No, Charlie Wilson didn't say the Apple Watch would flop, but...

As I posted this morning, VC guy Charlie Wilson had some predictions for 2015, and one of them pertained to the Apple Watch:

Another market where the reality will not live up to the hype is wearables. The Apple Watch will not be the homerun product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been. Not everyone will want to wear a computer on their wrist. Eventually, this market will be realized as the personal mesh/personal cloud, but the focus on wearables will be a bit of a headfake and take up a lot of time, energy, and money in 2015 with not a lot of results.

Unbeknownst to me, but unsurprisingly, Business Insider, “a domain name on the internet”, as Marco hilariously puts it, had spotted this as well, framing it with the headline:

“The Apple Watch Is Going To Be A (Relative) Flop, Top Startup Investor Says”


Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson is known for having backed huge companies like Twitter, Zynga, and Indeed at very early stages.

On Thursday, he posted a series of predictions for 2015.

One of them is that Apple's first new product line in years, the Apple Watch, is going to be a flop.

Wilson writes: “Another market where the reality will not live up to the hype is wearables. The Apple Watch will not be the home-run product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been.

It seems the word "flop” hit a nerve on Twitter, with Wilson and others annoyed to say the least about that specific word:


I get that Wilson and Twitter are defining “flop” as “total failure”, but the market and the media do not. The movie “Waterworld” was dubbed a flop, a flop that opened at number one, that made $85 million domestically, and then made $175 million internationally. However, market and media expectations based on the movie's huge and frequently mentioned (even by today's standards) budget, its marketing costs, and non-stop pre-release hype, meant that any box office numbers short of covering production costs on the first weekend would infer that the movie had flopped, and despite eventually breaking even (i.e. not a total failure), to this day we all think Waterworld was a flop. So…ok, Wilson didn't say flop, he just lay down the groundwork for the Apple Watch being a flop. If “the focus on wearables” doesn't net a “lot of results” in 2015 and wearables aren't a “market” that will be “realized” until some point post-2015, then you don't have an environment where Apple Watch sales meet market and media expectations. In otherwords you have what Business Insider likes to call a flop.