Please 2013, be the year of "shut up and work"
Dear Year 2013,
Bore me. Please, for the love of God, bore the crap out of me.
I want you to bore me with one of those stock markets that only goes up or down a few dozen points each day. I want the talking heads on CNBC to fall asleep, and Business Insider’s headlines to be in lower case letters.
I don’t want to hear about the “next big thing,” and I don’t want this to be the Year of…anything. How about the pundits and futurists keep their mouths shut for one year, and we see what people create without their constant kibitzing.
I’d also like to avoid any IPO that’s big enough for my dentist to know about it. Twitter can wait a year. Give me a few more Splunks, since nobody knows what the hell they do, and let Box have its moment — Aaron Levie’s smiling visage can be the “face of 2013.”
I want the United States Congress to act like a bunch of crusty old people. I want them to muddle through debates about soybean subsidies and judicial appointments for states I’ve never visited. When Eric Cantor, John Boehner, and Nancy Pelosi speak, I want nobody to listen or care.
And because the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012, I think you owe us one year free from apocalypses — no sovereign debt defaults, Iranian nukes, Chinese hard landings, or North Korean rockets. You can only cry wolf so many times, 2013, and your buddy 2012 totally spent your cred. Nobody’s listening, 2013. Nobody is fooled.
Oh, and as of right now, we have already had our fill of sensational scandals. Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o have generously provided us with an entire year’s worth of shock value. I don’t think that they can be topped at this point, so every other crackpot athlete, actor, and teeny-bopper can go back to the drawing board.
And I don’t want to hear a single word from any of you social media companies. If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding. Go monetize. You looked very dashing and powerful on the cover of Forbes, David Karp, now go squeeze some money out of your hipster army. The Academy of Art has been doing it for decades. Get back to work.
Did somebody say America’s Cup? Did one of you just mention the Royal Baby? Yes. Perfect. Those are precisely the type of inane decoy activities that I want the world’s rich and powerful to focus upon this year. Don’t try to fight a currency war, rewrite Bretton Woods, or spend $60 million trying to push your perverse political agendas. Go look at those pretty boats.
Let’s also have a year in which nothing takes off. No, I’m not talking about the Boeing Dreamliner, but I am referencing the string of fascinations du jour... like Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Path, etc. There are only so many ways that you can share a picture with your friends. At least three of these companies probably won’t exist in ten years. Can somebody please spend 2013 creating something valuable that grows slowly, steadily, and solves a real problem? Spend the day working in an Uber if you need inspiration.
If we’re lucky, 2013 will be the “shut up and work” year for Silicon Valley. And it will come exactly one decade after the year I’d like it to mimic (at least from a Technology perspective). I can’t think of many great startups that launched in 2003. But it was the year when Amazon’s stock finally regained its shine. When Friendster first came to my attention. When Google and Salesforce groomed themselves for the next year’s IPO. And Mark Zuckerberg spent the winter coding his new site.
Even if I get a year like that only once per decade, I will gladly accept it. And right now, I want one so badly.
[Illustration by Hallie Bateman]