5 Tech Observations to Start Your (Mid) Day 121214

Good afternoon, I.T. Entrepreneurs. This blog entry usually surfaces around 9:01 a.m. ET or earlier. But I've been out working in the garage... hence the delayed posting -- and the reason we're called After Nines (wink, wink). Here are five technology news nuggets, insights, gossip and chatter to get you through Friday, Dec. 12, 2014.

Actually, today's update involves seven items...

7. Big Debut: New Relic, the next-generation IT monitoring, application management and big data company, launched $115 million in its IPO. The stock jumped from a $23 open to $32 in early morning trading. Somewhere, potential rivals like AppDynamics (marching toward an IPO) and Boundary (earlier stage) are smiling, as Wall Street sees growing value in these new-generation IT management and performance management players.

6. All in the Family: Directive CEO Chris Chase gave me a call today, and we spent extensive time talking about his digital marketing business. The company has grown to 40 employees--three of whom are Chris' family members -- including his wife and two sons. So how do you build a real business, ensure that family members add value rather than distractions, and make sure all employees feel valued? Chris shared his views during a podcast that we'll publish on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 9:01 p.m. Visit www.AfterNines.com/CEO for that and our archived Good Evening, I.T. entrepreneurs podcasts.

5. Hate to Say I Told You So: Now that it's official... don't forget where you heard the chatter first.

4. Big Debut, Part II: HortonWorks, the Big Data Hadoop company, also IPOed today -- and shares jumped about 50 percent to $24. CNBC says Hadoop is now going prime time. But be careful. Most of the major Hadoop providers are not yet profitable.

3. Cisco Software Revisited: Throughout the 1990s, Cisco attempted to push beyond hardware into software -- promoting network management software and the Internetworking Operating System (IOS -- before Apple iOS came along). Then came the 2000s -- when Cisco acquired SaaS players like WebEx to promote unified communications. Fast forward to the present, and Cisco is now promoting software amid the Big Data and Internet of Things waves. Do I think Cisco is finally a software company? No. Have they come a long, long way since traditional switches and routers in the 1990s? Absolutely.

2. Windows 10 Beta?: Microsoft is expected to share more details abut Windows 10 on Jan. 21. As you'll recall, Microsoft has been positioning the Windows 10 development effort around enterprises first, though there will certainly be consumer updates, too.

1. City Slicker: Today marks the third consecutive day I'm heading from my Long Island home into New York City... What could I possibly be working on while speed dialing Amy Katz every few hours? Hmmm...

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