2013. It is almost over. It will be in precisely 27 days. Maybe we are jumping the gun but we wanted to take some time to reflect on the year. Not from the perspective of data auditing or our product Observato, and not from a field service perspective. We just wanted to look back on the year from a general business point of view. Do we have the audacity to declare 2013 the year that Apple disappointed the world? Or is it the year of Edward Snowden and data tracking? We suppose that there have been a few things that have shaped 2013 and will change the course of 2014. Here we reflect on a few.
The Year Of… Data Tracking
Edward Snowden shook up the world in May of this year after leaking NSA documents, most centered around the NSA’s extensive survaillance of the US general population. This launched new discussions about data tracking (monitoring and recording human actions, interactions, behaviors, and patterns), the moral and ethical implications, and a new outlook on privacy within the U.S. that is bound to expand in the new year.
The Year Of… Marissa Mayer
While Marissa Mayer was hired last year as the new CEO of Yahoo! (coming from Google), it wasn’t until this year that her presence was really felt. She landed on the Forbes List of The World’s Most Powerful Women at #32. In February she created a telecommuting ban which required remote employees to return to work at the office, which was met with some controversy. In April she changed Yahoo’s maternity leave policy, extending time off and providing bonuses to new parents. In May she executed the acquisition of Tumblr for 1.1 billion. In September the stock price of Yahoo! doubled in the 14 months since Mayer became CEO. Needless to say, you can be sure to be seeing more of her and Yahoo! in the news in 2014.
The Year Of… War of the Tablets and Cell Phones and Cell Providers
iPad vs. Microsoft Surface, Nokia Lumia vs. iPhone 5s & 5c vs. Samsang Galaxy 4s, AT&T vs. Verizon vs. Sprint. The battle is on and the punches are rolling. As smart devices become the norm, the tech giants have begun to battle it out, producing new technology rapidly, and advertising against each other in any form possible (usually still on TV commercials). This year the iPad Air was released along with the second generation of Microsoft Surface tablets. The iPhone 5s &5c were released as well as the Samsung Galaxy 4s and the Nokia Lumia 1020. And the cell providers are all boasting the fastest speeds, most 4G coverage and best reliability.
The Year Of… Apple Disappointment
Forbes seems to be leading the cavalry on this one, particularly based on the articles they have published over the past few months. From Forbes point of view, Apple has lost their innovation. You can glean their opinion just from the titles of their articles; “Why Apple Lost Its Innovation Spirit With New Ipads” and “The iPhone 5S, Proof that Apple Has Given Up on Innovation.” Rene Richie discusses the opposing views of Apple (are they a disappointment lacking innovation, or the same old great tech giant that will continue to delight us?) eloquently saying:
When it comes to Apple and innovation, there are two equal and opposing lines of thought. The negative sentiment is that Apple is no longer that which dented the universe in eras past, that it is no longer capable of producing Mac-, iPod-, and iPhone-class disruptions, and is now simply coasting on the momentum of glories and ecosystems past. The positive sentiment is that Apple is still at the height of its power, pushing out manufacturing breakthroughs like the iPhone 5, interface reboots like iOS 7, and bold new computing designs like the Mac Pro.
Whether Apple is headed to the history books or not, we are sure to hear their name often in 2014.
–> You can read our blog post about Apple and innovation HERE.
The Year Of… Amazon Drones?
Lastly, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos made some waves this week by announcing Amazon’s big R&D secret, delivery drones! Bezos says the drones will focus on flying customers orders to their door within 30 minutes of ordering. And while this may not physically take place until 4 or 5 years down the line, Amazon is already building prototypes of the drones they call “Octocopters.” What does this mean for 2014, and beyond. Are we looking at a futuristic world like that portrayed in the TV show Almost Human sooner than expected?
So now that 2014 is around the corner and budgets are being created and roadmaps are being drawn up and MBO’s are being drafted, what is your organization going to focus on? We hope you had a great 2013 and we wish you the best in 2014. We would love to be a part of your business strategy in the new year.