I'm still on the road near Orlando, Fla. The weather is good, the WiFi is plentiful, and I've got numerous updates to share. So here are 5 technology news nuggets, gossip, rumors, and observations to start your day for Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014.
Actually, today's list includes nine nuggets. Read on...
9. Waiting for Windows 11: So, Microsoft says Windows 8's successor will be called... wait for it... Windows 10. As I pointed out on Facebook yesterday, folks like Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and I would have preferred Windows 11... just so we "could get that extra push over the cliff." Confused? Check out the video.
8. Rapping Up Another Investment Round: Reddit has raised another $50 million. The latest round includes investments from Y Combinator President Sam Altman, Marc Andreessen and Snoop Dogg. (Yes, that Snoop Dogg -- is there another?) The good news: Reddit has emerged as a great site for aggregated and curated content. The bad news: Some media companies are trying to emulate Reddit's business model, and quite a few of the approaches are neither unique nor authentic.
7. More Money: Remind, an app that allows teachers and students to work more closely together, has raised $40 million in series C funding. Key investors include Kleiner Perkins. On a somewhat related note, numerous education app companies are pitching their businesses to Golden Seeds -- an angel network focused on women-led startups. It seems like just about everyone wants to reinvent the education vertical -- but budget cycles and bureaucracy lead to challenging business models...
6. Silicon Valley On Fire?: More venture capitalists and analysts are warning that Silicon Valley companies are burning through cash far too quickly. The latest warning comes from Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. Earlier warnings came from venture capitalists Bill Gurley and Fred Wilson. I've yet to make any angel investments... But the warnings are certainly on my mind.
5. Google for More Work: Onix Networking is launching training classes to help IT folks master the Google Apps Admin Console. Onix says the training will help you to configure Gmail for business; automate common tasks; and more. Meanwhile, a Google for Work online conference -- called Atmosphere -- is kicking off today. The event will include numerous CIO presentations. Wrap all this news together, and Google's business strategy vs. Microsoft becomes clearer and clearer.
4. Cisco Expands InterCloud Network: Cisco says more than 30 companies are now part of its InterCloud strategy. Key adopters include BT, Deutsche Telekom and Equinix. The interesting twist: Those companies are building clouds atop Cisco's hardware. CEO John Chambers claims Cisco is pumping more than $1 billion into the InterCloud effort. When an IT strategy is important, CEOs usually throw around a billion-dollar number. Anybody else remember Lou Gerstner's $1 billion bet on Linux at IBM?
3. Small Business Red Flag?: U.S. small businesses borrowing declined dramatically in August vs. July, according to Thomson Reuters and PayNet. Does that mean entrepreneurs are nervous about taking on more debt -- or do they feel confident that current cash levels are strong enough? I'm hoping for the latter. After all, borrowing in July represented an eleven-year high, so a dip in August shouldn't be a shock.
2. More Dollars Makes Sense: Most employers -- 62 percent -- favor raising the minimum wage in their state, according to a CareerBuilder survey. My own thoughts on compensation have evolved quite a bit based on my career across startups, midsize and large enterprises. Overall, I think Fortune 500 companies are sitting on far too much cash. Very often, shareholder advocates push for that cash to be distributed as one-time dividends to shareholders. How about a similar strategy for employees. An example: When the gravy train was overflowing at CMP Media in the 1990s, the company issued company-wide bonuses from time to time. Folks like me got $100 -- not a ton of money, but an unexpected perk that raised morale company-wide.
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That's all for now. But check the After Nines Inc. blog again later today. We'll have more updates -- including a look at how entrepreneurs are feeling about their own business prospects. In the meantime, thanks for visiting our site and reading the 9:01 blog.