Monday, February 25, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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When he detects a pattern, oracle of tech sticks neck out

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Who: Mark Anderson.

Age: 50.

Where: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island.

What: An oracle of sorts for the technology economy. Publishes and edits Strategic News Service (SNS), a weekly electronic newsletter (, which he started in 1995. President of Technology Alliances Partners, a consulting company. Co-manager of Resonance Partners, a technology hedge fund, with Scott McAdams of McAdams Wright Ragen.

Cost: $495 for a one-year subscription to SNS.

Subscribers: Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Dell Chief Executive Michael Dell, fellow technology prognosticator Esther Dyson.

Circulation: "In the thousands."

Past predictions: Predicted Asian economies would collapse four months before it happened in 1997. Has correctly projected the yen-dollar ratio since 1995. Also watches who's coming and going: Said Sam Palmisano would succeed Louis Gerstner as chief executive of IBM five years ago. Also said Steve Jobs would return to run Apple Computer two years before it happened.

Biggest flub: A few years ago, predicted the U.S. would have a successful broadband DSL rollout in two years.

Current predictions: "I just predicted that Japan would go into depression. ... Hugo Chavez (president of Venezuela) will be put out of power. ... All of the money that Microsoft has made until a year ago was made as a one-platform company and now Microsoft is going to become a six-platform company."

How he does it: "It's just a matter of seeing patterns from materials that everyone else is also reading and seeing a pattern that also leaps out. Maybe that pattern is in the behavior of a CEO, or maybe it's a pattern in political parties such as the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) in Japan, or a pattern of how technology is or is not accepted in a market. You add all these things together and you stick you neck out."

Previous lives: Co-founded The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, started two software companies, started a construction business to build pole-frame houses.

This Wednesday: Anderson takes the stage for a technology keynote right after former President Clinton finishes his speech at the World Congress on Information Technology in Adelaide, Australia.


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