5 Tech Distractions to Start Your Day, Sept 16

Welcome to Day One of After Nines Inc. Yes, today is launch day. For those who are just getting up to speed, we update this blog daily at 9:01 a.m. ET with five tech rumors, gossip and observations to start your day -- and maybe even delay your focus on work a bit. Here's today's update.

5. Small IPOs, Big Problems?: The JOBS Act (short for Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act) allows companies with under $1 billion in revenue to more easily pursue IPOs (initial public offerings). Basically, smaller companies can fly below the radar, offer scaled back disclosures and then more rapidly pursue IPOs. But now, The Wall Street Journal suggests, the JOBS Act could be harming long-term investors, allegedly reducing the time and information they need to make informed IPO buying decisions.

4. What's In A Name?: Speaking of potential IPOs, imagine the following scenario: Acme company reorganizes itself into two businesses -- Beta Company and Gamma Company.

  • Beta is a fast-growth operation.
  • Gamma company is a solid performer but not experiencing hyper growth.

In that scenario, it's a safe bet the reorg sets the stage for Beta to go public down the road. Not sure what I'm talking about? Check recent tech headlines...

3. Big Money: Docker, which makes "container" technology that may ultimately compete with virtualization software, is now valued at $400 million, according to term sheets for a new funding round. Best wishes to longtime industry friend Roger Egan, one of the key people over at Docker. Egan was one of the first people to tell me about the "coming" Docker revolution. I'm not saying Docker is now a home run. But it looks like investors are betting heavily on the company.

2. Irrational Exuberance Revisited: A top venture capitalist says Silicon Valley has taken on far too much risk. Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark, quotes Warren Buffet's famous statement: "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful." Right now, he claims, investors and business owners are being far too greedy. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Gurley describes how local landlords are trying to lock tenants into high-priced 10-year leases -- a surefire sign that things are getting overheated in the Valley.

Am I nervous to co-launch a company amid another potential tech bubble? Only somewhat. Yes, the tech bubble may pop again. But Amy and I have been through tech and Wall Street bubbles before (1999, 2008). Our approach: Stay focused on customers, stay rational, spend wisely, and live below our means.

1. What Privacy?: During the last six months of 2013, Google received nearly 32,000 requests to hand over user data to various governments. Google complied with about 65 percent of the cases. The U.S. government made the most requests (12,539), followed by Germany (3,338) and France (3,002). Ironically, Apple CEO Tim Cook is telling customers that Apple's cloud services are not a treasure trove for the NSA and other government agencies. I like Tim Cook, but I'm not sure I trust that statement.

Bonus: Catch up with me, Mike Elgan and Jason Howell today (Tuesday, Sept. 16) at 1pm ET/10 a.m. PT. We'll be co-anchoring Tech News Today (http://live.twit.tv or http://www.twit.tv/tnt), and interviewing some of the world's top IT journalists about their exclusive scoops.

And don't forget to visit After Nines (www.AfterNines.com) at 9:01 a.m. ET each business day for the latest top 5 blog to kick off your morning. From time to time, I may also weave in some more info about some of the consulting work Amy Katz and I are doing in the market.

Bonus 2 - Subscribe to our newsletter: Want to receive our blog updates at 9:01 a.m. ET each business day? Simply subscribe to our newsletter right here.

That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by.