Cue the collective, "Huh?"
It didn't help that, at that fancy event, Airtime crashed over and over again. Or that folks had a hard time seeing how it would be different than Chatroulette (although Parker promised more users would actually be wearing pants).
In October, Parker admitted that Airtme, launched with more than $33 million in backing, had just 10,000 active users. (That's $3,300 spent per user, if you're scoring along at home.)
"Running a startup is like eating glass," he said at the All Things D conference. "You just start to like the taste of your own blood."
"These aren't your grandma's coupons!" the digital generation so brashly declared.
With their mobile apps and irreverent style, daily-deal offerings such as Groupon and Living Social were all the rage as 2012 dawned.
Now? Um, not so much.
Groupon, perhaps the best-known player in the field, watched its value plummet 79% in 2012. Its stock value dropped about three-quarters since opening in November 2011 as high-profile investors washed their hands of it.
And this is the company Google reportedly tried to buy for $6 billion in 2010.
LivingSocial, meanwhile, announced last month it was laying off 400 people. That's after announcing months of revenue losses.
So what happened? Inbox fatigue made some users stop checking the deals. A glut of offers you don't care about (pottery classes?) can make your eyes glaze over. And some businesses quit making offers, saying they never saw the promised returns on their investment.
When Google gets something right, they get it really, really right.
Redefining Web search? Yep. World's leading mobile system? Check. A car that drives itself? Vroom!
But some of the Big G's outings in the gadget world have hit with a thud. Enter ... the Nexus Q.
The size and shape of a Magic Eight Ball, the Nexus Q is (or was ... it's hard to say) a media streamer that uses Android to play audio and video. It's also made in the United States, no small thing in a world where virtually all gadgets come from China.
Unfortunately, in the grand tradition of Google Wave, nobody really knew what it was when it was released in June. Its release date was pushed back and, eventually, Google just gave everybody who pre-ordered a free one.
The Q has not officially been canned. But on Google's online store, the never-released gadget is listed as "not available at this time."
Stop Online Piracy Act
The new law was supposed to be about fighting online piracy. Who's going to be against that, right?
Answer: Pretty much the whole Internet.
Members of Congress sponsored the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and related bills to make it easier to shut down websites that illegally share music, movies and other content.
But opponents argued it went too far and could end up shutting down legitimate sites while stifling free expression in the process.