5 Technology Observations to Start Your Day, Nov 12

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. After a lengthy sit-down with IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond last night, I've got quite a few business ideas to mull today. But before I do, here are five technology news nuggets, insights, rumors, gossip and chatter to start your day for Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.

Actually, today's update includes 10 updates:

10. Decision Day?: When Cisco Systems announces quarterly results later today, a lot of folks wonder if CEO John Chambers will finally disclose specific details around the company's CEO succession plan. Surely, you know we've been tracking Rob Lloyd and Chuck Robbins as potential successors...

9. A Less Taxing Situation: If you're an I.T. entrepreneur looking to go global, the tax code may be moving in the right direction. China and the U.S. have agreed to slash tariffs on a range of technology products. Giants like Microsoft, HP and Apple are likely the big winners, according to The Wall Street Journal. But for the rest of us -- the small businesses swimming among the giants -- I suspect the international trade waters just got a bit easier to swim.

8. This Shouldn't Be News: The boards of GM, DuPont and IBM each now have three or more female directors. That reality made headlines today in The Wall Street Journal. To me, the "news" hook is a sad commentary on the state of corporate diversity -- or lack thereof. Don't get me wrong: I'm rapidly approaching "white, middle-aged man" status. So I don't want "my crowd" kicked to the curb. But on the other hand, I'm convinced corporate diversity produces stronger businesses. Bottom line: May the best minds earn their seats in the board room.

7. IT Management's Next Wave: New Relic, which focuses on application and web performance optimization, has filed to go public and hopes to raise $100 million. The company is part of the next-generation IT monitoring, management and optimization wave -- which includes AppDynamics, Boundary and many others. In a recent podcast, AppDynamics CEO Jyoti Bansal described his company's business strategy and potential path to IPO. And later today, we're set to speak with Boundary CEO Gary Read, live from Amazon AWS re:invent 2014. We'll reach out to New Relic, too -- but I suspect their CEO is in a pre-IPO quiet period...

6. Collision Course: Here's a riddle. This week, thousands of small business IT experts -- so-called MSPs and VARs -- are in Orlando this week for IT Nation 2014, hosted by ConnectWise (coverage: MSPmentor, my old stomping ground). Most of those folks understand where the cloud is going. Meanwhile, thousands of born-in-the-cloud startups this week are attending Amazon's AWS re:invent 2014 conference in Las Vegas. Fast forward to 2015 and beyond, and I wonder how those audiences may potentially converge even more...

5. Google Small Business Broadband: Google has launched a fiber Internet service for small businesses in Kansas City. The service delivers up to 1Gbps speeds for $100 per month. WiFi networking, firewall protection and -- what's this? Phone Support from Google! -- are all included with the fee. Google also charges about $30 per month for five static IP addresses -- which may appeal to small businesses that have their own servers. That's sort of ironic; I didn't know Google realized some small businesses actually have on-premises servers. Google's fiber push in the consumer market, meanwhile, has earned mixed reviews. Some reports suggest the company's installation services have, at times, ripped up customer lawns and triggered unexpected outages. Still, I'd welcome Google -- and more broadband competition --  to my neighborhood.

4. Will Dormant Bug Kill IT?: Microsoft has fixed a 19-year-old software bug -- called WinShock -- with an emergency patch. IBM (yes, IBM) discovered the bug, which dates all the way back to Windows 95 and its successor releases -- including Windows Server. At that age, I almost wonder if the bug came from OS/2 code and then jumped to Windows during the infamous IBM-Microsoft software divorce. (Joking, of course.) The bug could allow hackers to remotely control a Windows PC or server. For I.T. entrepreneurs, this is the perfect opportunity to apply patches and to speak with your customers about security stances and software refresh cycles. 

3. Wear (er, Where) to Code Next?: Most IT startups long ago made the shift from client-server application development to cloud- and server-centric development or mobile app development. Next up: Wearable computing development? Many developers are wondering how to "code" for Android Wear apps and/or forthcoming devices like Apple Watch. Take a look at this Dr. Dobb's how-to for Building Wearable Apps. And take a look at the Apple Watch'a SDK kit -- called WatchKit, which is launching this month (Nov. 2014).

2. Meet Me In Manhattan?: Last call. I'll be in Manhattan for Golden Seeds meetings tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 13.). If you'd like to potentially meet to discuss your IT startup, I've got a couple of slots left in the afternoon. Feel free to send email (joe@AfterNines.com).

1. Special Thanks: Hats off to JumpCloud CEO Rajat Bhargava and Work Market CEO Jeff Leventhal. Both executives described their entrepreneurial journeys in our weekly podcast series, "Good Evening, I.T. Entrepreneurs," updated each Tuesday night at 9:01 p.m. ET. Check out the complete archive along with links to our RSS and iTunes feed by visit: www.AfterNines.com/CEO.

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