It has be a wonderful year in technology — a year of change, a year of disruptions, a year of disappointments and of course a year of surprises. It was also the year I was perhaps least prolific compared to earlier years. If anything 2013 was the year when I made a slow transition from contently being in rapid-write/break-news mode to a more paced and column like approach to writing. It is not to say I didn’t try and break news — did that often enough — but the longer form posts give me more satisfaction.
The ground work done in 2013 will help me prepare for a more essay/column oriented writing I want to pursue in the future. As you may (or may not) have noticed that I have started writing a column for FastCompany magazine — my first one was about the coming era of magical computing — and it has exposed me to a different tempo of organizing my thoughts, thinking through ideas and writing with a much longer term perspective.
I am picking out some of my favorite posts of 2013. I picked them because they highlighted a few major themes that emerged over past 12 months.
- Technology is being slowly embedded in all aspects of society and it is no surprise that many traditional non-tech companies are buying their way into Silicon Valley.
- The challenges of the connected future are less technical and more legislative, political and philosophical — and data is part of that future.
- We live in a data rich, almost data polluted world. In this world we are going to need the equivalent of a digital bauhuas — and experience design is going to be part of it.
- The future of media – how we create it, consume it and monetize it – is very different from our long held conceptions. What is not different: value of attention.
In no particular order my dozen picks for 2013:
- A new Babylon and the rise of the tech tycoon
- ZipCar, Google & the inevitability of the Internet.
- The new guard: look who’s buying tech companies now.
- Disruption, it moves in mysterious ways + 2013: a good year in tech
- Data? What is it good for? Absolutely…. something
- Uber, Data darwinism and the future of work. More Data Darwinism
- Coffee and Empathy: Why data without soul is meaningless
- Instagram ads and the future of brand advertising
- Square, Airbnb and why experience really is design
- Day traders, angels and venture capital: The internet changes everything, including money
- How the New York Times can fight BuzzFeed & reinvent it future
- Eight years later, Google reinvents its Maps for a data rich web
There are six others posts from 2013, that aren’t necessarily part of a theme. They are also not essays, except I just liked writing them.
- Dennis Crowley and the cycle of second-guessing
- New Startup economics: Why Amazon (web services) and Dropbox need each other.
- In 12 years of blogging, the more things change, the more they stay the same
- HTC and the harsh reality of the Android Ecosystem
- Zimmermann’s Law: PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder Phil Zimmermann on the surveillance society.
- To live and die in public: That’s Twitter.