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DC tech wrapped: Here are our best-read stories of 2022 (and what that means for the DMV)

This year, you loved reading about layoffs, the coolest startups around and a big piece of acquisition news.

Your 2022 Technical.ly Wrapped is here. (Graphic by Paige Gross, obvi inspired by Spotify Wrapped)
I know, I know. You’ve been waiting all year for this.

You’ve bookmarked your faves, shared with friends and refreshed the page a bunch of times to make it look like you read cooler articles than you actually d — oh wait, sorry, that’s Spotify Wrapped.

But we’re all about reflection here, too, and 2022 was a pretty noteworthy year for tech across the board. This year, we explored how Web3 and the metaverse would impact the world, discussed what the future of the office looked like, introduced you to tons of cool startups and highlighted how big tech trends like mass layoffs trickled down into the DMV. We’ve even started thinking already about what 2023 can look like and whether or not we’ll get that recession everyone keeps talking about.

For my own enjoyment, my favorite stories of the year included those on the lives of digital nomads, asking local funding agencies to put their DEI investments where their mouth is and all the coverage surrounding unions in DC. And among the ups, the local scene had some downs, too. This year, government officials cracked open the lid on longtime power players ID.me and took a closer look at Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor.

Still, there was so, so much more to this year than just what we’ve mentioned above. Below, find the top reads (and trends) of 2022.

A peek into the startup scene

In 2022, you all wanted to learn the latest on some neat startups making their regional mark. Our top-read story of the year was our profile on Victor Wear, an activewear line from Alexandria, Virginia mom Tiffany Hamilton and her son, Isaiah (in fact, it was the #2 read across all of our sites). The duo deserves some well-deserved applause, with the younger Hamilton also being named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce.

But that wasn’t the only startup sweeping the news. You also eagerly checked out our 2022 RealList Startups, our third best-read story of the year, which included a group of companies that collectively raised over $40 million this year. Your attention was also captured by the story of Arlington, Virginia govtech company Two Six Technologies and how gardening startup the Little Burro was fairing two years after it turned down a Shark Tank deal.

A macro look

Alongside the local startup love, you also enjoyed zooming out and seeing what some of the country’s (and world’s) biggest news meant for our community.

Last month, that meant finding out how the home of Amazon’s HQ2 would be impacted by the tech giant’s mass layoffs — our second best-read story of the year. Naturally, Amazon itself kept pretty mum about the subject, but a local expert and a former employee each offered their thoughts on what it meant for tech.

“This is actually more Amazon-centric than it seems,” Incumetrics CEO Robin Gaster told Technical.ly at the time. “And it could be argued that many of the big layoffs result from specific company issues rather than a general downturn, although it’s pretty clear that the massive hiring spree based on endless growth is over.”

Earlier in the year, the tech world also dealt with the breakout of war in Ukraine. As it’s one of Europe’s top tech hubs, we asked local companies with employees there how they were helping their teams and handling the news.

“I am overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness and sadness seeing people I care about suffer,” DC founder Afua Banful said. “That helplessness is followed closely by anger because the damage being done all seems so unnecessary. On a business operations level, I have no concern because there will be no interruptions. But that is not the point. I am heartbroken as a human being.”

Later in the year, we also interviewed a few Ukrainian technologists trying to make the best of their day-to-day life.

‘The office of the future’

Among the top trends of the year was a question that many of you were eager to answer: What will the office of the future look like?

Following 2021’s Great Recession, you were eager to read about retention and how to get candidates to choose you like a Pokémon. In January, a highly-read story featured career coaching service Legally Bold’s founder Toya Gavin, who offered her perspective on what 2022 would bring in resignations. She predicted that with improved workplace practices, resignations would slow down.

“We’ve reached a point with the employee population as a whole where there are certain things people are just not going to take,” she said at the time. “They’re just not taking it anymore and I think employers are responding to this.”

She was sort of right. It seems like we now see fewer people quit their roles, but we might have traded it in for the aforementioned layoffs. Some also just got better at getting folks to stay on. In March, orchestration company Prefect offered tips on getting 90% of applicants to accept its job offers — yet another popular story.

And for some, the year was just about taking a new look at how the physical office appears, with our coworking guide coming in as the 14th best-read story of the year.

Honorable mentions

We like to give credit where credit is due, so we’ll also give a shoutout to some honorable mentions: the reads that had plenty of eyeballs but didn’t necessarily reflect a larger trend. For us, those were the launch of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Venture arm, the 2022 RealLIST Connectors and our annual awards nominees. But our biggest miscellaneous read was the acquisition of edtech company 2U, taking spot #5.

Companies: Amazon
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