1 – Books
- Arthur C. Clarke – 2001: A Space Odyssey – Wow – Just Wow. How did I ever manage to get to 2013 and have not read this masterpiece. Really an amazing book.
- Thomas Harris – The Hannibal Lecter Trilogy – Again, just another set of books I felt like I should have read. So I did & it didn’t disappoint. Really knocked me back how good they were / are.
- Dan Brown – The Lost Symbol – I read all the Dan Brown books this year and The Lost Symbol was my favourite. The others were ‘nah’ but The Lost Symbol I really enjoyed. Hence this one makes it onto the list but the others don’t.
- Neil Cross – The Calling: A John Luther Novel – Dark, deep, a real page turner.
- James McQuivey – Digital Disruption: Unleashing the next wave of innovation – I have worked in disruptive innovation for more than 15 years. Here, McQuivey offers insights about disruption–and about the accelerating pace of disruption–that I truly hadn’t understood before. This is a very important book about what tomorrow holds in store; it shows us both what will happen and how to address it. I recommend it enthusiastically.
- Jared Cohen and Eric Schmidt – The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations & Business – This is a book that defines both the nature of the new world which the internet is creating; and its challenges
- Orson Scott Card – Enders Game – read this when I found out about the film. What an incredible book. So visceral and twisted
- Sebastian Junger – The Perfect Storm – W0w. Just wow. What a read.
- George R R Martin – A Game of Thrones – I’ve read this before and didn’t get on with it, so I went back and tried again. Easier the second time round. Enjoyed it.
- Simon Rogers – Facts are Sacred – A beautiful book that sits proudly on my shelf.
2 – Most visited websites in order (officially – I kept stats!)
3 – Albums
These are the albums that weren’t necessarily all released just in 2013, but the ones I discovered and played the most;
- Bastille – Bad Blood – A great album. That is all.
- Biffy Clyro – Opposites – Far from their best, but far from their worst. Just nice to have Biffy back on the stereo until the Foos release a new album.
- Dave Matthews Band – The Best Of What’s Around – Bit of cheat because it’s a greatest hits… but it did get a lot of airplay, so it has to go on the list.
- David Bowie – The Next Day – Nice to see Bowie back in action & even better that the album delivers.
- Empire of the Sun – Ice on the Dune – Guilty Pleasure really.
- Feeder – Silent Cry – An old album now really, but I just kept coming back to it. Commercially the bands least successful to date, but to me, their best.
- The Foals – Holy Fire – Holy Fire? Holy Shit! What a fucking masterpiece. Loved it.
- Austin Wintory – Journey Soundtrack – Just a stunning stunning piece of work when you think it’s a Game soundtrack it makes it even more remarkable.
- Gary Clark Jr. – Blak and Blu – Loved. Great discovery this year. Recommended by a client.
- M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – An album full of sublime genius.
4 – Songs
- Mumford & Sons – I will wait – Helped me run up some big hills out in the rain this song.
- Coldplay – Glass of Water – A hidden gem on the Prospekt March album. Really their best song ever. It’s EPIC.
- Foals – Bad Habit – Booooom. What a track.
- Bastille – Pompeii – First track off the album. A little overplayed this year but still great.
- Empire of the Sun – DNA – You’ve got to admit EOTS are good fun… this is just a great radio track.
- Pete Lawrie – Half as Good – Still on the playlist.
- Wild Cub – Thunder Clatter – You’ll recognise this one off the TV!
- Yiruma – River Flows In You – Just beautiful.
- Athlete – Yesterday Threw Everything At Me – Ended the year by listening to this old classic a lot.
- Pearl Jam – Release – So old now this song but still so so so amazing.
5 – Films
- Pain & Gain – A surpise gem. Had no idea it was going to be so good. Loved it. LOVED IT.
- Man of Steel – It’s good. Say what you want… I thought it’s scale, tone & direction were superb.
- Star Trek Into Darkness – It’s a great film. It just is.
- Iron Man 3 – Rescued from being medicare by Sir Ben Kingsley who was EPIC.
- The Evil Dead (remake) – I’m a fan of the originals and I was worried about this. But it’s good old fashioned video nasty. Respect to the director for sticking to his guns.
- Django Unchained – Was cracking wasn’t it?!
- Filth – Dark, funny, deep… true to the book… McAvoy aced it.
- Zero Dark Thirty – I enjoyed it. Not normally my thing, but I did.
- Thor: The Dark World – Brain Chew.
- Lincoln – Again, not normally my thing, but enjoyed it. Dragged on a bit though.
6 – TV Moments
- Breaking Bad – Seasons 1 – 5
- True Blood – Season 6
- The Walking Dead – Season 3
- Game of Thrones – Season 3
- House of Cards – Season 1
- Hannibal – Season 1
- Sherlock – Season 1 – 3
- Luther – Season 3
- Banshee – Season 1
- House – Season 1
7 – Interactions / Experiences / Marketing
- First Directs Beat-boxing Bird
- Apples iOS 7 – Flat and boring but rewarding and slicker
- Various Twitter updates
- Amnesty International – Trial By Timeline Campaign
- Nike Fuel – Got the new fuelband which is fantastic and the app updates have been awesome
- The New MySpace
- Clash of Clans – Technically an app, but in general I’ve used it as a case study of genius for a whole year now
- IFTTT – If this, then that – Absolutely brilliant. Love it.
- Argus – Motion and Fitness Tracker
- A project that I’ve been working on for an insurance company in the UK, that I can’t talk about.
8 – News stories
- Nelson Mandela died Dec. 5 at age 95, leaving a legacy that extended far beyond ending 46 years of apartheid in South Africa. He inspired generations around the world to fight not just for racial equality, but for inclusiveness. Not many people actually CHANGE THE WORLD… He did. RIP.
- North Korea – Fascinating to wonder what’s going on there.
- The NSA leaks that began in June. Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor, had collected a vast store of secret internal documents and began sharing them with journalist Glenn Greenwald, The Washington Post, and others. The revelations were shocking: the scope and depth of the NSA’s collection of private data stopped looking like a conspiracy theory and became a cold, hard reality we all had to face. The leaks showed that the NSA has collected troves of phone records, spied on US citizens, and tapped the phones of foreign leaders.
- Drones – Though the debates surrounding military drone strikes are far from over, 2013 saw a new issue rise: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in US airspace. The rise of the machines are upon us!
- Elon Musk – The CEO and co-founder of two of the most exciting technology companies today — SpaceX and Tesla — Elon Musk sits atop The Verge 50 for a reason. Rarely a week went by in 2013 when the South African billionaire wasn’t in the news, having taken his white-hot electric vehicle-maker to its first-ever quarterly profit, docked a spacecraft with the International Space Station, and — in his plentiful spare time — designed an audacious high-speed transport system that could send commuters from LA to San Francisco in under half an hour. At just 42 years of age, it seems likely that Musk will be a newsmaker for many, many days to come (or sols, once he inevitably finds his way to Mars).
- Bitcoin – The virtual currency that mimics cash on the internet, has proven itself to be surprisingly resilient, as technology fads go. Despite increased regulation, repeated price crashes, massive heists, and competition from other virtual currencies, Bitcoin is now almost five years old — it’s showing no sign of going away, and has even spawned a meme-based me-too cryptocurrency.
- 2013 saw the last big tech IPO that everybody had been waiting for: Twitter. Unlike Facebook, which faltered out of the gate, Twitter’s IPO was a home run by most measures. While a host of early employees and angel investors made a ton of new cash (some of which will pour back into the startup scene), the IPO established Twitter as a mainstream company. Next up? Profit, if Twitter plays its cards right. Those cards include more pictures, more ways to bring in new users (and potentially annoy current ones), and more rapid redesigns of its apps. Now that it’s a public company with real investors expecting real returns, the biggest changes for the service are yet to come.
- The resurrection of MUSIC: Remember when the music industry was doomed? It wasn’t so many years ago, but it feels like longer. It was before Beyoncé ambushed the web with one of the best albums of the year, owning the moment in a way most culture critics thought was impossible in the modern age. She was snatching it from Kanye, who’d been tussling with Daft Punk for control of the world’s headphones all summer. Jay-Z did his strange, transfixing, app-based two-step with Samsung and for months on end, it was all anyone wanted to talk about. And that’s to say nothing of the billion-dollar EDM company that splashed onto the Nasdaq in October. Music? Dead? What were we thinking?
- Mars gets interesting – Experts have been scrutinizing the red planet for decades, but 2013 offered up unprecedented and tantalizing details about what Mars is (and was) made of. After landing on the planet in August of 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover spent this past year sending back reams of data for scientists to analyze, leading to new insights into the planet’s watery, potentially habitable past. And Curiosity will soon have more company, as this year also saw NASA launch the MAVEN probe to characterize Mars’ atmosphere
- Design went Flat – Windows has its Live Tiles, Google has its Cards, and now, with iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, Apple has finally left the rich textures of its recent history behind. The company changed the direction of its mobile and desktop software in less than a year, moving from green felt and faux leather to flat panels, thin type, and soft gradients.
9 – Most used Apps (iOS)
- Twitter (my most used app by a country mile)
- First Direct
- BBC News
10 – People
- Nelson Mandela
- Elon Musk
- Google’s Schaft Robot
- Edward Snowden
- Jeff Bezos
- Barack Obama
- Dick Costolo
- Lou Reed
- Dwayne Johnson – The Rock (Once you’ve seen Pain & Gain you’ll know why I put him on my list!!!!!)
And that concludes my 2013 10×10. A varied year for stuff I liked. More old old old stuff that I went back and caught up on than new stuff that swung me in 2013. A year for looking backwards.