5 Tech Observations: 3 February 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Plus, an especially warm greetings to our New England readers -- thousands of whom are digging out from another snowstorm. Here are five technology updates, insights, rumors, news and more to start your day for Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves seven items.

7. DevOps Gotta Be Next: Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm, has been pumping money into developer-focused businesses -- including Stack Exchange, which runs the fast-growing Q&A board and media site called Stack Overflow. While pure blogs are yesterday's news, the intersection of IT media and developers is a hot field...

6. More Bubble Talk: Roughly once a week, we warn readers that Silicon Valley startup valuations could be nearing their limits -- with a bubble potentially set to pop in the next few months. The latest warning emerged during a panel designed to recruit Harvard Business School students into the VC world. But the panel discussion raised plenty of concerns about valuations...

5. Sinking Faster?: So, Staples and Office Depot are in "advanced talks" to potentially merge. While I'm a Staples shopper, that doesn't mean I'd be a fan of two struggling retail companies converging under one Big Box roof. What's that old line about two drowning men grabbing onto each other in order to stay afloat?

4. Have and Have Nots: AnyPerk, a platform that allows companies to deliver perks and discounts to their employees, has raised $8.5 million to build out its company. The perks can involve discounts to broadway shows, health club memberships, restaurants and more. I'm intrigued and love the concept. But what if businesses started to improve their "perks" by focusing on the basics: Better raises and compensation, 401K matches, profit sharing... 

3. Big Data M&A: DataStax, the well-known NoSQL database player, has acquired Aurelius -- an eight-person team that maintains the open-source graph database called TitanDB. Educated guess: NoSQL-focused companies will lead the next software, cloud and big data IPO charge by late this year or in early 2016.

2. MuniWireless Boost: The FCC may eliminate restrictions on municipal-owned Internet services. That's a fancy way of saying cities and towns may gain more rights to build out WiFi and broadband networks -- without waiting on traditional cable and telecom providers to do so. If you're in the government IT market hoping to track this story longer-term, MuniWireless remains a great resource for doing so. Tell site editor and owner Esme Vos we said hello.

1. Next Podcast: Join us at 9:01 p.m. ET this evening for our next Good Evening, I.T. Entrepreneurs podcast. Our guest, mxHero CEO Alex Panagides, describes the converging worlds of cloud file management (Box, Dropbox, etc.) and email -- where they intersect and how to manage it all.

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