5 Tech Observations: 12 January 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news nuggets, insights, rumors, gossip and mood swings (my own, of course) to start your day for Monday, January 12, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves nine items.

9. Congrats: eGuard Technology Services CEO Khaled Farhang has negotiated a deal to acquire NewTeq Computer Services. The IT businesses are based in Washington, D.C., and Frederick, Md., respectively. Always great to see an I.T. entrepreneur navigating the M&A market.

8. Angel on the Line: Amy Katz and I are speaking with a key angel investor today about some strategic business ideas. Are we seeking seed money? Nope. Just some real-world feedback from a name we know and trust.

7. Circle the Date: The long-awaited Box IPO could occur on Jan. 22 -- though at two-thirds the value of Box's original plan from early last year. Box looks to be valued at $1.5 billion, own from $2.4 billion in mid-2014, Re/code says. And even then, I wonder if file sync and sharing valuations are too high.

6. The Big Show: The National retail Federation's big conference is this week in New York. No doubt, retail technologies like beacons and digital payment systems will generate plenty of buzz. If you're an I.T. entrepreneur targeting the retail vertical, track the NRF conference buzz here.

5. Watch Apps: The buzz has started. Apple Watch reportedly is set to ship in March. But I've been alerting readers to keep an eye on WatchKit -- the app development tools for the watch. Slick, useful apps will "put the wow in Apple Watch," according to The Wall Street Journal. I tend to agree. 

4. Business Flights: In response to an inquiry I got on Friday: "Only if they're direct. And never on Sundays unless there's money or a truly strategic relationship awaiting me at the destination." Alas, missed or delayed connection flights is the number one productivity killer on the road.

3. Mo' Money: MongoDB, one of the fast-growing providers of NoSQL databases for Big Data applications, has raised another $80 million in venture capital. Of course, the company is seeking to educate a new wave of database administrators who can recommend, deploy and maintain MongoDB.

2. U.S. Cybersecurity: President Obama will announce some sort of cybersecurity effort this week -- in a series of speeches ahead of a State of the Union address. You can bet Silicon Valley's influencers have the President's ear. But I wonder if the U.S. can build an IT defense that's as strong as the government's IT offense -- also known as the NSA.

1. Great Call With Mumbai: Are Amy and I set to offshore some of our work? Not exactly. But a one-hour call this morning provided a few long-term ideas for follow-the-sun initiatives. If months were days, this would be an eight-day strategy.

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