5 Tech Observations to Start Your Day 121714

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology rumors, gossip, insights, chatter and good old reporting to start your day for Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.

Yowzers. Today's update actually spans 12 entries. Enjoy.

12. Careful of the Hadoop Hype: If Big Data was a rock band, Hadoop would be the colorful front man -- the David Lee Roth of digital hype. The Wall Street Journal today suggested that Hadoop "underpins" the Big Data craze. Sorry, but I'll respectfully disagree. While an important technology, Hadoop is simply one piece in a much larger IT puzzle. And just like Linux, many Hadoop distributions will disappear as the overall industry consolidates around fewer players. Sure, I might buy some Hortonworks stock at some point. But if I do, I'll go in with eyes wide open -- realizing that it's a very high risk play...

11. Cha-Ching: Ten additional banks now back Apple Pay, including TD Bank North America. The digital wallet technology seems to be going mainstream -- especially as retailers begin to encrypt point of sale systems from hackers. Google Wallet still seems like a more complex alternative -- despite its tagline ("An easier way to pay"). That's why Samsung -- one of Google's closest Android partners -- is actually in talks to promote an Apple Pay alternative called LoopPay. Of course, some retailers are going down the CurrentC digital payment path. But Apple is pretty far down the road at this point...

10. Inexcusable: Thirty-eight percent of Silicon Valley 150 Index companies (SV 150) do not have a single woman on their board of directors, according to Gender Diversity in Silicon Valley study by Fenwick & West. In stark contrast, every company in the S&P 100 index of large companies has at least one female director. Study after study suggests that executive diversity leads to better financial performance. Ignore half the population in your boardroom, and I suspect you're going to get disrupted in a major way...

9. Did You Hear?: Directive CEO Chris Chase describes how he built a family business -- without destroying his family along the way. The digital marketing agency remains in growth mode thanks to 40 talented employees -- four of whom are part of the Chase family. So how do you balance family and business? Check out Episode 12 of our podcast series, Good Evening, I.T. Entrepreneurs.

8. Legal Watch: Former employees are suing Sony Pictures Entertainment, claiming the company didn't properly safeguard their personal data. Yes, Sony suffered one of the year's biggest hacks. But doesn't Sony -- not former employees -- own the data that got dumped on the Web?

7. Safe Deposit Box: Cloud file sharing service Box has rolled out Box Trust -- a security frame work for customers who are moving data to the cloud. The move comes as Box tries to win over some skeptical businesses that prohibit Box use by employees. Plus, Box is trying to march toward a belated initial public offering...

6. Killing Your Credibility: No matter how many times I witness the implosions, I'm always surprised when I.T. entrepreneurs deliver bad presentations to potential angel investors. The three biggest credibility killers: Founders who lack of transparency, lack confidence, and don't praise the company's overall team, according to Alex Melnick

5. Up in Smoke?: PayPal's co-founder apparently plans to back a Seattle investment company focused on marijuana...

4. Social Geeks: Wisegate, a social media platform for senior IT professionals, has raised another $4 million. Members pay to access the gated community, where they share tips, reviews and how-to information about specific IT products and services. The network does not accept advertising, nor can IT vendors join. I've been watching CEO Sara Gates build Wisegate for more than a year now and I'm impressed. The challenge, however, involves the revenue model. Wisegate doesn't publish its pricing. Instead, you need to "request a quote" to potentially join -- either individually or as a team. I'm always wary when I can't see pricing upfront. Still, the approach creates a mystique -- like the old red velvet rope in front of a nightclub. 

3. M&A Move: Carbonite has acquired MailStore, an email archiving service, for $20 million. The move comes only days after Carbonite transitioned its CEO crown from David Friend (still chairman) to HP veteran Mohamad Ali. The move pushing Carbonite deeper into the corporate compliance and eDiscovery market. 

2. Google Analytics for Small Business: Not sure how to get started with Google Analytics in your small business? Check out this fantastic guide from Business2Community. In addition to helping you gather boatloads of Web traffic data, the guide essentially represents a first step toward Big Data. That's right: You're gathering data, measuring the information vs. your company goals (Key Performance Indicators) and then gaining knowledge along the way. 

1. Safe (for Now): As you may have heard, thousands of WordPress sites are suffering from malware called SoakSoak. Fortunately, After Nines Inc. doesn't have any assets on WordPress. At least not right now...

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