Episode 0009 · January 5, 2023

The podcast about what to do next.

Predictions 2023

Rich and Paul come back to the office after the holidays just full of predictions for tech, politics, and the economy.



Paul Ford: Rich, how were your holidays?

Rich Ziade: They were pretty good, they were pretty good. Um, relaxing. Lots of family over Christmas dinner. It was quite lovely. Um, but really hunkered down and kind of chilled out. Kids were sick. Everybody was sick. I think I gave it to everyone, but-

Paul Ford: We came over for Christmas dinner. It was, it was fantastic.

Rich Ziade: It was very nice to have you.

Paul Ford: Thanks for having me.

Rich Ziade: It was a very filled house. It was like 20 something people.

Paul Ford: It’s fun to be the Irish, mostly Irish family in the giant Lebanese household.

Rich Ziade: It’s just very loud all around you.

Paul Ford: Yeah, the food’s really good [chuckles].

Rich Ziade: The food’s wonderful.

Paul Ford: You know everybody, everybody is just kinda, I, I don’t know-

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: We’re, you’re all used to us and we’re used to you. It’s really nice.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: So, okay, here we are, it’s 2023.

Rich Ziade: Happy new year.

Paul Ford: Happy New Year. Ziade Ford Advisors our podcast is, is still very new. We’re getting moving.

Rich Ziade: Yep.

Paul Ford: And, uh, let’s make some predictions. Let’s help people get their years started off right.

Rich Ziade: Alright, let’s do it!


Rich Ziade: [00:01:00] I’ll take tech.

Paul Ford: All right. Where, where is it gonna go?

Rich Ziade: Uh, I think in the, we’ve been seeing this heading in this direction for a while, but I think we are going to see quality over quantity really take hold this year.

Paul Ford: Give me an example.

Rich Ziade: The world is filled with very short, brief snippets, like little Cheeto bites of content. That’s what has fueled and funded the web for so long. And I think, uh, I think, uh, that is starting to exhaust everyone. So that’s one narrative.

Paul Ford: Well I-

Rich Ziade: You can see it.

Paul Ford: Right-

Rich Ziade: You can feel it.

Paul Ford: This is my take on Twitter, it’s not that Elon [00:02:00] Musk will wreck Twitter. I mean, he actually has more than I thought he would. Um, it’s that the fever kind of broke and, and then when you go and you look at something else and you’re like, Ugh, God, I just gotta get off this site, and then you come back and you’re like, it’s like when you-

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: It’s like when you eat like a, like a bad bodega fried pie after like two, you know, it’s been like five years. 

Rich Ziade: What is in that pie? Like minced meat?

Paul Ford: Fried, just fried. No, like a fried apple pie.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: You know they have like the sugar glazing.

Rich Ziade: That thing is pretty good.

Paul Ford: It is, it is, but, but it’s also, you taste it and you’re like, this is not apple. Like, I remember this as being kind of a, you know, it has no flavor.

Rich Ziade: Oh no, no.

Paul Ford: It’s just, it’s just a-

Rich Ziade: It’s layers of fat and sugar and butter.

Paul Ford: It’s just caloric blast, right?

Rich Ziade: It’s a caloric blast.

Paul Ford: It doesn’t have flavor or variety or-

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And, and so, and it’s been five years and when you go away from Twitter for like five minutes, you come back, you’re like, God it just everybody just seems so unhappy.

Rich Ziade: And, and I think the, the [00:03:00] consumption, uh, patterns are changing. I think people are, um, gravitating back towards, uh, deeper, more carefully crafted stuff. And you’re seeing that like, like why would, um, a Substack succeed? It’s not because the-

Paul Ford: In a certain cohort, I, I, TikTok is bigger than everything we’ve ever imagined.

Rich Ziade: TikTok is bigger than everything we ever imagined. But even for TikTok, I would say eventually, here’s the thing, I think that’s happened with tech, and I’m gonna go on a tangent for a brief second here.

Paul Ford: Nobody can, it’s a prediction, you can say whatever you want.

Rich Ziade: Here’s the thing with tech, um, the way tech has been, optimized over the last 10 years, it’s very generational. It like it’s lame to the next generation, always. Like even Instagram, which found Facebook lame is now looking lame too, it looks like brunch in New York City. [00:04:00] That’s all it is.

Paul Ford: It doesn’t help when they do the promoted like belly fat ads in the middle of the stream, right?

Rich Ziade: It’s terrible, like it’s just terrible. And so I think all of these things, all the, all of these things have expiration dates, frankly. Uh, but, but I do think that there is a return there is going to continue to be value in, um, something that, isn’t trying to get you, isn’t trying to manipulate you, is actually trying to inform and entertain you that has some craft put into it. Um, to me the, the real sort of survivor of the internet and has barreled through and will come back out on top again if it’s not already on top, is HBO. But the power of their content and their, their willingness to kind of stick to quality, um, has allowed them, with frankly, I, I don’t know the budgets, but I have to imagine they [00:05:00] spend a lot less than Netflix or some of the other big players has allowed them to just barrel through and still get you to pay 10 bucks a month.

Rich Ziade: And the reason for that isn’t because of 18 second videos. It is because some of their series take a year and a half before the next season shows up. They just are absolutely committed to the creative, uh, side of things.

Rich Ziade: Like I think people are overwhelmed. They’re looking. For, I think curation is gonna, is gonna make a big comeback because people need help.

Rich Ziade: It doesn’t help me when Spotify pummels me with 30,000 songs telling me, check out this stuff. It doesn’t help me.

Paul Ford: Let me throw this back to you.

Rich Ziade: Less is more. That’s my prediction in tech for 2023.

Paul Ford: Let me throw this back to you. Culture is not a database. It looks like a database to a database engineer.

Rich Ziade: Bless his heart or her heart.

Paul Ford: Yes. The, so when people interact with culture, they don’t just want to get search engine results-

Rich Ziade: That’s right.

Paul Ford: So they go to forums and [00:06:00] they talk on the forums,

Rich Ziade: Yes.

Paul Ford: And they go other places. And then what happens is giant technology companies were like, “no, we – you need to do that over here because, we’ll, we’ll make it easier and free”.

Rich Ziade: That’s right. 

Paul Ford: And, but they weren’t able to deliver the value, they weren’t able to deliver the community and the connection.

Rich Ziade: That’s because they sought scale.

Paul Ford: That’s right.

Rich Ziade: Right, and they needed scale because it was ad driven and nothing against ad driven, but you needed scale, right?

Paul Ford: But you can’t have those communities. And so as people grow in, in their lives, they get into things.

Rich Ziade: Yes.

Paul Ford: And so suddenly they need those communities. You’re into headphones. I’m into modular synthesizers.

Rich Ziade: Yup.

Paul Ford: Two nerdy-

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: middle-aged dad kind of things to be into. Right?

Rich Ziade: Yup.

Paul Ford: And we’re not gonna, I’m not gonna find what I need on Google or Facebook. Some of it’s on Facebook. Some of it’s, sure, there’s groups, but it’s one of many places that’s not the community.

Rich Ziade: You’re seeking out less noise and you’re seeking out more, um, signal and better signal. And, and I think more and more people are realizing they need it. People are exhausted. I [00:07:00] even young people, I think are finding it. It’s, it’s fun to kind of do that and just scroll mindlessly for a bit, but I think you’re still seeking — it’s gonna become cool to show off the book you just read, again.

Paul Ford: Alright. That’s a hell of an accomplishment if, uh, we get there in 2023, but, alright let’s try-

Rich Ziade: I, I don’t know if it’s a 2023 thing. I, this is my prediction for the next four years. We don’t have to do this podcast next year. Okay?

Rich Ziade: Okay good [chuckles]. That’s nice. I’m gonna put that on the calendar. 

Rich Ziade: Paul tell me what you– give me a prediction.


Paul Ford: I’ll take politics.

Rich Ziade: Oh boy…

Paul Ford: It’s a pretty simple one. I think we’re entering a new phase of gridlock in America.

Rich Ziade: Oh, [chuckles]. That’s not much of a prediction, but, okay…

Paul Ford: Yeah, no, I mean, you know, the Republicans have the house, but they don’t have a huge majority. The the speaker is now fighting with it. They’re kind of fighting amongst themselves. The Democrats have new leadership, and Biden is this sort of like calm, stable, administrator.

Rich Ziade: Mm-hmm.

Paul Ford: And so for whatever people might think of him. And so, uh, the [00:08:00] drama is way down and people are gonna try to cook up new drama, but there is no engine like Trump and– I just don’t think that Trump can get back in. He did his digital playing cards and he like,

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: is kind of announced his, his new campaign. Maybe he can, he went it first, but he’s looking kind of old and tired. So I-

Rich Ziade: Do you think people are tired?

Paul Ford: Yes.

Rich Ziade: Okay. So you think part of this isn’t just politicians chilling out. It’s just the game, and I think this goes back to my point around tech is you can only play that trick so many times. And I think people are tired.

Paul Ford: Humans don’t care, right? They wanna just, they wanna buy a TV at a store and, and it should be a really good TV.

Rich Ziade: [chuckles].

Paul Ford: And then they wanna watch the shows.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: Most humans. I used to have the fantasy as a web guy that everybody wanted to create content and do things and so on. There’s very, like everybody, you know-

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: The, the tech industry in particular like has a fantasy that everybody wants to be a programmer,

Rich Ziade: Yup.

Paul Ford: and they all want to create content, [00:09:00] 

Rich Ziade: Yup.

Paul Ford: and most people don’t.

Rich Ziade: Do you think-

Paul Ford: Most people, you said something to me once you’re like, most people just want a piece of fish [chuckles].

Rich Ziade: A good piece of fish Paul is a wonderful thing.

Paul Ford: 98% of the world just would like a good piece of fish right now.

Rich Ziade: That’s fair [Laughter]. Let, so let me ask you this. I mean, your prediction are, are you saying this is a positive turn?

Paul Ford: I could go for some cob.

Rich Ziade: I think many people could.

Paul Ford: Yeah. I think collectively as a species, we, we just really would like, like I I, well, one thing the last five, six years has shown me as a manager, as a business owner, as a–

Rich Ziade: Father.

Paul Ford: As a father, as a person who’s connected to politics and relatively progressive,

Rich Ziade: Mm-hm.

Paul Ford: you can’t change another human being’s mind t just doesn’t work. They, they believe what they believe.

Rich Ziade: Mm-hm, Mm-hm, yeah.

Paul Ford: Sometimes you can budge things a little this way,

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: and that way, but you really can’t change their mind.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: And so this idea of the last seven, eight years, it’s just like we, [00:10:00] we’ve been trying to like achieve some kind of societal change,

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: through Twitter and activism and it’s like everybody’s a little fried.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, I agree with that. And, and I’m okay with this prediction for this year. I think everybody could use it. I think, um, I think people have come to see the tricks better. I believe that.

Paul Ford: Well, it’s DC there’s, there’s always an immune system where you start to like go like, well, they’re manipulating me, and then they find new ways to manipulate you.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: It is what it is.

Rich Ziade: I forget how the calendar works. Last question for you, so this year I think people announced their candidacies right?

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: To run, like to run for president.

Paul Ford: The trope was early.

Rich Ziade: Are the primaries this year? I, I don’t know what the calendar looks like.

Paul Ford: No, you start. I don’t remember. I don’t think so.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: I think like–

Rich Ziade: But people do get out there, they start to plan.

Paul Ford: Oh yeah. They do those debates with 700 Republicans. 

Rich Ziade: Yeah, do you think it’ll be less divisive?[00:11:00]

Paul Ford: No. I think it’s like anything you, you, you think it’ll calm down. As you get closer and closer to the big events,

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: it gets more and more bananas.

Rich Ziade: Do you think it’ll be less bananas than the last couple of cycles.

Paul Ford: Yeah, because we had this unusual presence.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: Imagine like, I mean, it’s literally, you know, Marjorie Taylor Green’s brain on a TV celebrity. Like it was unprecedented.

Rich Ziade: Yeah. Do you, so you think it’ll be less mud slinging at the debates and things like that?

Paul Ford: Uh, it’ll always be grizzly and horrible. You just won’t have this like, radiating set of, of situations that just make everybody miserable all the time.

Rich ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: It’ll just be awful. Like you’ll, you’ll look at your team–

Rich Ziade: Baseline awful.

Paul Ford: Yeah, you’ll look at your team and you’ll go like, “oh, I can’t believe that’s who I have to vote for”.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And then you’ll look at the other team and you’ll go, “they’ll kill everyone I love”.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Right?

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And so, and you’ll make your decision and like, we’ll, I will, I’m sure by the end of the year find lots of things to be horrified about.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: But, but at least for right now, it just feels like, you know, [00:12:00] just business as usual for a minute.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: So I just like less drama. It’s a prediction, not a goal.

Rich Ziade: It’s a little connected to mine, my prediction in tech, which is just everyone calming down and seeking out better experiences rather than more divisive, ugly experiences.


Paul Ford: Alright, I got one more for you. Let’s keep this a short podcast. Getting back into the, into the new year.

Rich Ziade: Ooh.

Paul Ford: One more, the economy. What do you think’s gonna happen with Money? 

Rich Ziade: Um, this is, this is above my pay grade. Frankly, um, I, I do–

Paul Ford: We’re self-employed. 

Rich Ziade: We’re self-employed [chuckles]. Um, I, I’ll say this, I, I think, I think the world is gonna hold onto its money a lot more as to, I don’t know, the– I hate it when people say, I think we’re gonna get into a recession. I don’t even know, I don’t know what the criteria is.

Rich Ziade: I don’t know if there is a standards body that decides that we are in one. I-

Paul Ford: It’s also the last year has been like “recession? No, yeah”. Like there’s like a, like a, a magic eight ball that just- tells us.

Rich Ziade: It’s [00:13:00] just a good time. I, I do think, look, the market’s lost. They shed, you know, X percent in, in tech, I think it’s over 50% of their value. Some companies are down 80-90%.

Rich Ziade: What does that mean? That means like the buffet, the lunch buffet is just not gonna be as exciting as it usually is. What does that mean? That means the caterer doesn’t get as much revenue. What does that mean? That means the farmers don’t get to sell as much goods or whatever. So I do think people are gonna hold on to their money more,

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: Uh, this year. Does that– I’m not, I’m no economist and so I, I’m not gonna speculate as to how that turns into a recession. I think that’s what that means. Um, is that something that you end up in the doldrums for a few months? My sense is, I hope there are some things that happen in the world that take a turn for the better. They get, gives everyone a chance to exhale and maybe loosen up and have a little more confidence in the future.

Rich Ziade: I think right now we’re sort of, [00:14:00] we’re still getting– waking up from the, the pandemic. The war in Ukraine is ongoing, so the idea of betting on like making five year bets right now just doesn’t feel really good [chuckles].

Paul Ford: Well I mean, if we, if we look at the actual chaos of the world, right? Like it’s a less disastrous winter from an energy policy point of view because climate change,

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Has got like, it’s, it’s nice out in New York City right now. Right?

Rich Ziade: Wild, it’s wild.

Paul Ford: And same in Europe.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: So, so the whole, some of the Ukraine like aftershocks are a little less profound.

Rich Ziade: I’ll go ahead and make a prediction though, cause that sounded like a cop out. I, I do think people are gonna hold onto their money more, but I think people, I think people this upcoming year will start to open up again and I don’t think we’re in for like a three year slog, is my sense.

Paul Ford: It doesn’t look that way, right? Like what if something would have, there’d have to be something a little more precipitating. And I think also there were the days where something like the tech crash could really affect the rest of the economy in a specific way.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: [00:15:00] Lots of value to value having God bless Tesla voters.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Uh, but uh, it just doesn’t, like there’s still a big old economy humming along.

Rich Ziade: And we’re, we are in the United States, so we are talking about just this juggernaut of an economy, right? Like there’s that.

Paul Ford: We just roll around in good fortune sometimes.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.


Rich Ziade: Can I, can I throw a wish in?

Paul Ford: I love wishes.

Rich Ziade: I’d love to see, uh, I’m Lebanese Lebanon has had one heck of a rough run for the last four years. Its economy is utterly cratered.

Rich Ziade: It’s politically paralyzed. It’s in a bad spot on the earth, just generally. It’s just a tricky place. I hope we get some good news of some sort out of there. I don’t know what it could be. I can’t hear, anyone tell me anymore about how resilient the Lebanese are. Everyone, Lebanese people are tired of hearing that.

Rich Ziade: Uh, hopefully we get some tangible good news in 2023.

Paul Ford: God that’s it is unfortunately completely true cause we work with lots of Lebanese people.

Rich Ziade: [00:16:00] Yeah.

Paul Ford: It’s just resilient. Resilient Lebanese

Rich Ziade: Well, the irony, well, it’s not even irony. The reality is they are, they’re extremely resilient. But still some good news would be nice.

Paul Ford: I’ll tell you what though. When you know a lot of Lebanese people and you kind of get in there, it, it’s, it’s a little, it’s a plate of scrambled eggs in there. It’s a mess, man [chuckles].

Rich Ziade: [laughter].

Paul Ford: Like, no, nobody goes through those experiences without facing some consequence,

Rich Ziade: Yeah, but let me tell you, they are delicious scrambled eggs.

Paul Ford: Oh, they’re really good. They’re, it’s just got that little sausage. Mmm.

Rich Ziade: Uh, we wish everyone, everyone is gonna have their own 2023 Paul. We just gave macro predictions about the world. Uh, very kind. We’re expecting the world to take a kinder turn, Paul. You and I are being really optimistic about, about humanity [laughter].

Paul Ford: I don’t know why…

Rich Ziade: [laughter].

Paul Ford: Like I think we just had a nice holiday, so now we’re like, oh, you know me, we’re, everything’s very like a little recession, but nothing too bad, right? [chuckles].

Rich Ziade: Maybe we do this again in a month [laughter].

Paul Ford: Oh, can you imagine at six months from now when we [00:17:00] check in, it’s someone out there listening, you don’t have to send us an email. Just keep an eye, in six months from now, you can get in touch and be like, you guys are idiots [chuckles].

Rich Ziade: Yes, but keep in touch. Let us know what you think. Tell us your predictions, and if you’ve got any questions, reach out at hello@ZiadeFord.com. And if you’re so inclined, please give us those five stars and share the– spread the word about the Ziade and Ford Advisors.

Paul Ford: Alright, let’s go.

Rich Ziade: Good luck this year, Paul. 

Paul Ford: Good luck, Richard. Bye-bye.

Rich Ziade: Bye. 

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