Mr Cranky’s Top Tech Stories of 2012

December 28, 2012

11:00 am

What a year it’s been. We saw Facebook, the envy of all startups, fall from grace, and the Jersey-Shore-ification of hustlers, hackers, and designers.

2012 will go down as the year of the Wantrepreneur, the Pret-Angel, the Series A Crunch, and a whole bunch of whining – by me, by angels, by VCs and founders.

So here’s my 10 significant events of the year:

  1. The Passing of Steve Jobs – The quintessential tech entrepreneur and visionary, Steve Jobs passed away, and the startup world lost a true genius. (Maybe that was 2011, but we were still feeling the after-effects.)
  2. Google’s Big Announcement – The year opened up with exciting news from Google. In January, Google acquired it’s 9th user of Google+, including 3 users who weren’t Google employees.
  3. Research in Motion (RIM) – The Blackberry manufacturer announced plans to release the Blackberry 10 operating system just in time for the last Blackberry user to review the product.
  4. Apple iPhone5 Released – And the public lined up for miles to be the first in the world with the new phone. Fortunately these people had earlier-version iPhones so they could rely on a functioning mapping program to navigate them to the stores, as opposed to the navigation software that guided them into rivers, walls, trees and swimming pools on the ride home.
  5. Jersey-Shore-ification of Startups – Shark Tank, Bravo’s new TV show, “Startup,” and then all the tech blogs like this silly article and other link-bait celebrations of silliness on other blog sites like TechCrunch and Mashable. All of a sudden, a Ramen diet was as cool as Snooky going to a bar, getting stupid-drunk, punched out by a jealous rival, and puking on the bro who carried her drunk-butt home from the bar. All of a sudden, startup founders are as cool as spoiled, tacky, inane, classless, IQ-challenged, trashy brats.
  6. Facebook Went Public – And investors got poorer.
  7. The Series A Crunch – The latest rationalization scenario unfunded founders devised to shield themselves from the fact that they aren’t getting funded because their company sucks.
  8. Groupon Went Public – And quickly found that getting people to buy their stock was as difficult as getting people to come back and become repeat buyers for their coupon offerings.  Investment bankers advise them to use Living Social coupons to sell Groupon stock at a discount.
  9. Microsoft Windows 8 Tablet – Microsoft released their much-anticipated Windows 8 tablet, the Surface. Unfortunately, prospective buyers using the mapping software in their new iPhones were unable to find the Microsoft stores, and Surface sales only slightly rivaled the sales of the failed Blackberry tablet.
  10. Taco Copter – Following on the successful heels of Mobile Apps like Uber, Taco Copter announced a new flying drone taco delivery service that would hone in on smartphone GPS directions to deliver tacos. Crazy, right? Right….a hoax, yet many legitimate news organizations reported this story including Wired, the LA Times and Forward Thinking.
  11. Yahoo CEO – Taking a lesson from other troubled companies like HP, Yahoo hired a superstar female CEO Marissa Mayer. Unlike HP, Yahoo actually hired a woman who can do the job. Congratulations to Yahoo as Marissa appears to be turning that ship, as opposed to Carly Fiorina, who plowed her HP ship full speed ahead into the iceberg.

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Glen Hellman (@glehel), is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, and works for venture capitalists as a turn-around specialist. He is the Chief Entrepreneureator at Driven Forward LLC, frequently muses on his blog, Forward Thinking, and works with entrepreneurs to help them figure out what to do and get them to do it.

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