2011 Year in Review

Location isn’t dead. It’s just everywhere.

When Facebook announced they were killing Places, it was kind of a shock. Several months later it makes total sense. Location isn’t a feature people use apps for. Location is now part of the social web’s fabric.

Instead of a separate Facebook feature, you can now tag a location on to anything: posts, photos, and (yes!) check-ins. It seems like location apps such as Loopt, Brightkite, and SCVNGR have faded as they all ‘pivot’ to Groupon clones or whatever.

Now location is merely an expected feature. I’m willing to bet most people don’t use Instagram primarily because of location. Still, tagging locations on photos is popular. Instagram is outpacing Foursquare for growth. Probably because it’s actually useful beyond announcing “I’m here!” to complete strangers.

Peak Soccer Mom.

Zynga is a monster of a company and congrats on their IPO. I remember seeing Mark Pincus at Cassie Phillips’ very first social gaming conference 5 or so years ago as a relative nobody. This was back when SGN had more funding.

Today, SGN is nothing but a memory. Zynga managed to upend the entire game industry, plunging the old guard into panic and chaos while blazing a trail to a 7 billion dollar valuation. Bravo!

A lot of analysts are disappointed with the IPO. And yeah, Zynga desperately needs new customers. For this reason the company seems like it’s not a growth stock.

Is it a risky investment? Perhaps not. Zynga is the first public company whose performance you can watch in real-time. Instead of looking at guidance and waiting for quarterly reports, just go to AppData and watch their DAUs. If only there was a way to automatically sell a stock once their user retention dropped across the board…

Unity 3.5

The Unity 3.5 beta is now public. The GUI is nowhere to be found–my #1 problem with Unity. Still, it has file locking for SVN and P4V support, multi-select, and a bunch of other small fixes that I’m happy with. Oh, and the Flash exporter really works. Plus, there are some promising new GUI add-ons in the Asset Store.

Console Disruption

The 3DS has been able to pull itself back from the brink with quality software this holiday season. This effort may prove futile as tablets and mobile devices are still pounding the handheld market into submission.

I’m big on the Sony Vita. I even paid extra to reserve the First Edition bundle early. I am fully aboard this kamikaze mission to stuff every conceivable feature in a massively powerful device directly aimed at a market that wants nothing to do with it. A glorious death on the battlefield! I want to see how this turns out–even though a brutal, bloody loss for the axis is seemingly inevitable. Operation DOWNFALL.

Folks I know that got a Japanese Vita say it’s a glorious piece of gaming hardware. However, the 3DS outsold the Vita during launch week in Japan. Not a good sign.

Action Bronson Has The Best Album of the Year

Action Bronson’s Well Done is the best album of the year. The first rapper to rhyme about how to properly cook and serve puffin. Real talk.

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