2013 May Have Been A Lost Year For Tech, But It Was A Worse Year For Tech Reporting


This past week, Quartz tech and science reporter Christopher Mims declared that “2013 was a lost year for tech.” Mims reasoned that between the NSA spying scandal and lack of notable gadgets, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are not backing up their arrogance with legitimate social improvements.

PandoDaily’s David Holmes — arguably more of a tech ‘cheerleader’ than Mims — took particular issue with Mims’ analysis of social media’s increased profitability and decreased relevance, writing, “I think it’s a good thing that social media sites know how to pay the bills. As long as they keep the lights on, we as users will do our part to keep Twitter and Facebook weird.”

Dude, David….what Twitter and Facebook are you using? ‘Cuz these sites are way past their oddball hipster-community phase (if such a phase ever existed); they’re part of the zeitgeist. Facebook’s running video ads, for crying out loud…it’s far from the place you and your high school friends would gather to make funny groups (The Riders of Rohan: Yorktown High School Edition!) and write in each other’s honesty box.

Isn’t there any pundit who can make actual sense of 2013’s tech landscape, without sounding like the techno-elite’s butt boy?

GigaOM founder Om Malik gives it a shot: “Both Amazon and Twitter are examples that show innovation and its impact are not bound by an investor or a publication’s sense of time, say, a year. Quartz bemoans Google Glass and labels it the standard bearer of disappointment in tech in 2013. Google Glass might earn you the sobriquet ‘glasshole,’ but the reality is that in the future we will have a much improved derivative of Google Glass in our lives. It might not even look like Google Glass, but the wearable computing and personal compute fabrics will be a reality in the not-too-distant future.”

Nicely put, Mr. Malik. 2013 was a year of cultivation, if not momentum-shifting discoveries. And anyway, neither Pando, GigaOM or Quartz mentioned Tesla’s rise to prominence in 2013 — perhaps the most promising indication of entrepreneurs thinking outside of pure software and apps.

Here’s to the New Year, folks…let’s hope the world’s tech writers try as hard to innovate as the technologists.