I know it's a tad early for 2016 predictions, but I've always prided myself on being a first mover, so here goes (Note: I've selected several major categories and predicted some bold, and even bolder, occurrences in each.
BUSINESS AND SCIENCE
1.) Bold: Thanks to back-to-back hatchet movies and still more kiss-and-tell books to come, Steve Jobs ends up being remembered not as Silicon Valley's Superman but, rather, as some diabolical mix of Lance Armstrong and Lex Luthor.
2.) Bolder: In one of his final acts as president, Barack Obama will issue a full pardon to Bernie Madoff and name him head of the SEC.
3.) Bold: The banner ad will die. Poor ROI, ad-blocking, and consumers' overall taste for intrusive, useless content will give way to native ads. As a result, look for the lines to continue to blur between editorial and advertising.
4.) Bolder: Apple's new iNoseRing, launched smack dab in the middle of flu season, will tank after only three months on the market. Heads, noses, ears, and other appendages will be sliced off as Apple management assures such a disaster will never again occur.
5.) Bold: Google will buy Twitter. Twitter's business model is a disaster and if anyone can monetize Twitter, it'll be Google.
6.) Bolder: In a rather obvious nod to political correctness, scientists worldwide agree to begin describing Jupiter and Neptune as plus-sized planets. At the same time, the use of the word "dwarf" in describing smallish stars and other celestial matter is shelved and replaced by the descriptor "little stuff."
7.) Bold: Roger Goodall will resign as NFL Commissioner. The NFL will admit to years of cover-ups and pay astronomical settlement fees. That said, the sport will continue to flourish.
8.) Bolder: The average starting pitcher in the Major Leagues is officially limited to throwing only three innings (or 60 pitches). The MLB decision is described as a win-win-lose since teams and their pitchers will benefit from dramatically lengthened careers. Unfortunately, fans who decide to leave their seats for a few minutes to buy a beer and hot dog may very well miss seeing their favorite pitcher work his magic.
9.) Bold: TV ratings for the 2016 Olympics will hit all-time lows, forcing the governing bodies and future host cities to reconsider the entire value proposition.
10.) Bolder: Tiger Woods will announce that he's a woman trapped inside a man's body, undergo surgery, join the LPGA and win the grand slam of women's golf.
11.) Bold: A 21st century version of Muhammad Ali will rise out of nowhere and make professional boxing relevant again.
12.) Bolder: Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will be caught hacking into the computer systems of Sony Entertainment, the C.I.A., and the government of China. Belichick will scoff at the charges by saying, "A coach can never have too much data."
POLITICS & ENTERTAINMENT
13.) Bold: Plus-sized TV fans everywhere will rejoice when The History Channel and NBC launch reality shows entitled, "The Biggest Gainer" and "Extreme Weight Gain." Both shows will be co-sponsored by Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and White Castle.
14.) Bolder: Donald Trump drops out of the Republican race after being drubbed in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively. He quickly rebounds, though, and breaks ground for The Trump Kremlin, saying, "I have just the right people who know how to do these things."
15.) Bold: Hillary Clinton is badly beaten by Carly Fiorina in the 2016 presidential election but, in a startling move, becomes lead spokesperson for iPhone. "Who better than me to talk about this product's amazing capabilities," asks Hill in her very first TV spot.
16.) Bolder: Disney builds a theme park in Manhattan, and is overjoyed to learn that Homeless Land quickly becomes the number one visitor destination (Note: One tourist from Lawrence, Kansas, proclaims, "Gosh, I've always wanted to see, and meet, a New York homeless person. I can now tick it off my bucket list."). At the same, Disney boasts it has singlehandedly solved NYC's two biggest problems: What to do with the homeless AND how to find them jobs.
16A.) The editors at Inc.com ask Steve Cody to stop writing prediction columns. Bold, bolder, or just plain smart?