The Best in Business 2013

An exhaustive cataloguing of the top people, places, products, profits, movies, books, beverages, babies, buildings, turnarounds, albums, aliases, hiring sprees, robots, revolutions, games, fads, sayings, and more.

Best robot

GAT09 drone

The drone

Nothing -- not $40 billion in defense cuts, not a 16-day government shutdown, and certainly not Sen. Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster against its use -- could stop the rise of the drone into our collective consciousness in 2013. Drones are how we wage war. Drones delivered sushi this year. Over Kenya, drones scanned the ground for elephant poachers. Drones helped predict the weather, police the streets, and control mosquito breeding. College students now major in drone studies; venture capitalists invested $40.9 million in drone startups, more than double the amount they spent in 2012. Forty states introduced drone-related legislation, and Deer Trail, Colo., was overwhelmed by applicants after it considered issuing licenses to shoot drones down. In fact, their further rise is already foretold: In 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration will allow small autonomous craft (drones) to operate throughout American skies (currently it is illegal to fly them above 400 feet).

--Erika Fry

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated November 21 2013 01:33 PM ET
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The biggest turkeys of 2013

It's that time of the year when we look back and reflect on some of the worst business decisions of this annum.

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