5 Technology Observations: 13 April 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter and unsubstantiated rumors to start your day for Monday, April 13, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves six items.

6. Big Numbers: Spotify, the Pandora music streaming service rival, is now valued at roughly $8.4 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. That valuation arrives as Spotify prepares to raise another $400 million. I haven't seen the books. But I remain worried about all the "billion dollar startup" hype...

5. Top BI Platforms: Ever wonder which business intelligence (BI) software platforms are the best tools for the job? While the answer varies on customer need, these 11 business intelligence platforms were recently ranked by Forrester Wave research. 

4. Early Apple Watch Sales: Nearly 1 million people in the US pre-ordered Apple Watch on Friday -- the first day the smartwatch was available for sale, according to Slice Intelligence. Overall Apple Watch sales forecasts are all over the map for 2015. The two most important variables so far: (1) Early reviews say Apple Watch is the best smartwatch available -- (2) but cost, battery life and a lack of killer applications could hinder near-term adoption, most pundits have been saying.

3. LinkedIn Content Management: Anybody else notice Elevate, an app to suggest and share stories across LinkedIn? It's only available for a "select number of companies" at the present time -- but Elevate sounds like a potential way to "empower your employees to share great content with their networks." My only concern: Does this mean even more social "noise" on LinkedIn? Hmmm... Surely, that means another shameless plug for ComLinked -- a potential B2B alternative to LinkedIn.

2. Mobile Search Alert -- Reiterated: I mentioned last week that Google is changing its mobile search algorithm on April 21. Roughly 44 percent of Fortune 500 companies are NOT mobile friendly and could take a search result hit once Google updates the algorithm,  according to TechCrunch.

Examples of bad
mobile search results involve
website text
that doesn't 
re-flow
automatically based on
a
device's screen 
size. That's a major event fail in my book.

For those that are prepared for April 21, try not to gloat too loudly as your rivals try to re-code their sites to work across smartphones and mobile devices of all sizes.

1. Hadoop As a Service?: Yes indeed, a range of cloud services -- offering Hadoop clusters on demand -- have gained popularity for big data applications. So what makes Qubole different? CEO Ashish Thusoo is set to share answers during our next podcast (Episode 31) on Tuesday, April 14, at 9:01 p.m. ET.

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