5 Technology Observations: 1 April 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter and gossip -- devoid of lame April Fools' Day jokes -- to start your day for Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Wow. Today's list is actually 15 items...

15. "Don't Worry Kids. That's Just Skynet": SoftBank's founder says machines will soon be smarter than humans -- and wiser, too. SoftBank plans to lead the emerging information revolution to make people happy, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

14. Tweeting A Little Louder: Twitter's latest tool, called Curator, offers a new way to "find and display great Twitter content." I'm intrigued. Could this be an easy way to ignore 99.9 percent of the Twitter noise -- and promote the 0.1 percent that actually interests me and my community? (If I had a community, that is...). Hmmm...

13. Hmmm...: Funny, but I haven't used the old "Hmmm..." line in quite some time. It's usually my way to indicate that I'm up to something that hasn't been announced yet. There's also the reliable "Ahem..." line, a strong indication of sarcasm or a call to action that you may otherwise have missed. An example combo use case: "Hmmm... I've really got to figure out how to use my stockpiles of "Ahems" before some of them expire in late 2015."

12. I Feel Better Already: The IRS is keeping a close eye on email security, according to Commissioner John Koskinen. He did not disclose if that involves locking up a server in his own house.

11. IBM's Internet of Things Strategy: Mike Elgan, Ron Miller and I discuss IBM's $3 billion IoT strategy -- including a working relationship with the Weather Company. Here's the recap from Tech News Today:

PS: Elgan hosts Tech News Today every week day at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. I co-anchor each Tuesday.

10. Testing SDN: Want to kick the tires on software-defined networking. IBM has two test centers designed for exactly that purpose.

9. Facebook vs. Telecom: The showdown involves Facebook's WhatsApp, which allows billions of messages to flow across telecom networks -- without paying telecom providers a cent. Can telecom providers strike back? Here's one potential route forward.

8. GoDaddy IPO: It sounds like the company will go public today under the symbol GDDY. I'm not looking to make money here. But I certainly want to see GoDaddy perform well in public markets because After Nines Inc. has been a customer since the day we launched. We're particularly impressed with GoDaddy's automation. Email, domain management and plenty more seem to run on autopilot. As a small business with limited resources, we value that commitment to automation.

7. Welcome to Q2 2015: Whether you missed, hit or exceeded your Q1 goals -- that quarter is over. Look back just long enough to figure out what you did right and wrong. Don't try to "make up" for missed Q1 revenue in Q2. Instead, listen to your customers needs. Hush up. Listen. See, they'll actually tell you what they need...

6. Student Intern: We've got one in our somewhere-near-Boston office. And I hear she's a data master.

5. Hello Again: HP veteran Dave Donatelli is now Oracle's executive VP of hardware, according to Business Insider. The enterprise executive's apparent career move comes several months before HP splits into two companies -- Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (servers, storage, networking, etc.) and HP Inc. (PCs and printers.

4. Stat of the Day: 80 percent of Pinterest's traffic comes from mobile. Hmmm... mobile sounds important but tricky.

3. Getting Out of Hardware: Not really. But Ford Motor is starting to view itself as an information company rather than a manufacturer. Not by coincidence, the company hired Paul Ballew as its first Chief Data and Analytics Officer in December 2014. Big data can be powerful. But never forget about your core assets. Cars may become wireless entertainment hubs -- i.e, mobile living rooms. But if they can't get you safely and reliably from point A to point B, all that information and wireless entertainment is useless.

2. Startup Accelerators: Business accelerators offer startup funding, mentorship and other services to new companies. We've covered a few -- such as TechStars (Podcast 17) -- here on After Nines Inc. But how can you find the accelerator that's best for your startup? Perhaps this Top 20 Start-up Accelerator List from Harvard Business Review fits the bill. It's a good starting point for your research, but there are addition accelerators worth checking out, such as Galvanize. Special thanks to IT marketing guru Steve Stewart for the list link and the Galvanize tip.

1. Enterprise Opinions: I have more of them. A lot more. But should I share them? Amy and I are mulling that now. 

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