2015: The Year in Review

It's been another exciting year. Here’s what comes to mind as highlights for me:

 

Highs:

  1. Unicorns go mainstream. Valuations went sky-high, San Francisco rents hit nose-bleed levels, unaffordable Palo Alto became more unaffordable. 

  2. Record amounts of funding raised.

  3. Uber: I love to hate on this guys, but it's hard to dispute that they have completely owned 2015. They’ve also raised heretofore unheard of amounts of capital. They’re unlikely to *completely* dominate globally(thanks to Kuaidi, Ola cabs) etc. Which is a good thing, IMO.

  4. Autonomous driving: Between Tesla, Google, Mercedes, Volvo et al., it’s now a matter of how soon.

  5. Mr. Robot. Nice melding of ongoing themes of distrust of large corporations, hacking & security.

 

The Mehs

  1. Entrenchment of the Amazon/Facebook/Google/Microsoft axis of dominance. I reserve the right to be suspicious of large dominant corporations, especially those proclaiming “don’t be evil”.

  2. Sharing economy. The very definition of a misnomer. On other hand, great news for consumers but so-so for workers.

 

Lows:

  1. Unicorns ending the year on a rough note. See: Dropbox, Square & friends.

  2. Theranos. We moved from the next coming of Steve Jobs to unending scandal and intrigue.

  3. LivingSocial. At least they’re still alive, limping along. We said bye to the likes of Homejoy & others I can’t recall.

  4. Interest rate hike. Thanks Yellen!

  5. Hacks galore: Ashley Maddison. Enough said.

  6. Peak disruption. Harvard even protested on the misuse of “disruption”.

  7. Commodities bust. One of the begin economics stories of the year. What goes up must come down, together with entire economies.

  8. Uber et. al. The questionable practices kept rolling in.

 

2016

  1. VR goes mainstream? 2016
  2. More noise on encryption & cybersecurity.

 

Happy Holidays everyone!