Beware of smart guys bearing predictions, even (maybe especially) when it comes to propositions as can't-miss as the wireless Web, current darling of smart guys everywhere. MicroStrategy Inc. CEO Michael J. Saylor came by Business Week a few months back to explain how his company's wireless information and e-commerce portal Strategy.com could bring in $10 billion in annual revenue by 2010, justifying a market cap that briefly flirted with $30 billion. Saylor had a three-step guide on a flip chart and everything(!). By 2010, he said, U.S. consumer spending will be $11 trillion annually. Assume wireless e-commerce claims one-third of that. Then assume 25% of those transactions happen via Strategy.com. Then assume MicroStrategy claims a 1.1% commission. Voila: $10 billion. Pay the man. And the market did, for a while anyway. (Now, after some unpleasantness with its accounting, MicroStrategy is worth $2.6 billion.)
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