? Phillip and Brian are thinking Harry’s and Hero Cosmetics
  • “To criticize a direct to consumer brand is to somehow intrinsically criticize its founding team and the small amount of people that work on it. That has to change.” -Phillip
  • Who will take home the gold for biggest media winner of 2022? HBO Max, Netflix, or could Youtube come out on top? 
  • “YouTube is completely untouched and maybe it should be the biggest winner of 2022.” -Phillip
  • “Here's my loser for media: None. I think media is on a trajectory. Media continues to dominate.” -Brian
  • The rise of the Aggressive Aesthetic: brands are becoming loud.  They’re starting to stand out in a sleek and bold way. 

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Phillip: [00:01:28] Hello and welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about the next generation of commerce. I'm Phillip.

Brian: [00:01:33] And I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:01:34] We are... We're back to the future, actually. So Brian, I...

Brian: [00:01:39] Back to the future. Have we used that joke yet? I don't know.

Phillip: [00:01:43] I don't think so. In 220 plus episodes, I would assume that we would have. Today we are doing our predictions episode. And Brian, you sort of chastised me and you said, "Isn't every episode a prediction episode? We're freaking called Future Commerce."

Brian: [00:02:00] {laughter} Kind of. Yeah, we could give it a little more structure, I guess. But man, I was just thinking back on the year, and we do this a lot.

Phillip: [00:02:08] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, well, we do do this a lot, and we get things right sometimes. And when we get things wrong, we don't tell anybody about it. But that's something else entirely.

Brian: [00:02:22] We can go back and look at all of our show notes and transcripts and find all the things we got wrong.

Phillip: [00:02:26] I think that we could. We have a an interesting idea for this episode, which is a little different than what we've done in years past. We kind of found a way to group things together to talk a little bit about the current state of where things are and maybe project a little bit into the future. And this could be a long episode. So kind of buckle up a little bit, but I thought we'd just run it down and just kind of forecast a bunch of areas where we think that we're going to see the future kind of move a little bit. So let's begin, shall we?

Brian: [00:02:59] Let's do it.

Phillip: [00:03:01] Our annual predictions episode. {drumroll} Ok, how about this for our 2022 Predictions episode kicking us off, Brian Lange, our biggest retail winner of 2022... What is your prediction?

Brian: [00:03:25] I want you to predict what I'm going to say right now because I think you already know the answer.

Phillip: [00:03:30] I'm going to just guess that it's Costco.

Brian: [00:03:33] Yes, it's Costco. Obviously.

Phillip: [00:03:35] My God, this is how we're starting?

Brian: [00:03:36] This is how we're starting because Costco is in a good position. It did well during the pandemic. It's continuing to grow. It's investing in technology. It's investing in just about everything.

Phillip: [00:03:51] In people.

Brian: [00:03:51] People. What can I mean, can I go wrong saying Costco is going to be a big retail winner in 2022? The answer is no.

Phillip: [00:03:59] No. You will be right every single year that you ever predict this.

Brian: [00:04:03] Every year. Yes.

Phillip: [00:04:04] That's true. I like that. I really like it. I like that prediction.

Brian: [00:04:08] What is your way less predictable for you, what's yours going to be?

Phillip: [00:04:11] Yeah. My biggest retail winner of 2022. I'm going to actually really be sad about this one if it doesn't come true. I think Gap Brands might be the biggest retail winner of 2022. If you think about the '21 that they had, like you, a lot of like you said, Costco made a lot of investments, a lot of future proofing. I think Gap Brands did just that this year. I think their partnership with Yeezy is genius and has reinvigorated the brand. Old Navy had some huge wins this last year with the Olympics and their brand partnerships with Athleta and their focus on mental health. And finally, Banana Republic had a bit of a revival, although Anna Angelique has moved on. I am bullish. I think also the mall. I don't think that... The biggest retail winner of 2022 might be the mall. I don't know. I think the mall might be coming back, but I'm...

Brian: [00:05:11] Oooooohh.

Phillip: [00:05:11] I'll tell you why when we get a little further down the list. So those are our winners. Brian...

Brian: [00:05:16] Ok, let me expand on that just a little bit. I went to the mall over the holiday season and it was so busy, maybe the busiest I have ever seen it.

Phillip: [00:05:29] Ever. Yeah.

Brian: [00:05:31] I was stunned. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:05:35] Well stay tuned because I have the same experience now, but for six plus months, so I don't know. We'll see, Omnicron notwithstanding. I think that, and we'll get there. We'll get there. Ok, so the biggest retail loser of 2022? Here's what I'm going to say.

Brian: [00:05:52] Can we say it at the same time? It's going to be the same time. It's going to be the same word.

Phillip: [00:05:57] No, it can't be. I don't think we're going to be on the same page, but you want to do it?

Brian: [00:06:00] Oh, no, no. If we're not on the same page, it's not as fun.

Phillip: [00:06:03] All right. I had in my column, biggest retail loser of 2022... I'm going to say Amazon.

Brian: [00:06:09] Oh dang it, it was going to work.

Phillip: [00:06:11] No way.

Brian: [00:06:12] Mine is Amazon. We should have done the three two one.

Phillip: [00:06:16] Here's why. I am concerned. I have concerns. AWS has gone down multiple times, which known as a rock solid service for over a decade, somehow some way you put Andy Jassy in charge, OK, you put him, he's the AWS guy for over a decade, you put him in Bezos' seat and then AWS starts to fall apart. I don't know. That's concerning. AWS can't be relied upon at this point. It's become a bit of a problem. And I think if you are a developer, there's a lot of folks who are very concerned about building on AWS right now. I don't think that, and I know that's one area of the business. It's the most profitable area of the business. And I think that that's an area of concern. Also, I hear through the grapevine... You know, I do some startup investing and I know some folks that build some really interesting software, including AI and machine learning stuff. The commercial products that both Google and Amazon have built in the machine learning space, they are kind of bargain basement off the shelf AI and machine learning tools. If you really want to build a differentiated product, you can't build it on their stack. And because of both of those things... Now I said retail loser. Because of both of those things, well, that's all the same software that powers the merchant side of the business.

Brian: [00:07:42] Right.

Phillip: [00:07:43] And [00:07:43] when you look at all the rollup activity, I think rollups, Thrasio and some others, have kind of been propping up and creating a bit of a bubble in folks that are launching direct to Amazon for a long time because there's this fast road to exit. I think all of that falls apart in 2022. I see nothing but problems for Amazon over the next year. And I think it's going to be a tough road ahead. And that's my prediction. [00:08:07] Why do you say Amazon?

Brian: [00:08:08] No, no. A lot of what you said actually, right on point. And also I think they're kind of getting to a point where you said this in a different way, but technology has caught up to Amazon and has started surpassing it. The tools available to merchants are really strong. And in the past, Amazon had a competitive advantage of having developed a lot of stuff in-house and having all the data and having all the infrastructure. Well, they've got a huge problem with shopping on their platform right now and everyone's starting to feel it. Everyone's frustrated with fakes and brands that they don't know, and trust is an issue. It's like Amazon is sort of the Facebook of shopping. It's really hard to know what's real and what's not real unless you're trained to understand it. There's a lot of people out there...

Phillip: [00:09:09] You need training in disinformation to be able to shop on Amazon, right?

Brian: [00:09:13] Which is not fun. That's not fun. That sucks. I don't want to do that. I kind of hit on this actually, not this most recent Black Friday, but the Black Friday before that.  [00:09:31]There's actually product doom scrolling, and it happens on Amazon. [00:09:35]

Phillip: [00:09:35] It's so true. Oh my gosh. You need to... {laughter} We need to... That's great. Please don't name the show title that, Kaylee. But anyway, it's so true. We got a lot to get through. I think we could probably bang on that. I will note that this is our fourth year in a row forecasting the death of Amazon. {laughter}

Brian: [00:09:56] Well not the death of Amazon. I mean, Amazon's not going to go away by any stretch of the imagination.

Phillip: [00:10:01] Obviously.

Brian: [00:10:02] But I do want to point one other thing out. Who just hit three trillion dollars? What's their name?

Phillip: [00:10:07] Apple did.

Brian: [00:10:08] Apple.

Phillip: [00:10:08] Yeah.

Brian: [00:10:08] You know who's at 2.5 billion dollars? Microsoft.

Phillip: [00:10:13] Trillion.

Brian: [00:10:14] Trillion. Sorry. You know who's at 1.7 trillion? Amazon. You know how long ago it was that they were all competing to be the first trillion dollar business? Not that long ago.

Phillip: [00:10:23] Yeah, it was like two and a half, three years ago. Yeah, it was. It was very... Yeah. It took Apple 30 years to get to a trillion, and it took them three years to get to three.

Brian: [00:10:32] Right.

Phillip: [00:10:32] And that's insane. Ok, let's just keep moving.

Brian: [00:10:37] Well, my point in saying that is Amazon's not growing as fast as the other big boys.

Phillip: [00:10:41] It's so true. Yeah, it's so true. My concern on the Apple front is I feel like a couple hard... They have to put out hardware. Apple has to put out hardware and hardware is tough. There's conversation around the self-driving car, potentially a VR thing. If those things go poorly, Apple is not a darling stock, you know, and so we'll see.

Brian: [00:11:03] Sure. Yeah, we'll get to Apple. I just was making a point. All right. Next one. Next one. Moving on.

Phillip: [00:11:08] Ok. Biggest DTC (Direct To Consumer) winner for 2022, Brian Lange...

Brian: [00:11:14] So I'm going to say roll ups, but particularly Hairy's, which Harry's, you know, obviously they've done really, really well.

Phillip: [00:11:21] The razor company?

Brian: [00:11:22] Yeah, the razor company is rolling stuff up now through Harry's Labs.

Phillip: [00:11:25] Now way. Ok.

Brian: [00:11:25] Yeah, I think Harry's has a bright future. They had the whole acquisition blocked. I think they said, "You know what? Forget that. We're going to do better on our own. We're going to figure out how to make this happen," and I think they're executing on it. I think they're doing some really interesting things. So Harry's.

Phillip: [00:11:40] Wow. I love that. I love that pick in this column. I had an interesting one. I just wrote about it in The Senses, which is our newsletter that goes out every Friday. I wrote about it because I was so pumped. Ju Rhyu, who is the Founder of Hero Brands, had an amazing Twitter thread about how they scaled Mighty Patch... They have 18 SKUs, actually, Hero Brands does, but Mighty Patch is the one you probably recognize. It's on the shelf at Target. It is a blemish patch. It is sort of like it wasn't the pioneer in the pimple patch space by any means, but it's kind of become the brand as far as pimple patches are concerned. It's sort of that like celluloid sort of pimple cover up sort of thing. They scaled that product to $100 million in an omnichannel business in the past couple of years, and I think they had such a phenomenal 2021. I think 2022 is going to be a monster year for them, and I could see some M&A activity there as well. In particular, the thing to watch out for is there are so much M&A that happens in the beauty space that people just don't pay enough attention to. Multibillion dollar acquisitions happen in beauty every single month. It's insane to me. And we don't cover beauty a lot on this show. But the few acquisitions that have gotten on our radar are the ones that are usually off of the radar. They're direct to consumer brands that have distribution through Sephora and Ulta that are making a killing online. And you have to respect the fact that, you know, the Twittersphere just isn't hype to some of them. Another good example... So anyway, Hero Brands is my pick. As a total aside, Hey Dude, which is a shoe brand that literally nobody had heard of was just acquired by Crocs for a 2.5 billion dollar valuation, which I think we had worked out to, it was based on prior year sales of something to the tune of, I think, 500 million/525 million something... Something like that. It's 5x multiple. You know, that would put a Hero Brands at a half a billion dollar valuation. Give them to next year, it could be a billion dollar valuation at the end of 2022. They might be the biggest DTC exit that we'll see in, you know, in 2022/2023 as far as like time and market. So I don't know, I am very impressed with them and they just don't get enough love on Twitter. While everyone's fawning over apparel brands, they continue to crush it. Hero Brands is my pick.

Brian: [00:14:36] Nice. I like that a lot. What's up next?

Phillip: [00:14:38] Yeah. Biggest DTC loser?

Brian: [00:14:42] Uh huh.

Phillip: [00:14:43] For 2022... I'll take the pick here. I have a joke, but I think there's probably a real answer. I had the DTC plunger company, the company that makes the $40 plunger staff. They launched last year. I don't know them. This is also something we're going to talk a lot about in 2022, which is to criticize a direct to consumer brand is to somehow intrinsically criticize its founding team and the small amount of people that work on it. And in no way am I trying to. Like that's somehow the implication here. I don't know who they are. I do not wish them any ill will. I hope that they prove me wrong. They now have distribution through Verishop and a bunch of other places that I can't imagine you wanting to buy a plunger. I hope that they're able to find a way to make it work. It's kind of a joke, but it's kind of not. I don't know who needs this. I certainly don't. Maybe staff, the company's staff is the biggest direct to consumer loser of 2022. There's probably a better pick, Brian. What do you have for the biggest DTC loser?

Brian: [00:15:52] I think there's the sort of sacrificial lamb companies that kind of came out swinging early and kind of got I mean, they already lost in many ways. I mean, they won in terms of brand recognition. But like Casper, like, I guess this is unfair of me. They've already lost. Like they've already... They've already been destroyed. Everlane. Although, you know, it's interesting. I don't know if you've been in an Everlane store recently.

Phillip: [00:16:16] I have. Yeah.

Brian: [00:16:17] It's still pretty cool. And I saw a lot of people in there. Maybe I'm off on this. But like some of those initial brands that were acquired by Walmart, I could see some of those getting shut down eventually. Like, you know, Bonobos is probably not a good example of that. But like ModCloth, I think actually I got spun back out already. So early acquisition, like early entrance into DTC that got really big, really fast without considering margin. Those types of brands I think are going to struggle. That wasn't really a single brand.

Phillip: [00:16:54] No, DTC 1.0. I like that as the pick here. You know, what's funny is because we're kind of there. Like whoever survived is now exiting and we're getting to see their their financials in the public markets. None of them are faring very well in public markets. So they've got a long road ahead of them. Yeah, I like that. DTC 1.0 is the biggest DTC loser of 2022. I saw this meme the other day and it got zero love. I don't even remember who posted it, but it was somebody who recently went shopping at Outdoor Voices. And it was the scene from The Godfather where he was like, "Look how they massacred my boy." And if you loved Outdoor Voices four or five years ago, it doesn't look like it used to. The biggest media winner of 2022... Brian, who's the biggest winner in media for 2022?

Brian: [00:17:58] HBO.

Phillip: [00:18:00] Oh, my gosh, yeah. I kind of want to change my pick. This is a brilliant pick.

Brian: [00:18:06] Yeah, I feel like HBO...

Phillip: [00:18:08] They have banger content.

Brian: [00:18:08] They have incredible content and have for years. That's the thing about HBO is the history of their catalog is stellar, and they didn't go crazy and invest in a bunch of junk. There is some junk on HBO, it's not very good, but the junk to quality ratio at HBO?

Phillip: [00:18:29] Out of any other service.

Brian: [00:18:30] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:18:30] Yeah.

Brian: [00:18:31] Our of any of the service is incredible. So and I think there's actually so much good content that they could actually, people could be dropping Netflix in favor of having HBO Max this coming year. They've also got early access to like true theater quality films that people are going to be able to watch as a part of their HBO Max subscription ahead of their release to everyone else. I just feel like the edge is there. I pick HBO.

Phillip: [00:19:06] Ok, I'm there. I'm with you. I think there's a lot to be said. I think HBO, like pretty much everything they make, is a banger. I think you're right. You know what HBO had for the longest time in New York City, where you know you walk down Sixth Avenue and you walk by a Radio City Music Hall and not too far from there on Sixth Avenue there was an HBO store, like a merch shop.

Brian: [00:19:39] Yeah, I remember that.

Phillip: [00:19:39] Did you ever go in there?

Brian: [00:19:40] I don't think I ever went in.

Phillip: [00:19:42] Especially they always had a really nice window set up when Game of Thrones was on because there was a lot of merch that people were like, really pumped about.

Brian: [00:19:50] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:19:51] When you look at how HBO executes now, especially in the like merch space, a friend of the show, Marco Marandiz and his company, Drop Party. They did a drop for Succession. And yeah, I think we see a lot more.

Brian: [00:20:07] Genius.

Phillip: [00:20:07] I love that pick. It's a brilliant pick. I have sort of a, for biggest media winner 2022, I kind of have a tie. I couldn't choose one. Netflix, I think, is the GOAT in sort of this new wave of streaming media services. It has more properties than anyone can count. So much IP. Let's not talk about Emily in Paris. That's a whole other thing. But there's a lot of IP there, and they continue to drop IP. Squid Games came out in October, which was perfectly timed. I think when you think about the fact that they also launched eCommerce and direct to consumer in 2021, I think they're poised to have a massive, massive, massive year. Yeah, a huge run up. You know, they're getting a lot of Oscar play, a lot of buzz in upcoming... We're getting ready to go into award season. I don't know if you saw any of the picks from last year. Netflix is a major contender as a studio for all the stuff. I kind of have them up there. The other one that's, you know, a little less understood is YouTube.

Brian: [00:21:36] Good one. Good choice.

Phillip: [00:21:38] Youtube is insane. There was a story that I read that was if YouTube was its own business, Youtube would have a 500 plus billion dollar valuation. Youtube has a like a bonkers amount of revenue on its own. When you look at YouTube revenue in 2020, I don't know what the '21 number was, but the the YouTube revenue is something to the tune of 20 billion dollars of revenue, 20 billion dollars of revenue on YouTube. We could be coming to an era, and I don't think that we'll get there from a government perspective anytime soon, because I don't think that the Democratic Party has the legs to do it anymore. They also don't have the mandate to do it because the ultra liberal like faction doesn't seem to be getting a whole lot of traction in the country the way that maybe they could have. So [00:22:38] I don't think the unbundling of Google and the other services happens this year or next, but YouTube could easily be spun out in the way that PayPal was spun out as like being the best, most profitable part of a given business to go be its own success and to live on its own terms. And if they did that, YouTube could be a 500 billion dollar company. [00:22:59]

Phillip: [00:22:59] Yeah.

Brian: [00:22:59] It's completely underrated. I spend an inordinate amount of time learning how to do things there and consuming content there and finding my next passion or my next hobby or side project there. It is the place where people are learning how to day trade stocks, how to get into crypto. It's creating and defining culture. I think YouTube is completely untouched and is probably maybe should be the biggest winner of 2022. All right. Biggest media loser of 2022. Brian Lange.

Brian: [00:23:34] Oh, you're first this time. I was first last time.

Phillip: [00:23:37] Ok. Two way tie. Peloton is the biggest loser of 2021. I don't think they turn that around in '22.

Brian: [00:23:50] Good one.

Phillip: [00:23:51] They started this... Have you ever seen a more catastrophic fall from grace in a single year? Peloton is now the butt of a joke. They started the year as like the it thing and the like HENRY status symbol, and somehow Peloton became the butt of a joke in a Sex and the City reboot. And their stock, forget their stock price being down, they're just plagued with issue after issue after issue. And I think the time is kind of come and passed for Peloton, and now they have years to have to rebuild. And so I think I can't identify a bigger loser.

Brian: [00:24:34] Can I give a counterpoint?

Phillip: [00:24:37] Please.

Brian: [00:24:38] Peloton's already been the butt of a joke before. When they came out with that horrible commercial they got absolutely destroyed. And I'm not saying that they had a good year. They didn't have a good year. But if you actually talk to Peloton users, they still love their Peloton, actually.

Phillip: [00:24:57] You're right.

Brian: [00:24:58] So my counterpoint would be, I'm not saying they're going to have a great year, but I don't know if... They're getting like destroyed at the moment in certain medias. Twitter, for sure. I wonder if they'll have... I wonder if there's a floor that maybe they've already hit. There's a possibility there.

Phillip: [00:25:22] Possible. Yeah, and but even dead cats bounce right? I think you have this. Apologies to cat lovers. Yeah, I like the counterpoint. My concern here is that they need to pivot to be a broad media company. Right? So the thing we'll see them do this year... I think Peloton, as a name maybe is a little bit nerdy in the bike community and they need to become something more than that. I think maybe we see them rebrand.

Brian: [00:25:52] Whoa.

Phillip: [00:25:52] I'm just going to guess it's got to be something like, Pelo. Pelo. Like they just become Pelo. Something has to change for Peloton this year in a big way, and they've got to be about more. Like they just need to pivot to be more broad media and maybe programing and launch a cable TV network and like, just go hard after being all about healthy lifestyle. I don't see how they continue on the track that they're on, and they've also proven that I don't think that they can launch new devices very well or quickly.

Brian: [00:26:26] Yeah, yeah.

Phillip: [00:26:28] That's been a real struggle for them, and they acquired Precor, and that's not gone much of anywhere for domestic manufacturing for them in the short run. They still have supply chain issues. So anyway, let's just keep moving.

Brian: [00:26:40] You had me at "Pelo." {laughter}

Phillip: [00:26:46] Pelo. {laughter} There's a show title. My other loser was a tie for me. I think Disney could be like at this inflection point. Did you watch Book of Boba Fett?

Brian: [00:26:59] No. I didn't.

Phillip: [00:27:02] It was good, but not great. And we're going to see like nine Star Wars properties launch this year. And I feel like it's either going to be extremely good or extremely bad, and I don't know if it's extremely good. Also with, I think parks are going to be challenged. They've shut down retail stores. I don't know. It could be a tough year for Disney. Yeah. And if theaters aren't making a comeback, I feel like there's, you know, they keep delaying. There may be a lot of delays and their release schedule for Marvel films. There's a lot here that could be loser ish territory. We'll see what happens. Maybe tied with Peloton for one of the bigger losers of 2022?

Brian: [00:27:52] Yes. Here's my loser. You ready? None. I think media is on a trajectory that's a winning.

Phillip: [00:28:05] Wow.

Brian: [00:28:05] It's a winner.

Phillip: [00:28:05] That's a hot take.

Brian: [00:28:06] It's a hot take. Media continues to dominate. And you might be right. There might be a little bit of a bump for Peloton. There might be a little bit of a bump for Disney, but I don't think it's that long. I don't think it's going to stick down. I believe in media.

Phillip: [00:28:28] Ok. Ok. Let's stay with you. Biggest tech winner. Tech in 2022.

Brian: [00:28:36] I mean, already Apple, right? It's already Apple. No. That's unfair. I think so if you're going to pick anyone as a big winner in tech, it's got to be Microsoft. {laughter} They're sitting at 2.5 billion. I absolutely see a...

Phillip: [00:28:58] Trillion.

Brian: [00:28:59] Oh, sorry. That's the second time. It's too big of a number. I can't in my mind around.

Phillip: [00:29:04] It's gigantic.

Brian: [00:29:04] It's so big. 2.5 trillion. I see a world in which they go over three. No problem. That seems like a no brainer to me. So, I just see them following right on the heels of Apple. They're more diversified. They've gotten more software. They've got all the things. AWS is having trouble. Azure is on its way up. All the pieces are there. They have a lot of pieces, and a lot of them are really good.

Phillip: [00:29:42] Ok, I can't disagree with you. Yeah, Microsoft has had an insane run and I can't think of anything... Like Microsoft has decided now that, you know, they took on Slack. Now they're deciding to take on Notion. They have a pipeline for taking popular business software and making it fit for the enterprise and actually making people, you know, not totally hate using it. I think gaming might be tough for them. Remember, Meta sold more Quest units than Xboxes.

Brian: [00:30:21] But gaming is just one division.

Phillip: [00:30:25] One part of it. Just one part of it. Yeah.

Brian: [00:30:26] They're super diversified.

Phillip: [00:30:29] Yeah, this is true. I like Microsoft. Ok. For me, biggest tech winner 2022, I have to pick one. I'm going to say, I'm going to go out on a limb. I'm going. I'm going nuts on this one. I'm going to say TikTok. TikTok is redefining culture. It's something that we have observed for, you know, now since 2019, so this will be our fourth year of saying this, although it was in December of 2019. But when we wrote the piece Meet CARLY, which was about the antithesis of HENRY, HENRY's alter ego where HENRY is High Earner Not Rich Yet. CARLY, as we posited, was Can't Afford Real Life Yet. And what we said is that services like TikTok are shortening the half-life of memes and actually proliferating memes as culture. And memes as culture, we've actually come full circle. Memes, you know, on TikTok actually are becoming part of the monoculture, if one can even still exist. The fact that everybody kind of was talking about No Bones Day within a week of it happening on TikTok and the whole world was talking about it, and this one pug on TikTok made such a splash. Have we ever seen anything like that since Grumpy Cat? No, we haven't. And those cultural moments just keep happening. In fact, [00:32:03] the New Year's Eve broadcast that happens every year on broadcast television, the first three songs were all by performers you'd never heard of, but you knew the song that they sang because they're songs that are on TikTok. TikTok is making media. It's making culture, and I think that it is something to contend with. And everyone is going to ruthlessly copy them coming out of '21, too. [00:32:28] We saw Cloudflare said, you know, TikTok has supplanted Google for the most trafficked domain on the internet. And I think that that's a shocking statistic. And I don't think we have any idea exactly how large that service is. I think give them enough ad revenue where every direct to consumer brand is trying to spend money right now, I think they could be the biggest tech winner of 2022. Hey, maybe TikTok will acquire Microsoft. {laughter}

Brian: [00:33:00] {laughter}

Phillip: [00:33:00] Give it a decade.

Brian: [00:33:02] I feel like that belongs in the biggest media winner category as well.

Phillip: [00:33:06] Maybe, maybe. Yeah, yeah, maybe. The biggest tech loser of 2022. I just have to say Facebook and that's with a hard stop and a paragraph mark. There's nothing more to say.

Brian: [00:33:21] I don't think I need to amend that.

Phillip: [00:33:21] I don't have anything else to say. Yeah, yeah. I think Facebook, you know, became a simp for Apple, and that's like, there's nothing you can do. Apple will exercise dominance. Facebook is bearing the brunt. They have, you know, bad press. And now Meta might be a failed launch, but the Metaverse might actually happen. But I don't know if we'll remember Facebook as being part of the reason why it will. How about you, Brian, who's the biggest tech loser of 2022?

Brian: [00:33:56] I mean, Facebook. I don't even need to... Yeah.

Phillip: [00:33:59] Ok. All right. How about this? What is your most interesting trend of the coming year?

Brian: [00:34:05] Huh? Hmm. Psychedelics get legal.

Phillip: [00:34:09] Oh, we're off weed. We're onto psychedelics. Microdosing, right?

Brian: [00:34:18] Microdosing. All of the above. I don't know if it'll be at a federal level, but there's going to start to be some state stuff that happens.

Phillip: [00:34:25] Oh yeah.

Brian: [00:34:27] And yeah, people start to trip. {laughter} No, not really. Well, maybe a little. I mean, I feel like that's been brewing for a while. Probably there's stuff I probably don't know that's already happened. It's probably already starting to get legal, but it's going to start to see real mainstream use here in 2022. That's my zaniest, most interesting trend.

Phillip: [00:38:04] It's funny because there's actually a really good example and a parallel to the THC legalization here, which is, you know, CBD being the derivative product. We've seen adaptogens and mushroom based products happening for the better part of three years now. Four Sigmatic being a brand that we have actually awarded, I think, in the past here on the show. I'm actually reminded of Zachary Siegel had a tweet a few weeks ago on basically like calling out this Rolling Stone article that said "the case for microdosing." And he said, "Isn't microdosing just called, I don't know, using drugs?" {laughter}

Brian: [00:38:49] {laughter} Yes. What about you? Most interesting trend in 2022?

Phillip: [00:38:53] Most interesting trend of 2022... I hate this. I hate this. I hate it. I really hate it. I think crypto might be the most interesting trend of 2022, and in particular, the way that crypto is going to challenge a bunch of IP laws that are in place right now that really can't be challenged because there is no means of centralization. The thing that brings me around to this point, and in particular, so I guess my pick is not crypto. My pick is IP laws as it pertains to crypto and maybe just intellectual property in general. I don't know if you know this. The copyright for Winnie the Pooh expired on January 1st.

Brian: [00:39:44] Yes.

Phillip: [00:39:45] This is like the beginning of a long decade ahead of us, of a lot of copyright and public domain transfer from properties that we all grew up with as kids and including a famous mouse. I think this could be a really interesting time for crypto law and in particular, IP law. The thing that makes me think about this is Olive Garden sent a cease and desist to the non-fungible Olive Garden project, which was a collection of NFTs that celebrated, you know, that gave everybody like faux rights to the ownership of a Olive Garden franchise or at least the NFT of such and had free breadsticks in this whole thing. Olive Garden sent a cease and desist, but the problem is is that you can't take the project off of the blockchain. It still exists. You just can't get to OpenSea because they sent OpenSea a cease and desist. And so I think that we're going to see companies that are centralization of decentralized protocols get massive and maybe even go public this year. Opensea could be one of them, but the IP laws that are cutting off the access to the decentralized versions of these otherwise intellectual property infringing projects, that's a thing that I don't think we have a solution for and may need resolution either at the state or federal level. And that gets very thorny because I don't think that we have the technology to be able to fix it.

Brian: [00:41:24] Yeah, no, it's actually... So the very next category is biggest news story of 2022 and my biggest news story of 2022 is Web3 in the mainstream. So I think IP law is part of it. I think, seeing Web3 has made a lot of Twitter circles really well and has hit certain parts of the culture. But I think this is the year where everyone in the country under knows something about Web3. They go from bitcoin to NFT. Maybe it gets called something else. I don't know exactly how it will manifest itself. Obviously, that's the future. But Web3 is going to manifest itself as the through line of 2022, and it may morph into something else. But that's my take.

Phillip: [00:42:19] Well, what was your most interesting trend of 2022?

Brian: [00:42:22] It was psychedelics get legal.

Phillip: [00:42:22] Oh yeah, that's right. Sorry, I'm on too many psychedelics. I've forgotten. And so biggest news story of 2022. I had NFTs. I think you're right. I think that that's I'm right there with you. Biggest news story of '22, I think will be NFTs. And I think it's unfortunate actually, because I think most projects are a cash grab, and we started this the last year when we talked about it. There's a lot of conversation about the art, right? And democratizing artwork. That conversation is gone, right?

Brian: [00:42:56] Right.

Phillip: [00:42:56] And the art is like this visual representation of an esoteric, you know, concept which is ownership and provenance, which that's a thing that I think is a really interesting development. I'm just, you know, we'll get to this. I'm exhausted now by everything being about crypto, Web3 and NFTs.

Brian: [00:43:26] One thing I think I do want to point out about Web3 is I do think part of that news story is going to be the environmental impact because it is...

Phillip: [00:43:35] Oh yeah. Oh gosh, yeah.

Brian: [00:43:37] Insane. And I think that like Web3 is going to have to change a lot. It's going to be a lot of backlash. There's going to be a lot of, I don't want to say like Luddite thinking, but I think what's going to happen is it actually could inspire a massive tech backlash as it continues to march on.

Phillip: [00:43:58] Potentially.

Brian: [00:43:59] Yeah, yeah, it's going to...

Phillip: [00:44:01] Yeah. We also had gas guzzler cars for, you know, a better part of three decades before laws were put into place that, you know, required innovation to have to take hold, and when you had cheap gas you were wasteful.

Brian: [00:44:14] But that did inspire a whole generation.

Phillip: [00:44:18] When energy is cheap, you're wasteful with it, right?

Brian: [00:44:21] Correct. Yes. Correct. No. And I think that's exactly what I'm getting at is like it's going to march on. It's going to continue to be a thing. It's going to be a big thing. But I think it will inspire a new generation, a new type of anti-tech thinking.

Phillip: [00:44:36] Yeah, I don't know if you... There was a story not so long ago about China committing to build or to replace every single one of its like 2500 coal fired generators in the next 30 years. But it's like they're basically going to go all in on nuclear. One hundred percent nuclear. And they're doing it for $400 billion or something ridiculous. It's like they're doing it for so cheap.

Brian: [00:45:08] Yes.

Phillip: [00:45:10] And if they have infinite energy, they're playing Risk right now, like it's, you know, Command and Conquer. They're just like stating up on energy, like they don't need that much energy, but they're just going to build it anyway. And it's like, it's crazy.

Brian: [00:45:25] I think I was better at Command and Conquer than you were.

Phillip: [00:45:28] This is not an original thought, but I think the criticism here is that, like the United States couldn't build one nuclear reactor for $400 billion dollars and to be honest with you, we wouldn't want, you know, most of America wouldn't want one new nuclear reactor, which is a problem. So, yeah, are NFT's and Web3 wasteful? Yes, but only because we have chosen to have the world's most antiquated form of energy production that continues to contribute to environmental and climate disasters. So let's keep moving.

Brian: [00:46:03] All right. Fashion trends. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:46:05] Fashion trends. This is a weird one for us. Because so much of Future Commerce touches on, especially our projects, we have these two big omnibus research pieces that come out every year. One is called Vision, and that is soon approaching. And then there's another called Nine by Nine. And we actually we wind up forecasting a lot of changes in culture and in consumer trends. And so I thought maybe we would touch on some trends. So fashion trends. The biggest fashion trend of 2022. I'll take it first. I think this comfy, cozy thing is kind of it's here. And I'll tell you how I stumbled upon it. There is again, it's TikTok. You know, there is this like trend on TikTok now about being cozy and, you know, being bundled in blankets and like leaving the house in like the warmest, fuzziest, you know, most bundled up apparel that you can even at any time of the year. I think comfy and cozy. It started with Crocs, but I think it's going to be maximalized into literally everything. We're going to see comfy, cozy aesthetics in cars. We're going to see comfy, cozy aesthetics in interior design. And yeah, I think fashion has a really, you know, it's going to lean into more oversize, more plush, more fur or faux fur, if you will. But everything is warm, comfy and cozy in 2022. That's what I think. This is a weird one for you.

Brian: [00:47:49] Doubling down on comfy, cozy, huh?

Phillip: [00:47:53] Yeah, yeah.

Brian: [00:47:54] I think there's probably...

Phillip: [00:47:56] You're the most fashionable person I know. I have to say that first.

Brian: [00:47:59] No, I'm not. That's not true.

Phillip: [00:48:00] So, your biggest fashion trend. I know it's not true. The biggest fashion trend of 2022 for you. I want to hear what you have to say about this.

Brian: [00:48:12] So actually, [00:48:13] I'm going to hearken back to the Gucci X Balenciaga ad that we saw, collab that we saw recently and the ad campaign around that. I think we get a little bit more, I'm going to call it Modern Matrix. [00:48:29]

Phillip: [00:48:30]  [00:48:30]Ok.

Brian: [00:48:31]  [00:48:33]I think I might have already called this out on an episode, but like a little bit chunkier, in a sleeker way than maybe the late nineties. But like we move from like the sort of mid nineties to like the late nineties early two thousands, so chunky trench coat. We've been so dressed down for so long, when we dress up, we want to be comfortable, but also have our tech. [00:49:00] So like Metaverse, think Metaverse like entering The Matrix.

Phillip: [00:49:05] I love this. Yeah.

Brian: [00:49:07] So like chunky watches and trench coats. But it may be with like a really street vibe to it, comfy and cool. Way cooler than it was last time around.

Phillip: [00:49:21] These things can coexist. I love that. Actually, it goes really well with my design trend. But let's go back to you. The biggest design trend of 2022. What do you see happening, Brian?

Brian: [00:49:34] So I was thinking more like graphic design and so on.

Phillip: [00:49:37] That's what I'm thinking, too.

Brian: [00:49:38] So like branding wise, obviously, this is not going to work for everyone. Jesse kind of called it in the Brands I Trust article.

Phillip: [00:49:48] Jesse Tyler, our creative director.

Brian: [00:49:50] Yes. So that's definitely an article worth reading. Go check that out on FutureCommerce.fm or subscribe and get that every week. So more organic and more natural, more homegrown things that seem like they are real, not branded, not polished. Things that are going to inspire. That someone really crafted it, genuinely crafted that thing. That it's quality as opposed to sort of the very clear cut clean lines of us millennials for so many years dominating how we do brand. Let's get funky. Let's get weird. Let's get real. Let's bring it back down to Earth. More organic, more natural.

Phillip: [00:50:47] I can't get down with that. I like myself some hand lettering. I like to see...

Brian: [00:50:53] Custom fonts.

Phillip: [00:50:53] I like to see a really like Gonzo label that has like a whole paragraph of text on it that makes me read about all of the product's benefits, you know, as I think Mrs. Myers, right? Or Ezekiel Bread.

Brian: [00:51:12] Yeah, Ezekiel Bread is better. Yeah, that's good.

Phillip: [00:51:18] Ok. For design trend, I kind of I went sort of in a similar frame of mind. I went with what I'm calling, you know, an aggressive aesthetic. And I'm thinking, 1990s X Games, right? I'm thinking metal band, you know, like these, I don't know if you remember the sort of like late nineties trend of these metal bands out of the Midwest and, you know, out of South Florida. But they all had this aggressive aesthetic. And I think when you look at brands like Liquid Death, they're differentiated because of that. And they stand out. And I think that there is a pendulum swing coming of people who don't want to... I think actually you're on... This pairs right up with your point about Balenciaga x Gucci is there was something about the sleek, pristine Gucci clean look being spray painted on by Balenciaga that gave it a vibe. And I think that the vibe actually doesn't just soften Gucci, it makes it aggressive. And so, yeah, I think this design trend of an aggressive aesthetic where things look loud and again, I'm thinking X Games. And what are some other things?

Brian: [00:53:06] Like snowboard culture. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:53:08] Yeah. Yeah, yeah, 100 percent.

Brian: [00:53:10] I dig that. I dig that a lot. I think there's going to be a trend that falls in that line. I actually really like that.

Phillip: [00:53:20] I mean, and that actually leans into the food and bev trend because, you know, food and bed for the longest time had this great like products didn't look sleek and expensive and minimalist. Like products like tried to scream at you from the shelf.

Brian: [00:53:38] The Takis Takeover. Was that your?

Phillip: [00:53:43] {laughter} The Takis Takeover. I love it. Takis. T A K I, right? We've got blue Takis now. That's a thing. But yeah, I think...

Brian: [00:53:52] Going back to dyeing our tongues blue. I like this. Food gets loud.

Phillip: [00:53:58] Exactly. I think food gets loud, and I think the aggressive aesthetic comes with it. Food has to become loud and not necessarily loud in extolling its benefits and becoming functional. I think actually it will extoll its benefits about how it doesn't do anything for you. Like, it's just fun. It just is. How about a product that just tastes good? And as like a sort of a sub trend, I think a food and bev trend, so I think that my actual trend, my prediction is the beginning of a decline in functional food and beverage. And we go back to our roots, right? We just go back to what it used to be. And this kind of actually links up nicely with the thing that made me take notice of it, which is the sobriety trend. You know, sobriety has become very cool. Somehow, I have wound up on, you know, sober TikTok, and it is very cool to be sober. And, you know, I see more posts right now about the dry January. No, try dry every day. People who have been celebrating their sober dates like very publicly. I think it's become not just a fad, it's like become a lifestyle for some people. And you look at there are companies like Lagunitas, which just put out a sparkling beverage that is not a a spiked seltzer seltzer, which was the trend a few years ago. It's actually the opposite. It's a beer brand launching a nonalcoholic seltzer that you know, has a little bit of a flavor of hops. And so it's not like nonalcoholic beer. It's just a drink. So I think the sobriety trend will see, you know, major beer and wine start to move toward ready to drink on the shelf sobriety, and not just nonalcoholic, but like just beverage. Just a beverage, you know? So those are my trends. I think those things actually go hand in hand.

Brian: [00:56:14] Yeah. I focused on... So for me, I think it would be a focus on stuff that's yummy. Like things that actually taste good. We were so, I think, enamored by what was actually, and you wrote about this in The Senses. It was like adding in and making things functional. And all of that. Why don't we just have things that tastes really good? I think that's what I actually spent a lot of my money on. Just food that tastes good. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:56:49] {laughter}

Brian: [00:56:49] I'm kind of the worst person to ask about this trend, though, because I've never gone on like a true diet. Not to say that I haven't restricted my food because I have, but I've never like held a diet other than stuff that I'm kind of intolerant of.

Phillip: [00:57:07] I feel that.

Brian: [00:57:08] So I'm really a bad person to ask when it comes to that kind of food. But maybe my flip to this is, I think, and this has already started to happen, restaurants are going to see some serious investment and there's going to be a big move back to eating out. People have been making so much food for themselves. I think they're kind of tired of it and not to say that they won't keep doing it more than they used to. But I think there's a lot of burnout right now, and as a result, eating out is going to become big. Fast food, even. Like every all eating out of the house.

Phillip: [00:57:49] You know what? There's a really interesting something that I didn't mention here, but maybe is worth mentioning is that what happens to ghost kitchens? There's a ghost kitchen like near me, which it's like just mac and cheese. But it comes out of a place that I would never go visit in person. And I wonder, is that a different kind of dining. Like it's a completely different kind of... I don't know. That's a half formed thought. Anyway, that's for free.

Brian: [00:58:25] I mean, this can't be a Future Commerce episode without having a few half baked thoughts involved.

Phillip: [00:58:30] Amen. Let's get to modern work trends. What's a modern work trend in 2022?

Brian: [00:58:41] So I do believe that we're going to continue to see flex work happen, and as a result, I think there's going to be a big investment in at-home infrastructure. So we saw some companies invest a lot in this in 2021, where they had to completely mobilize their laptops to be completely locked down and like issue all of this new gear effectively to their workforce or retool their gear to be comfortable with letting their workforce go work at home. And I'm thinking of some companies that I'm not even going to say their names that I know that did this very specifically because they had like really, really important stuff to keep locked down. But they could not have people come into the office and they probably won't in the future. They've already invested in it. The problem is, I think that a lot of workspaces, at-home workspaces, are still not very optimized for at-home work, even as it stands right now, whether it's internet or desk setup or people have been working kind of like their bedrooms or their closets or whatever it is. I could see companies, enterprise companies, investing more in providing optimized workspaces for remote workers and making remote work even better than it is. Because what's really interesting about the past almost two years now is that it's proved that remote work works. What happens if you actually start to truly optimize for remote work? I think it can get even better, and I see a lot of investment going into that.

Phillip: [01:00:24] I'm with you. Actually that I think might... I hate myself for my prediction. I think we will see VR become a modern work trend.

Brian: [01:00:36] Wow. Yes. You saying this is a big deal.

Phillip: [01:00:42] I hate myself right now. {laughter} I hate myself for it. It's a really big deal. I don't know that our listeners understand how big of a deal this is, but it took me five years to get on your train there, Brian. You know, my kids got an Oculus Quest 2 for Christmas. I tried it and I just fell over. I mean, not literally. I could not believe how far that technology has come in a consumer device that is effectively a $300 device. It is transformational, and I think that something like that... This is the iPhone. The Quest 2 is the iPhone 4. It's like the best designed version of this thing that has ever happened. It has a fully functioning everything. The App Store is great. Just everything is great, and there are already work apps available on the Oculus App Store. The problem is that most of them are just ports of websites, and that is an opportunity, right? Miro has a VR app, but it's basically just its own website. And making that native to the VR experience is something that I think will happen this year. I think modern work in VR will unlock remote teams productivity in a way that's never happened before. Now is it going to look like Facebook Horizon and everybody has an avatar and what Meta is predicting? Probably not. But I am very intrigued as to what's happening there, and I think this could a beginning.

Brian: [01:02:24] That's so good. Actually, you know who's really going to lead the charge on the Metaverse? Microsoft.

Phillip: [01:02:30] Yeah, no, you're right. I mean, HoloLens has been around for, you know, almost a decade now. Five/Six years.

Brian: [01:02:36] Microsoft Teams is actually the place where the Metaverse is really going to take hold. We need places to actually use the Metaverse, and the two places where it makes sense are work and gaming.

Phillip: [01:02:46] Yeah, you're right.

Brian: [01:02:47] There is going to be a gaming side and there's going to be the work side and work is where it really starts to take over. In fact, that leads to our next trend, which would be health development or health trend. Here's my trend. Microsoft Teams for health starts to take over. We're going to see a completely new health telehealth experiences emerge as a result of investment from enterprise players like Microsoft, not just Microsoft, but it could include billing, commerce, insurance. Things could start to streamline through a system like Microsoft Teams. I see Microsoft's investment in health being a big play. Maybe it doesn't fully come to fruition this year, but get ready, it's coming.

Phillip: [01:03:41] That's a big deal. That kind of blows my mind. For me, I saw this trend and now I'm a little bit concerned about this of course. I think biohacking and things like Neuralink are for real. And I think that this development of we've had the quantified self for, you know, 15 years now. We're seeing health data come from consumer application or consumer devices, wearables, that can predict sickness and disease like COVID. So before any actual like consumer or even biological tests can predict COVID, things like heart rate variability are a big telltale sort of leading indicator for you being sick. So I think that the next step from those wearables becoming just part of who you are is we see those things begin to become integrated. And I think that it's going to take, obviously 2022 is not the year that everyone gets their implant.

Brian: [01:05:00] This is the start.

Phillip: [01:05:02] Yeah, but it's a start. And I think we look back and we say, "Oh my gosh, like that thing happened in 2022 which set the stage." But I think biohacking is here. And NFC, near field, contactless. It's all happening now. I think it's a matter of time before actually, yeah, and again, I you know, I'm hesitant to say whether or not that's a good thing, but I think that we're only so many steps removed from that being a thing that we can all hey, like wouldn't you love to just have like an LED light as your vaccine status? That would make life so much easier. Anyway.

Brian: [01:05:46] Episode 8, baby.

Phillip: [01:05:48] I know. I know. Go back to Episode 8 and listen to a much younger Brian and Phillip talk about body data.

Brian: [01:05:55] Brian on a bad mic. That was me with my rantings about how body data is going to change the world, and I think it will. Still do.

Phillip: [01:06:02] It's still, I think it's still good. Ok, government predictions. I have the floor. I'll say it's in no way is this going to be a...

Brian: [01:06:14] Do not take our predictions and do anything with them.

Phillip: [01:06:17] I know, I know this. Yeah. But here's what I think is an interesting as far as commerce is concerned a midterm sweep happening. I think that, you know, it would be a miracle if the Republicans don't retake the House and Senate, both in the midterms. I think we're going to see a red sweep for all kinds of reasons that are beyond the scope of this show. But if that happens, I think what we see is this populist continued movement of populism in all kinds of different incarnations. Like there's populism in Florida, for sure, right? Like COVID basically doesn't exist here, but there's populism in California as well. It's totalitarianism of a different kind. It's expressed differently. And I think that what we start to see is people that just don't want that anymore. And there's even more reasons, you know, financially that start to move. And I'm not even talking about big, federal government. I'm talking at the state level. There are these moves that are happening right now that I think could really start to undo California's commerce dominance. I think, you know, its failing at the ports creates a real challenge for people. And I think you start building more modern port infrastructure elsewhere with more automation. That could be a big blow to California's economy and the next thing you know they also ended one of the few last remaining tax havens in California for building startups, which was the qualified small business stock tax incentive. And you end that, and I don't know why anyone would want to stay and build a business in California. So, you know, we're starting to see like this proliferation of not just tech, but information and health sciences move outside of that one concentrated area in the country and maybe come to other states. Those are big, big, big movements that I think California will have to reckon with. And I think that starts a California red swing beginning next year, both starting at the local level and like San Francisco, but will probably proliferate through the state over the next decade. And I don't live there and never have, but this is based on my observations.

Brian: [01:08:55] I really like that as I mean, I think I agree with you. I don't know about a red sweep, but we'll see some clips.

Phillip: [01:09:02] We'll see.

Brian: [01:09:04] But what I really think is interesting about what you're saying is I think that that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not to say that like a red sweep of California is good or bad, but seeing some distribution of tech talent out throughout the nation, I think, is actually going to be really good for the nation and it's already happened, actually. So I think some of the things you're talking about, like there was a lot of movement from the Bay Area to like Colorado, Montana.

Phillip: [01:09:37] Austin.

Brian: [01:09:38] Idaho, Austin. Yep. And so when you have people leave one area, certainly that leaves behind a certain kind of person, but it also takes a certain kind of person to another state. And so we can see I mean, we're seeing this even with Texas in the past few years, like Texas, is a purple state now, right? We could see that in some of these other places that you would never have thought would be a purple state. It could be. And so here's my prediction that everyone is going to hate. I think we could see a swing back towards, and everyone's going to hate this, moderates.

Phillip: [01:10:25] The most hated of everyone.

Brian: [01:10:27] So everyone's going to be like, Brian, everything's getting more polarized.

Phillip: [01:10:31] Pick a side, Brian.

Brian: [01:10:31] Pick a side, everything is getting bad, it's getting worse and worse. I know a few people that are going to listen to this and be like, "Brian, you are so wrong, things are getting worse and everything's splitting further apart." But I think that if we do see some distribution of people throughout the nation, all of a sudden political parties don't just cater to the strongest common, like the strongest voice. To win, you have to go get more votes and to get more votes, you have to get people from both sides of the aisle or people that sit on the fence.

Phillip: [01:11:10] You have to get very fine people from both sides to vote for you. {laughter}

Brian: [01:11:13] If there's distribution...

Phillip: [01:11:16] You didn't get the joke, but ok.

Brian: [01:11:18] I missed it. I wasn't paying attention. I'm on a roll.

Phillip: [01:11:20] If there's distribution.

Brian: [01:11:22] If there's distribution that those people are going to have to get catered to, and I think and I hope and I pray that we see a move back towards a moderate society, and I hope that the things that you just mentioned will lead towards some of that. We'll see.

Phillip: [01:11:36] Well, maybe. You know who I would love to have on the show is the United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, who I would love to come on and talk a little bit about how commerce can actually make some impacts and how federal policy and state policy can shape the way that we build our nation and how commerce can change the future. That's a bold prediction. I'd love to get her on the show.

Brian: [01:12:10] Is that your prediction? We are going to have her on this year?

Phillip: [01:12:13] That's my prediction that we will have her on this year. I literally have no way of making that happen at the moment, but we're going to try. Yeah.

Brian: [01:12:21] All right.

Phillip: [01:12:22] I would love it.

Brian: [01:12:22] Let's do it, Gina.

Phillip: [01:12:23] Yeah, listeners, you know how to do it. You know how to do it. Let's get this, let's put it into action. If you have a hookup, let us know. All right. Finally, this is it. This is the last piece. And what is my... This is my favorite episode we've done in a long, long time. Brian, what are you sick of that you hope dies a cruel death in 2022?

Brian: [01:12:48] Well, COVID, obviously.

Phillip: [01:12:52] Amen.

Brian: [01:12:53] I want COVID to not be a thing anymore. I want to see it not be a thing. I'm tired. I'm tired.

Phillip: [01:13:01] You and everybody else. Yeah, you and everybody else, brother. Yeah, you know what I am sick of? Honestly, I'm kind of sick of crypto. {laughter}

Brian: [01:13:15] Dude, I hear you and yet I'm afraid that you're going to be stuck with it for a while. Crypto...

Phillip: [01:13:24] I know. I've been tracking it for a long time, and I've been participating for, you know, now over a year. And honestly, it is absolutely something that we will all have to... It's here and it's here to stay. But honestly, the people sometimes, especially the early adopter types, really make the space really tough to participate in. And in particular, there's an incessant thing that's happening right now. And maybe crypto. I don't hope crypto dies. I guess that's the wrong thing to say. There's this idea that this current... Yeah, there's this idea that there is a one application of a blockchain can solve anything. And right now it's decentralized autonomous organizations. You know, DAOs are being used to do everything from trying to buy golf courses to perform consumer research to try to organize to own the Constitution. Someone has tried to start a DAO to apparently start their own airline. It is preposterous. And I think that this crypto urge to solve everything with whatever the current tech stack is or whatever the current it thing is, is just exhausting. And that's just tech bros. That's how they do everything is they try to solve a problem that is already solved with a technology that they're currently using, which I, you know, sometimes results in progress, but most times does not. So yeah, the other thing is let me ask you this. This is a joke trivia question for you. What is the difference between an LLC and a DAO?

Brian: [01:15:26] No, I don't know. Go ahead, tell me, what's the joke.

Phillip: [01:15:30] LLCs are legal.

Brian: [01:15:33] {laughter} There's actually a precedent.

Phillip: [01:15:36] The other thing is that with the absence of like, say, I think, Wyoming, decentralized autonomous organizations as like a recognized business entity is not a thing. And there's a lot of work to be done there. So, you know, DAOs are powerful. But I think that for the most part, they're joke memes and there's a lot of power there, but I think there's great power.

Brian: [01:16:00] I didn't get all the way through it, but I read the first half of Packy's most recent Not Boring...

Phillip: [01:16:09] Packy McCormick's Not Boring newsletter.

Brian: [01:16:10] Yeah. And I feel like there's a very distinct shift in what Packy is saying based off this most recent one, he says, "Web3 is a global real money, economic and social simulation, a digital laboratory for complex problems." Kind of seeing that it's not the answer to everything, but more of a way to work out issues and to figure out what's going on. He's like and a lot of money going into it because a lot of big problems are getting brought to light and tried to like figure them out. That I feel like that's a little different than what we've heard before. That said, I don't see that as the main narrative right now. I also have no idea of Packy's right about this.

Phillip: [01:17:06] Well, yeah, I mean, Packy doesn't know if Packy's right. You know, not to lament too much on this. I think that the fact is, is that there will come a time where the tech community gets bored and we'll move on to something else. And the consumer culture who, for whatever reason, only heard about NFTs when Melania Trump put hers out. You know, it's like they're the ones that are going to be slowly onboarding for the next four or five years onto this technology. Are they participating in DAOs? I don't know. I feel like it is a... Last thing I'll say. The first NFTs that made the news in 2021 were ones that would never be made today. The first ones that made the news were a Beeple, mosaic or like a collage. Or here's the the first tweet by Jack Dorsey that went for a million dollars. You know, you taking a screenshot of someone tweeting something mean to you and then like auctioning it off for 10 Eth cannot happen anymore.

Brian: [01:18:18] Right. Yeah.

Phillip: [01:18:19] And so NFTs evolved to something in a short period of time. I think the fatigue became very real. I think the same happens in particular with DAOs, but I think trying to solve everything with whatever is the current tech stack is the thing that I honestly just hope stops because it's not helpful.

Brian: [01:18:41] It won't though. It gets back to what we talked about on the last episode with Ingrid. The reason why all progress happens is because people get bored.

Phillip: [01:18:51] That's oh, that's so true.

Brian: [01:18:53] I mean, like literally, we just said it's Packy's newsletter is called Not Boring. Pascale called it well ahead of time. People find new things. They're like, "Oh, we can do things this way. Ok, let's see what we can do with this." And like, just like basically throw it at everything until like maybe something sticks and everyone starts to do it. And then by the time that happens, they're on to the next thing because they're bored with that technology. While everyone else kind of tries to adopt it and enterprise businesses are built around it.

Phillip: [01:19:31] It's the tech bro fascination to enterprise software pipeline that is often maligned.

Brian: [01:19:41]  [01:19:41]Perhaps the only difference between early adopters and late adopters is the point at which they get bored. [01:19:49]

Phillip: [01:19:50] Oh, this is such a good thing. I'll leave you with that. That's a great word. That's a great way to end the show. Hopefully, you're not bored. Thank you for listening to this whole thing. We have a wild year ahead of us at Future Commerce. Those are our predictions for 2022. We want to know what your predictions are. You can drop us a line at hello@FutureCommerce.fm. And hey, we're in your inbox two times a week, sometimes three. Don't tell your mom. And we slide into your inbox with some valuable information in two forms. One is called Insiders, which is a deep dive essay into all things that are touching and affecting the way that we engage in commerce and how commerce is changing the world. And the other is our newsletter called The Senses, which distills only the best and most important things that happen in the week's news in retail, eCommerce, direct to consumer, marketplaces, and sometimes crypto and all the things that you need to know in the way that we engage in the world around us. It's called The Senses and you can look forward to that. You can get all of the above, including this podcast and our show Infinite Shelf, hosted by Ingrid Milman Cordy at FutureCommerce.fm/Subscribe, that's FutureCommerce.fm/Subscribe. Thank you for listening to Future Commerce. Wow, I'm tired. Thank you for listening to Future Commerce and remember, commerce can change the world. Let's do that together. Have a wonderful 2022, Brian.

Brian: [01:21:16] Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip: [01:21:18] Here we go.

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