5 Technology Observations: 29 April 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology updates, insights, rumors, and gossip (can't skip the gossip...) to start your day for Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

11. Sounds Smart: IBM apparently have developed a circuit that could set the stage for quantum computers. It sort of sounds like a Big Bang moment for IT... if only I understood the implications.

10. Epic Fail: Twitter announced deeply disappointing quarterly financial results yesterday, pushing Twitter shares down roughly 20 percent. The good news: Quarterly revenue surged 74 percent to $436 million. Awesome. Who wouldn't love a 74 percent growth rate? Answer: Wall Street, which was expecting Twitter revenues to be about $20 million higher that the $436 million result.

9. Windows 10? Not: Re/code claims Microsoft really needs to build Windows 10 developed interest at this week's Build conference. Sorry, but I think Re/code is looking at the wrong end of the market. My spin: Microsoft's top developer priority should involve evangelizing the Azure cloud to ISVs. And for 2016, Microsoft should drop "Windows" from the event URL -- which currently is www.WindowsBuild.com. After all, Microsoft already dropped the Windows moniker from Azure and Intune...

8. Big App Store: No, not Apple or Google. I'm referring to Salesforce AppExchange -- which has hit 3 million installs. That's especially impressive considering most of the apps involve enterprise-class features rather than consumer code.

7. Great Offer: Cisco has introduced a free decryption tool for ransomware victims. Still, ransomware encryption can vary from case to case -- which means you may need to track down a specific tool from a specific vendor to solve your encryption problem.

6. Disrupter: independenceIT just landed on Gartner's radar. For those who aren't familiar with independence IT, here's the short spin: Call it desktop as a service -- and plenty more -- without a hidden direct sales agenda.

5. Game On: Atari founder Nolan Bushnell is set to speak at GamesBeat Summit (May 5-6, Sausalito, Calif.). I won't be there because of a conference commitment elsewhere (hmmm... really)? But Bushnell is worth the price of entry at GameBeat.

4. We Do Cloud, Too: Amid all the cloud momentum over at Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and even IBM, the folks at Oracle are seeking some equal time. Indeed, Oracle Senior VP Shawn Price will moderate a cloud customer panel on April 29 at 12:00 pm PT. CEO Mark Hurd just last week said 95 percent of Oracle's products would be available as cloud services by October 2015 -- up from about 60 percent or so today.

3. Fresh Funding: Tech startups that just raised money include...

  • Albeado (Santa Clara, Calif.), which develops predictive analytics software, raised $3 million in Series A funding led by Brillio
  • CargoSense (Reston, Va.), a cloud-based big data and analytics company, raised $2.5 million from multiple backers.
  • DataTorrent (Santa Clara, Calif.), focused on real-time big data analytics, raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Singtel Innov8.
  • Icertis (Bellevue, Wash.), which develops contract lifecycle management software atop Microsoft's Azure cloud, raised $6 million in Series A funding from multiple backers.
  • Validic (Durham, N.C.), which offers a digital health platform, raised $12.5 million in Series B funding led by Kaiser Permanente.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ever notice how analytics and big data dominate the tech startup funding realm these days?

2. Emerging From Stealth Mode: Back in November and December, I kept hinting that several sources were preparing to make major career jumps. Fast forward to the present and a few of those sources are working at stealth-mode companies. It's a safe bet they'll pull back the curtain on their business strategies in the next few weeks... Stay tuned. 

1. What Is A True Startup?: Amy Katz and I got into that debate yesterday. Is a venture-backed company with a $1 billion-plus valuation really a startup? Or is a startup more of a scrappy, small, seed-funded entity? I suspect our debate could go on for a few more months. Hmmm... or at least until...

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