5 Tech Observations: 4 February 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, views and chatter to start your day for Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves nine items...

9. What Bubble?: Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a think tanks, says there is no valuation bubble in the valley. President Russell Hancock said "I don't see any kind of bubble. This is not 2000." Ironically, I've got from slightly worried to slightly more worried... Perhaps because venture capital hit a 14-year high in  2014...

8. Keeping it Real: Ready to quit your job to get back to basics -- but don't have the courage to do so? Sit down and watch Chef -- a small movie from some big Hollywood names. It ain't the best flick I've seen this year, but it provides a great "reset" for those who are struggling to rediscover their personal and professional ambitions.

7. Twitter for Small Business: The social network's new quick promote feature offers "a faster and easier way for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to get their best content in front of more people on Twitter. My reaction: But does that reach put the SMB in front of the right people?

6. Congrats: To Cloud Nation CEO Steve Ferman on his next big move, which could be a win for the larger I.T. entrepreneur ecosystem. While continuing to build out Cloud Nation (Podcast 011), Ferman is working on an ecosystem play -- shared leads, group benefits, and plenty more... That's all I can say for now. Ask Steve what he's up to...

5. Worried About Crowd Control: Are crowd funding websites putting the squeeze on angel investors? Consider this: 50 percent of seed-stage deals are now raised through crowd funding platforms, according to Beauhurst. That's up from 30 percent in 2014 and 20 percent in 2013... Despite the growing popularity of crowd funding systems, some skeptics worry that the "crowd" approach waters down due diligence, and may actually promote companies that don't typically warrant funding.

4. Game Back On: Alibaba is investing in Ouya, the struggling, low-cost game system alternative to Xbox and Playstation. Ouya caught the creative world's attention more than a year ago, launching a so-called microconsole where all games offered free trials. But the controller was lame and the system never took off. Still, Ouya is a great business case study -- where poor hardware design -- that darn controller -- essentially stalled a great freemium software strategy.

3. Mobile Data Traffic: Cisco says there will be 5.2 billion global mobile users by 2019, up from 4.3 billion today. Plus, there will be 11.5 billion mobile-ready devices and connection, a jump from roughly 7.5 billion in 2014. Mobile broadband speeds will increase 2.4-fold, reaching 4.0 Mbps in 2019. Yada, yada,  yada. "Mobile first" remains the rally cry for all content developers, app writers, etc. The far bigger question: What type of mobile devices -- not in use today -- will emerge by 2019, and what does that mean for content, app, hardware and software companies?

2. Big Money: Qumulo has raised $40 million in Series B funding for software-defined storage initiatives. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the round. The startup's leadership includes executives who previously worked for Amazon Web Services, Isilon, CA Technologies, and more.

1. Check the Flight Plans: Anybody else notice a lot of executive activity between Tampa and the Carolinas lately?

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