The Small-Biz Trends and Stories that Shaped 2012

Even though the Mayans were wrong and we didn’t all die (bummer?), it’s still been a pretty good and eventful year. We got a new president, who’s the same as the last president. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy ended. The summer Olympics took place in London. Curiosity landed on Mars. You get the idea. But it’s also been a pretty huge year for Chicago’s small businesses. These are just a couple of the reasons why.

Marti Konstant, a tech enthusiast with a passion for kickstarting market demand for B2B tech companies, leads her company’s efforts in brand differentiation and demand generation. She is also founder of the country’s first Marketing Hackathon, #marketinghack chat, and the Agile Marketing Learning Channel, all accessible through her blog.

Luke Tanen is executive director of the Chicago Innovation Awards, the region’s foremost celebration of new products and services, and co-author of Innovating…Chicago-Style, which tells the stories of 80 Chicago-area innovators who have launched groundbreaking new products and services over the past decade.

Jon Porter is the owner/operator of Chicago Pizza Tours, the first bus-guided tour of culturally significant and neighborhood pizzerias in Chicago.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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