Coursera announced as "best new startup"
It was fun watching the Crunchies Awards ceremony livestreamed from San Fransciso this week.
The geekfest is a far cry from The Oscars, low on glitz but high on intellectual curiosity. After all, the awards typically honor technology startups that have had -- or hold the potential to have - impact on people's lives.
Reddit, the online social forum, won for "biggest social impact," while Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was named "Best CEO" and Instagram founder Kevin Systrom went on stage to get a Crunchie as "founder of the year."
It was no surprise to anyone familiar with the American education system to see online learning startups in the tech limelight. Coursera, an online education company founded by two Stanford University professors, was named "best new startup of 2012." There was also a special category called "best education startup," which went to Codecademy, a company that teaches people to code online.
It's good that the Crunchies have a "new startup" category (isn't that an oxymoron?) because several notable winners actually have been around for several years. GitHub, the open-code-hosting site and social network for developers, won "best overall startup," despite the fact that it started back in 2008.
Pinterest, named best content discovery app, launched in 2010--three years ago. Fab.com, a social commerce service, went online in 2010 and won a Crunchie this year for best e-commerce application. Collaborative music platform Soundcloud, which won best international startup, has been around even longer--for more than five years.