Editor’s Picks: Xconomy Boston’s Top 20ish Stories of 2011

12/28/11Follow @gthuang

‘Tis the season to reflect on the past year and take a look at some of Xconomy Boston’s top stories.

As usual, these aren’t necessarily the highest-traffic stories (though in some cases they are). They are stories that exemplify what we are trying to deliver to our readers every day—narratives about the people, companies, and ideas that are shaping the future of technology, life sciences, and cleantech in our region, and across the country.

It was very hard to pick just 20 stories, like I usually do. I guess that’s a good thing. So I fudged it and actually picked slightly more—a dozen tech stories, and a dozen life sciences and cleantech stories.

In any case, our editor’s picks for 2011 span the fields of software, mobile, Internet, security, health IT, biotech, life sciences, energy, and hardware/materials.

They range in topic from people stories (Adriana Jenkins, Steve Jobs) to company strategies (Acme Packet, Vertex) to trends and analysis (big data, biotech risks); from universities (Harvard accelerator) to startups (MedicalRecords, Harvest Power) to big companies (IBM, Pfizer, Biogen Idec); from Q&As (Rob Day, Jim Baum) to company profiles (EnVivo, MC10) to news features (testing the nation’s first car collision-avoidance system); and from big community projects (Entrepreneur Walk of Fame) to cheeky area clusters (top 10 “boring” tech companies).

Here they are in their full glory, our top 20-ish stories of the year, sorted by sector:

Top 12 Tech Stories

MedicalRecords.com Looks to Cash In on Health Software “Gold Rush”

The Accidental Entrepreneur: David Skok of Matrix Partners Talks Marketing Lessons, VMware Killers, and VC Missteps

The Social Network for Cars: Test of the Nation’s First Wireless Collision Avoidance System

Steve Jobs: A Few Memories

Entrepreneur Walk of Fame Opens in Kendall Square: Gates, Jobs, Kapor, Hewlett, Packard, Swanson, and Edison are Inaugural Inductees

Spark Capital’s Todd Dagres on NY vs. Boston, What’s Beyond Social Media, and Why Tech Investing Is Better Than Making Movies

How’s That Stretchy, Bendy Stuff Working Out for Ya? MC10 Looks to Turn Flexible Sensors and Solar Cells Into a Growth Business

My Lunch With Andy Ory: Acme Packet CEO Talks Startup Lessons, Growing Pains, and Building the Next Great Boston Company

Semyon Dukach, the MIT Blackjack King, Takes SMTP Public in Latest Effort to Fight the Power

Yes, Now That Stranger Across the Bar Can Text You. No, It’s Not As Scary As It Sounds, Says Mobile App Developer PoKos

Netezza Chief Talks About Formative PTC Days, IBM Deal History, and the Future of Big Data

You Snooze, You Lose: 10 Boring Boston-Area Tech Companies That Are Actually Interesting


Top 12 Life Sciences and Cleantech Stories

Agios and Celgene: Anatomy of an Ultra-Valuable Biotech Marriage

Bob Langer’s Advice for Turning Foundation and Government Money into Startup Success

George Scangos, the Boy from Working Class Boston, on His Road Back to Lead Biogen Idec

Black Coral’s Rob Day Talks Cleantech By Way of IT, Why Evergreen Solar’s Bankruptcy Isn’t the End, and Boston’s Energy Future

Harvard Accelerator Program, Proving Its Mettle with Startups and Pharma Partnerships, Looks to Raise Big New Fund

EnVivo, Backed by Fidelity Biosciences, Tests New Weapon Against Alzheimer’s

The Missing Ingredient in Today’s Biotech: Guts

Genentech Scoops Up Tumor-Starving Drug Program from Forma Therapeutics in Rare Deal

Pfizer’s Idea to Fix the Drug Development Crisis, Which Probably Won’t Work (But Just Might)

Kleiner Perkins’ Organic Waste-to-Energy Play, Harvest Power, Bets $150M on Turning Compost Into Natural Gas

Vertex Nails Pivotal Study for Cystic Fibrosis, Racing Toward Market With Second Drug

Adriana Jenkins, Boston Biotech PR Maven, Dies from Breast Cancer at 41

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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