Two Startup Trends in 2012: Less Social, More Physical

Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic:

Last year, when Sarah and I toured the south looking for new tech companies, the tech world was actually quite a different place. Most notably, neither Facebook nor Groupon had debuted on public markets. Businesses built around social media or social networks still had that frisson attached to them, like they were riding The Next Big Thing wave. Everything was social this, social that, and social the other thing.

Fast forward just twelve months to this year’s trip to the Great Lakes and things look different. Groupon had a successful IPO, but it’s stock has declined 80 percent since then. Facebook’s stock has headed in a similar direction losing more than 40 percent of its value. It’s not that social media companies don’t have value, but the scale has been reset by the changes at its top.
Perhaps it’s a bit more complex than that, actually. Social is now just an assumed function of most software companies. Like, of course your fitness app or your new CRM software is social. Why wouldn’t it be? Social has become (as it probably should be) a means to an end. Count that as trend one… Read more
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