5 Tech Observations: 5 February 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, misleading statements (or not) and plenty more to start your day for Thursday, February 5, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 14 items.

14. Healthy Forecast: Apple's healthcare technology is spreading quickly among major US hospitals, according to Reuters. Who wins? Sure, doctors and patients -- and Apple. But perhaps another big potential winner is IBM -- which has been building a range of apps and support services for Apple iOS. Now, can IBM focus that iOS effort on healthcare. The answer: Apple is building a national enterprise sales team for the IBM partnership. The focus? Industrial, financial... and healthcare customers.

13. Facing Up to Unfortunate Facts: Nearly 75 percent of women feel like outsiders while working within the IT industry -- compared to 17 percent of men, according to a Catalyst survey. While I certainly don't have cure-all solutions, organizations like Golden Seeds (which invests in female-led startups) and CompTIA (Advancing Women in IT) are chipping away at the problem. 

12. What Comes After Docker?: The answer could be ClusterHQ, which has raised $12 million in Series A funding to push Flocker. The open source software allows users to more easily manage datasets inside the Docker Hub -- a fancy way of saying data and applications can be synchronized and interconnected far more easily.

11. Growing Up?: After Nines Inc. has suddenly gone corporate, requiring at least three separate bids for all outsourced IT projects going forward. That's assuming we have IT projects upon which to work. And the budget to pay for them. And the vision... and... 

10. Ironic: Microsoft is finally delivering Outlook on Apple iOS -- but also is buying Sunrise, which makes a mobile calendar app, re/code claims. More irony: The new Outlook for iOS is basically powered by Acompli -- an email app that Microsoft acquired in December, re/code wisely notes.

9. Old School: Apparently, even Harvard Business School is struggling to keep its coursework up to date with the latest technology and business waves. Proof positive that a $58,875 tuition and a $36.4 billion endowment don't guarantee IT leadership...

8. New School: HourlyNerd, an online marketplace for "elite freelance business talent," has raised $7.8 million in Series B funding. Ironically, HourlyNerd's origins stretch back to the Harvard Business School (HBS) classroom -- suggesting that the Ivy League university isn't so out of touch, after all.

7. Contrarian: CNN Money's David Goldman predicts the Apple Watch will flop because of cost ($350), rumors of limited battery life (10 hours), bulky design (see Moto 360 as an alternative), no compelling apps and the possibility users will wait for something better. My view? I'll withhold judgment until I see how developers leverage WatchKit. Apple Watch is expected to ship in April.

6. Chasing Jeff's Cloud: Amazon now commands 30 percent of the cloud services market, according to Synergy Research Group -- followed by Microsoft (11 percent), IBM (7 percent) and Google (5 percent). Of those companies, IBM is growing the slowest (48 percent) and Microsoft is growing the fastest (96 percent). 

6. New Hangout, Skype Rival: Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing and meeting service, has raised another $30 million to drive its business forward. Yet another example that "good enough" video is getting really good -- and eating away at super-expensive telepresence alternatives.

5. Risky Business: In recent weeks, I've mentioned that crowdfunding is putting the squeeze on traditional angel investors. But I've also raised questions about how crowdfunding platforms perform due diligence on startups. Now a UK financial regulator -- called the Financial Conduct Authority -- says most British crowdfunding websites downplay risks. US regulators have been working to address and/or mitigate similar challenges on this side of the pond.

4. Crew Wanted: ARRC Technology CEO Alex Rogers keeps telling the world that his business is hiring. A tip for those submitting resumes... Get your sea legs under you before you potentially interview.

3. Bootstrapped And Bankrupt: Entrepreneurs who bootstrap their companies can wind up out of business because they never take the time to build connections with angel investors, venture capitalists, banks and other types of funders or lenders, according to The Wall Street Journal. After Nines Inc. will have a lot more to say about this sometime around the time we launch Q3 payroll or Q3 expense payments...

2. Magic Touch: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has "charmed Silicon Valley through energetic personal diplomacy," the WSJ says. Maybe the real headline should read: Microsoft CEO has largely charmed the media...

1. Sand Hill Road: Why is After Nines Inc. CEO Amy Katz obsessed with that famous roadway? It may take another seven months of navigating related zip codes before she reveals the answer...

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