5 Technology Observations: 5 March 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology updates, insights, chatter, rumors, gossip and perhaps even more to start your day for Thursday, March 5, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 13 items...

13. Pathetic But True: During a sex-discrimination trial, famed venture capitalist John Doerr admitted that it's "too hard [for women entrepreneurs] to get funding" and that means very few women become VCs. But here's the twist. Whether Doerr sees it or not, the market is changing. Skeptical? Check out Golden Seeds -- an angel investor group comprised mostly of women (though men are certainly welcome). Golden Seeds only invests in companies that have female ownership, helping to drive diversity in the startup ranks.

12. Millionaires in the Making: What do tomorrow's millionaires look like? The biggest growth demographic... according to a new study... is women. Sort of ironic, considering the fact that women face a more difficult time getting equal pay, funding, business loans, etc. If women can overcome those odds and become millionaires -- wouldn't it make sense for men to leave their social bias at the door, invest in more women-led businesses, and see women deliver even better financial returns on a level playing field?

11. M&A: Docker has acquired SocketPlane. The move could blur the line between software containers (which allow developers to more rapidly test and move apps from one server to another) and networking, thanks to SocketPlane's networking API expertise.

10. Wireless LAN Battle: Cisco's wireless LAN market share reached 48.4 percent in Q4 2014, up slightly from 48.3 percent in the Q4 2013, according to IDC. In stark contrast, HP's market share dropped to 4.3 percent -- down from 5.4 percent the year prior. As you may recall, HP is buying Aruba Networks -- and the raw data suggests that could be a good move. Aruba's Q4 2014 market share was 11.8 percent, up from 9.8 percent in Q4 2013. Of course, HP now faces this wildcard: Actually integrating Aruba properly into the larger Hewlett-Packard Enterprise business, which is scheduled to split off from HP Inc. (PCs and printers) later this year.

8. Securing Office 365: Samsung and Microsoft are bundling Office 365 with Android Knox -- the secure enterprise mobility platform. That's a great step forward for Office 365 -- especially as Microsoft continues to diversify by pushing far beyond Windows on mobile and smartphone devices.

7. Google and IoT: When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT) or machine-to-machine (M2M) computing, be sure to keep an eye on Google Cloud Pub/Sub. The messaging service, now in beta, connects applications and data streams. I don't know enough to say if or when Google Cloud Pub/Sub will become a pure M2M offering, essentially removing any human interaction as machines and applications communicate with each other.

6. Promising Stat: U.S. small business employment increased by 94,000 jobs from January 2015 to February 2015, according to ADP. Alas, After Nines Inc. hasn't done any hiring during our R&D stage... Well, at least not in terms of full timers...

5. Google and Small Business: The company's Fiber Internet service (1Gbps for $100 per month) is now available to small businesses in Provo, Utah and Kansas City. Google Fiber is one of those "wish I had it" broadband networks -- available in only a few metropolitan areas... though deployments in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham are coming later this year.

4. Small Business Retirement Plans: Many I.T. entrepreneurs are so busy building their businesses that they forget to build a nest egg -- for themselves and their employees. In some cases, retirement plans are far too expensive for startups and small businesses. But a startup called HonestDollar is striving to change that -- introducing a small business retirement platform that costs only $10 per employee per month. It's in beta now.

3. Enterprise App Reality Check: Appcelerator, which develops a platform that allows enterprise businesses to build, deploy and distribute their own apps, has cut 30 percent of its staff. It sounds like the company will shift to a self-service SaaS model (um... a little late?). I'm curious to know if or how Appcelerator competes with AppDirect -- which essentially offers a platform for service providers to build online app and software malls for their customers.

2. Fresh Funding: 

  • Booker, which makes a small business platform for managing schedules, customer relationships, POS payments, marketing and more -- has raised $35 million in Series C funding. 
  • SaaS Capital, which provides debt-based growth capital to cloud companies (of the SaaS variety, naturally), has closed a second fund valued at $58 million. The company's credit facilities range from $2 million to $10 million.

1. Congrats: Memo to Neal Bradbury. It's snowing yet again here in New York -- but friends tell me Spring is coming. I'm still heads-down elsewhere, but maybe we can catch up when the sun sets on Spring -- and rises again in the Fall.

Subscribe: Want to receive our blog headlines in your inbox each business day? Then subscribe to our enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.