The Year Observed

Oh, Snapchat! And 2013’s Other Tech Winners and Losers

Buddies! Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Tumblr founder David Karp. (Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Snapchat’s Staying Power

Despite being a picture-messaging app whose missives disappear in seconds, Snapchat made clear that it wants to stay on the tech scene for years to come.

Invented by fraternity brothers at Stanford University in 2011, the start-up is still profitless, but it hasn’t lacked for buzz in 2013—or controversy. In February, Snapchat achieved the ultimate start-up status symbol by being embroiled in a lawsuit by a spurned frenemy named Reggie Brown. He claimed that founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy stole the idea from him, in a Social Network-esque lawsuit. Read More

Pivot Strat

Foodie Bubble Preferable to Daily Deals Bubble, VillageVines Decides

Mr. McKean.

Restaurant discount vendor VillageVines, which just raised its Series A in December, has announced a change in direction. The New York-based start-up renamed itself Savored.com (great domain, bro), re-designed its website with a “new feel,” and is generally rebranding to separate itself from the daily deals offerings we all know and are sick of.  “It ties to the idea that we don’t want to be a deals site. We want to be much more,” co-founder Benjamin McKean told the Chicago Tribune. Read More

Gadgets

Chromebook on Sale Early at Gilt

chromobook samsung

The world’s first Google netbook goes on sale on June 15. Well actually, it’s available on Gilt.com (in the “men” category) today. The Samsung Chromebook 3G isn’t discounted at $499, which is still a lot for a netbook that only runs an experimental operating system with a weird browser-based interface. But the machine does weigh only 3.3 lbs and the battery supposedly lasts more than eight hours. “With your order from Gilt, you’ll also receive a limited edition, custom-fit Chrome sleeve designed by Rickshaw.” It comes in “arctic white.” The model includes up to 100MB per month of Verizon 3G service for 2 years. The early sale ends at 9 a.m. on June 3.