The Top 15 Tech Cocktail Stories of 2013

December 26, 2013

10:00 am

Although not quite finished, it’s not premature to say that 2013 has been a banner year.  Major tech IPOs, the emergence of long awaited wearable tech, major privacy leaks, Snapchat receives a $3B offer…and turns it down.

In an effort to revisit the year that was, below are the top 15 startup, entrepreneurial, and tech stories we ran on as decided by you, the reader.  Enjoy.

The Top 15 Tech Cocktail Stories of 2013

15) A Book in 5 Minutes: Summary of Dan Pink’s “To Sell is Human”

Don’t have time to read? Here’s a quick but comprehensive summary of Dan Pink’s “To Sell is Human,” released on December 31, 2012.  Read more.

14) Jason Fried Rants about Modern Web Design

“If you look at the most successful web-based software tools, designers would say they look like sh*t. Amazon looks like sh*t – a mess, right? Craiglist – mess, right? Google’s gotten a lot better – Google’s design is really quite good right now. But . . . Gmail, people don’t like Gmail. All these sites are really cluttered and a lot of designers would look at them and go, ‘This is bad.’ But there’s something to it. eBay – what a f***ing mess, right? But so successful. What’s that about?

“I think it’s a really important thing to think about. Clutter is a human thing – it feels cozy, it feels like there’s people who made this and not these artists who people can’t relate to. So I’m really personally very interested in folksy-style design these days, and I’d love to see that make more of a comeback.”  Read more.

13) The 4-Hour TV Star? Tim Ferriss On Going Primetime + Creating “F*cking Amazing” Products

In the six+ years since publishing The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss’s popularity has exploded.  Not only has 4HWW spent more than four hours years on the New York Times Best Seller list, but he has since gone onto write two more NY Times Best Sellers:The 4-Hour Body, and more recently, The 4-Hour Chef.  Along the way, Ferriss has continued to grow his legend through a variety of channels: public speaking (e.g. TED talk), his blog (one the top 5,000 websites in the world), high profile interviews (Joe Rogan Experience Podcast – NSFW), random how-to videos (this how-to peel a hard boiled egg video has +4.5M views) and even an intermittent video podcast with Revision3 founder, Kevin Rose.

Now the self-proclaimed human guinea pig is taking his advanced deconstruction antics to primetime television in a series appropriately called, “The Tim Ferriss Experiment”.  Tech Cocktail catches up with Ferriss to learn more of his new show, skills he hasn’t been able to hack, his favorite startup, and how to execute a big product launch.   Read the interview here.

12) Who is Chicago’s Hottest Showcasing Startup? [Poll]

On September 26th, Tech Cocktail headed to the Windy City to showcase 14 Chicago-area startups.  The winner of the hottest showcasing startup poll would receive invitation to Tech Cocktail’s grand national startup showcase, Tech Cocktail Celebrate.  Meet the startups and find out who won here.

11) Why Our Ideas about Work and Happiness Are Backwards

Happiness researcher Shawn Achor starts off his TEDxBlomington talk, “The happy secret to better work,” with a story about a unicorn.

When his sister was five, she fell off the top of a bunk bed in the midst of an intense game of war with Achor, then seven years old. Just as she was about to erupt into tears and wake their parents, Achor quickly interrupted her: she had miraculously landed on all fours, he said, so she must be a unicorn.  Read the full post here.

10) Tiny Blog: Kevin Rose Has a New Idea That Could Revolutionize Blogging

Kevin Rose, well know web celeb, entrepreneur, and VC recently shared an interesting idea via Twitter.  It’s an idea that could revolutionize the way people blog. He named the idea Tiny Blog–a minimalistic blogging platform with an interesting twist.  Read the story here.

9) VOTE Your Favorite Startup to Pitch at Tech Cocktail Celebrate: Who is The Startup Pavilion Crowd Favorite?

In late October, we hosted Tech Cocktail Celebrate, our national startup showcase in Downtown Vegas.  Leading up to the event, one of the highly coveted showcase spots was reserved for the winner of the online poll.  Meet the startups who participated in this poll – and find out who won here.

8) Downtown Project Startup Buys 100 Teslas, Aims To Replace Your Car

Buying and maintaining a car is something many of us have been accustomed to since our sweet sixteenth birthday. But there has been a trend to go car-less and with this trend, new services like Zipcar, Uber, Lift, Sidecar and more have launched to provide options when you have no wheels. Today, the Downtown Project, the downtown Las Vegas revitalization project led by Tony Hsieh, announced it is launching Project 100. Project 100 is the code name for a complete transportation system designed to help you get rid of your car and be more connected to your neighborhood for the same cost of (average) monthly car ownership.  Read the full story here.

7) How to Get Lean Eating Butter, Bacon, & Coconut Oil; An Interview with Dave Asprey of The Bulletproof Executive

For many, regulating a healthy body composition is a lifelong battle.  Countless hours are dedicated sweating on the stairmaster in an effort to expel more calories than what is consumed.  Twenty minutes on the treadmill barely negates that afternoon bran muffin.  But unfortunately, there are no shortcuts toward getting lean.  Eat less and/or move more.  Right?

Don’t tell that to Dave Asprey, founder of the Bulletproof Executive.  After years of fighting to lose the excess fat (at 300lbs, there was fat to spare) with diet and exercise, he turned to ”biohacking”- a method of using technology to measure basic biological processes and consuming a diet body to support these functions.   Instead of calorie restriction with diet sodas and marathon training, Asprey targeted an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle that included copious consumption of butter, bacon, and coconut oil, regular meditation, and – get this – no exercise.  The result?  Asprey dropped 100 lbs.  Find out how here.

6) The Top 10 Android Games

Whatever the productive and daily uses for our Android device, there remains one constant for wasting time: playing games. Nothing beats a great mobile game to burn time on your cross-country flight, alleviate the headache at the DMV, or to take your mind off the stress of the day before bed.

There are a lot of people out there who argue that iOS is triumphant over Android when it comes to games. But once again, and you probably know what I am going to say here, the open platform on Android allows for games to hit the market instantly while iOS users have to wait for optimized versions, if they even make the cut.  Read the full list here.

5) Ecomom’s Founder and CEO Jody Sherman Passes Away

It is with deep sadness I am writing to report that the ecomom founder and CEO Jody Sherman has passed away. As reported by PandoDaily, the news on his death is pretty scarce at this point but for this post on his Facebook page by his wife:  “This is Jody’s final post, and it isn’t coming from Jody. He’s gone. This is not a bit of his wonderful twisted humor. This is sad and real and forever. He didn’t say goodbye to anyone because he knew he couldn’t. So I’m saying it for him. If you are reading this it’s because you are connected to Jody in some way. He loved you, respected you, admired you, valued your presence in his life, or felt some combination of any or all of these things. And he would want each and every one of you to know and understand exactly that. Please post anything you have to say to or about Jody here.”  Read the full story here.

4) 15 Female Entrepreneurs You Should Know About (But Probably Don’t)

Although there are noteworthy entrepreneurs across all genders, races, ethnicity, geography, etc., this post is dedicated to shining a spotlight on female entrepreneurs, as we at Tech Cocktail are proud proponents of the Change the Ratio movement.  And while it’s easy to applaud the Ariana Huffingtons, Marissa Mayers, Oprah Winfreys, Sara Blakelys, and Sheryl Sandbergs of the world, there are countless female entrepreneurs doing great things that you (likely) haven’t heard of.  This post hopes to familiarize you with just a few (well, 15 to be exact).  Read about them here.

3) Smartphones With Best Battery Life

The fact that smartphones can perform a number of completely different functions means that a lot of their specs and features are interesting to some people, but close to useless to others. For instance, while someone may appreciate a good camera and be prepared to pay quite a bit for a phone equipped with the latest in camera technology, others may find this completely redundant. There is, however, one feature of the phone that is almost equally important to every smartphone user, and that is battery life. This is why we have decided to give you a short comparison of some of the more popular models when it comes to their battery life and requirements. Read the full post here.

2) Top 10 Android Home Screen Launchers

One of the motifs I continually touch upon when it comes to Android trumping iOS is the serious lack of customization options to be found on the iOS platform. Partly due to the lack of third-party developers, and partly due to the fact that iOS forbids aesthetic changes, this week’s focus lies solely on Android home screen launchers.  Now, if you are unfamiliar with launchers, they are third-party applications that install over your stock Android home screen to give you a different look and feel. They bring boundless customization options to the table in an effort to spice up the sometimes blasé home screen: this is an app that no iOS user will ever be able to use.

If you are hesitant about taking the leap into unfamiliar territory, remember that the non-free launchers offer free trials to get your feet wet. Therefore, you can try out some different options before deciding to buy one, choose a free option, or stick with the stock Android home screen. The only potential downside to any of the free launchers is third-party ads.  Read the full list here.

1) Kanye West Said Zappos Sells “Sh*t Product”; This Is Their Awesome Response

Zappos fired back today at Kanye West, who ranted in a podcast appearance that Zappos sells “sh*t product.”  “I got into this giant argument with the head of Zappos that he’s trying to tell me what I need to focus on. Meanwhile, he sells all this sh*t product to everybody, his whole thing is based off of selling sh*t product,” said the hip hop artist, who’s engaged to Kim Kardashian. Read the full story here.

What were your favorite stories of 2013?  Let us know in the comments below.


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When Zach Davis isn't getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail's Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.

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