5 Technology Observations to Start Your Day, Oct 29

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. I'm off today -- but I didn't forget about you. Before I unplugged for a family commitment, I put together these five technology news nuggets, rumors, gossip, and chatter to start your day for Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014.

Actually, today's update involves eight nuggets of info:

8. Don't Call It a Migration: Yesterday, we mentioned that TOGL LLC -- a small business cloud provider -- will shut its doors on Oct. 31. We also confirmed that TOGL's cloud customers would still be supported by One World Technology. Here's a super important detail we left out: No cloud or data migrations will be required amid the shift from TOGL LLC to One World Technology. The underlying cloud platform (from OS33) and customer data will remain unchanged, I've been told.

7. Found Him: Where is former Kaseya CEO Gerald Blackie? After Nines Inc. found the answer -- which turned into a lengthy, on-the-record conversation about the the company sale, Blackie's memories of building and exiting the business... and perhaps even a few clues about what's next for him. For more details about the interview, visit After Nines Inc. at 9:01 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

6. Office 365 Open Up: Microsoft at TechEd Europe introduced APIs for Office 365. The move should allow software developers to write new application extensions and new services for the cloud suite, which has serious momentum but also faces considerable competition from Google Apps for Work.

5. Boom Then Bust: Facebook says its latest quarterly revenues jumped nearly 60 percent to $3.2 billion. Impressive, but investors are freaking out because Facebook's expenses may rise even faster. In fact, costs could rise as much as 75 percent, Facebook said during a Wall Street conference call on Tuesday night (Oct. 28). Facebook shares dropped about 10 percent in after-hours trading...

4. Far Different Priorities: I realize IBM (mature business) and Facebook (growth business) are at different ends of the IT spectrum. But isn't it telling that every time you hear from Facebook, the conversation involves increased spending on talent and R&D. And every time we hear from IBM, the conversation involves staff cuts and share buybacks -- including the latest $5 billion round? What wins in the end: Share buybacks or talent? I'll take talent every day of the week.

3. Too Many Small Businesses?: Is there a point when a country can have too many small businesses -- especially too many microbusinesses? That thesis is gaining momentum in the UK, where some critics worry the country lacks enough midsize firms (ranging from 250 to 499 employees), and has grown too dependent on a freelance business mentality. I will loop back with more thoughts on this later this week.

2. Is Amazon's Cloud Revenue Flawed?: Some interesting analysis from SeekingAlpha.com, where contributor Chris Wallendal claims Amazon Web Services won't disrupt the IT market nearly as successfully as Amazon disrupted the book market. The reason: Traditional book stores had built-in costs they couldn't eliminate amid the move to ecommerce. In contrast, the cloud market is filled with born-online players that have low-cost models like AWS. Since many cloud services are already commodity services, "Amazon's strategy of sacrificing profits for [cloud] market share is less likely to lead to future returns for shareholders." I never underestimate Jeff Bezos, but Wallendal could have a point...

1. Next Week: After Nines Inc. Co-founders Amy Katz and Joe Panettieri (that's me) are set to meet for the first time since a May 2014 family party. Without a follow-up meeting, we actually launched After Nines Inc. in September 2014 based purely on phone conversations and a text or two that said, "Are you game?" Now, it's time to celebrate for a few short minutes when we launch our next service (Nov. 4, 9:01 p.m. ET) before getting down to some next-step planning... Thanks for joining us on the journey.

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