5 Tech Observations: 13 January 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here's the latest technology news, insights, gossip, chatter and rumors to start your day for Tuesday, January 13, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 11 items.

11. Get It Early: How did Seismic CEO Doug Winter build VC relationships and raise $20 million in Series B funding? He provides answers in our latest podcast, which was set to go live tonight at 9:01 p.m. ET. But since Seismic just raised the money we've posted the timely conversation early. Find it here.

10. Congrats: Shannon Mayer has a new gig, joining Continuum as Senior Marketing Programs Manager. The SMB IT expert -- well known in SMB IT circles -- most recently was at LogMeIn. Congrats, Shannon.

9. Wearable Ads: So, you want to place an advertisement on Apple Watch's screen? TapSense -- a mobile ad exchange -- is in beta with that capability. Also, inMarket is connecting the dots between in-store beacons and Apple Watch -- which is expected to ship in March, though Apple has not publicly confirmed that date. For I.T. entrepreneurs, I've probably overstated my belief that Apple Watch may usher in the next generation of mobile app development.

8. Congrats Part II: The former CEO of a well-known cloud backup company has a new gig. Or so we've heard. When the news becomes official we'll be sure to spread the word..

7. Big Money (Bubble?): U.S. venture capital firms raised $29.8 billion in 2014, up 69 percent from 2013 and nearly level with annual levels (2005-2007) before the housing market bubble popped in 2008. The high point over the past decade arrived in 2006 ($31.1 billion) before dropping all the way to $13.3 billion in 2010, according to the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters.

6. Congrats Part III: Christy Goodwin-Sacco -- prolific in the SMB technology industry for marketing, events management and so much more -- has joined Panasonic. Or so I've heard. Directly from the source. Allegedly. Congrats, Christy. I look forward to hearing specific details.

5. The Secret's Out: Google declined to sign an Obama-backed student privacy pledge backed by about 75 other companies -- including Apple and Microsoft. It sounds like Google supports most -- but not all -- of the privacy pledge requirements. My spin: It's safe to expect Microsoft to use this privacy pledge in the Google Apps vs. Microsoft Office 365 market share battle on college campuses and in K-12 schools...

4. CIOs Embrace Hadoop: It sounds like CIOs are warming up quickly to Hadoop, according to a Deutsche Bank survey. The open source platform, popular for analytics and big data applications, has multiple distributions (similar to Linux). Key players include Hortonworks (already public), Cloudera and MapR, among many others. Just be careful with your IT or investment choices. Some pundits think Hadoop distributions will ship for free with operating systems like Windows Server and Linux...

3. Wait, There's An Alternative?: Docker, the open source container technology, earns plenty of headlines because it allows developers to more easily write and move applications from one platform (say, an on-premises server) to another platform (say, a cloud server). But alternatives like Rocket and Microsoft Drawbridge are starting to draw interest from IT pundits. Including me.

2. Listen In (Or Watch): I'm set to co-anchor Tech News Today with Mike Elgan at 1:00 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT today (every Tuesday). The live netcast (video stream) features some of the top IT journalists from across the world discussing exclusive developments live. You can also find all the episodes archived here. Tune in to hear and see me stumble over my words in a live, unedited setting.

1. On Second Thought: Maybe we will -- or won't -- publicly launch our next branded product or service in Q1 2015. Amy Katz and I got some great feedback from an angel investor yesterday. One of our ideas has legs... but needs new shoes, a better set of laces and perhaps a little bit of training in the gym before it hits the ground and runs publicly. Overall, 2015 is still looking good for us but the word of the day is patience. Oh, and focus. Oh, and evolve. Oh, and...

PS to Amy Katz: Great use of multi-channel communications to me this morning. If I wasn't in denial I'd reply sooner. All the best for 2015.

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