This year has been very different from others, not because the world was “supposed” to end and it didn’t but because in the world of technology (which incidentally, rules our life), we have never seen so many big companies change so dramatically. By trying to stay competitive or even alive, companies have implemented big changes so fast that it seemed as though they were gambling decisions. Personally, I don’t recall ever seeing so many companies issuing apologetic statements after taking a bad strategic move. At the same time, I don’t remember ever seeing so many new amazing products and ideas being developed. Taking financials aside, let’s look at a few of those companies who made an impact in 2012 in one way or the other:

• Wins – the company has never had the footprint it has now, every Mac store looked busy throughout the year on a daily basis and their brand recognition is stronger than ever.
• Losses – besides the fact that Jobs is no longer the head of the company, Apple suffered a big paradigm switch; it went from innovation to imitation. The company hasn’t wowed the crowds by launching a new product; instead it has focused on releasing new versions of the iPhone and iPad (including the iPad Mini for Kindle lovers). Another fail was the release of their own operating system with poor mapping capabilities.
• Balance – Apple is going through a rough patch.

• Wins – over one BILLION users this year. By far the largest social network ever created. Facebook has found the ways to connect people like no other network. Facebook keeps growing and is doing it fast.
• Losses – their IPO, which created great anticipation in the financial markets and it did not produce the expected results. Constant changes to privacy policies have become a weakness to the company, such fast growth has proven to come with challenges in balancing happy users with regulations compliance.
• Balance – Facebook is growing but learning from mistakes, this year wasn’t great.

• Wins – new technology, including tablets and Windows 8. While facing fierce competition, Microsoft has proven that it still has what it takes to be a tech giant. Microsoft has consolidated itself in the consumer products domain as well as is the business industry.
• Losses – it’s a late bloomer in a market that has been dominated by Google, Amazon, Apple and even Samsung (which by the way had a great year).
• Balance – despite reacting late, this was a good year for Microsoft; its new technology had received positive feedback and has been a dominant player in the videogame industry.

Another company that is worth mentioning Instagram, who observed such explosive growth that is was subject to a prompt acquisition by Facebook for $1Billion. Not too long after the fact, it faced severe criticism for changing its privacy policies just like its new parent company Facebook who by the way, hasn’t figured out a way yet to generate profit from Instagram.

There is a handful of other companies that are worth discussing, a few that come to mind include Netflix, Amazon, Samsung, Sony, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter. For the beginning of 2013, I will review what we can expect from some of these industry titans over the next year.
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Diego De la Garza

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