TechZone360 has been surveying some of its sources for their thoughts on key takeaways from 2013 and expectations for 2014. Here, we speak with Andrew Cross, account director with public relations firm Walker Sands Communications.
Who is the most interesting person in tech this year, and why?
Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, is the most interesting person in tech this year. At 23 years old, he turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook, and reportedly more from Google. He’s also involved in a lawsuit with a former business partner that packs more than enough drama for a Hollywood movie.
What was the top startup of 2013?
Snapchat. For all of its criticisms, it has reminded us of the benefits of simplicity in design and execution.
What was the most noteworthy acquisition of the year, and why?
Waze was acquired by Google in June for just shy of $1 billion. But what makes it particularly noteworthy is that Waze’s real-time traffic incident reports have already made considerable improvements to one of Google’s flagship products on mobile – Maps.
Which companies are prime candidates for acquisition in the near future?
Pinterest has raised more than half a billion in venture funding. Content has never been hotter, and they may take a path similar to Instagram and Tumblr. Box has shown it can hold its own in the enterprise cloud storage land grab, and they could make an attractive acquisition target for a legacy tech company with large market cap.
What do you expect to be hot tech topic(s) in 2014?
Google Glass stole headlines in 2013, but wearable tech is just getting started. 2014 will be the year that integrators and third-party providers start piling onto wearable platforms.
If there’s just one thing related to tech that businesses need to know going into 2014, what is that one thing?
Remember all the people who’ve spent the past three years talking up the importance of a mobile-optimized website? Now’s the time to listen to them.
Executive Editor, TMC
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