For me, 2011 was the year when tech didn’t just connect to me, but to each other as well. Suddenly using the Internet and owning an iPhone went from being a geeky past time, to a genuinely useful way to go through life. From seamless syncing on the likes of Spotify and Evernote, to Apple’s iCloud that “just worked”, to IFTTT (If This Then That) which got all my apps talking so I became pretty much surplus to my own life. But in a good way.
Speaking of which, 12 months’ of dedicated “checking in” on Foursquare now reveals, through the very clever tripsQ, that I travelled 23,155 miles in 2011, passing through 10 international airports in the process. That’s not counting Cuba which has no brands, no 3G and definitely no Foursquare deals – so much the better to focus on sipping Mojitos! San Francisco, however, which took up a great deal of those CO2 laden airmiles, was a hive of social and technological connectivity. Most impressive was Sightglass coffee, for providing a digital experience (through Square) that was just as beautiful and crafted as their bricks-and-mortar experience.
2011 also saw terms like “start-up”, “VC” and “first-round funding” enter the general lexicon – usually said with a slight twinge of reticence while simultaneously posting something ironic to Tumblr. And, while the “app bubble” grew and grew and grew, it felt like every day started with a rush to get in on the latest hot pre-Beta. While some struggled (Color, Scoville, Hashable, Google+??), others have remained a permanent fixture of the homescreen. Of that list, there’s the one’s I’ve admired (CheckThis, Path), worked on (Ness, Showyou) and been proud to see succeed (WhaleTrail).
2012’s only just begun, and already the wheels of innovation are spinning. Who knows what will take off this year, but this might just help us figure it out http://nowthatswhaticallstartups.com/.