5 Technology Observations: 10 June 2015

Good morning (or afternoon), I.T. entrepreneurs and greetings from Hadoop Summit in San Jose. Here are five technology news insights, gossip, rumors, chatter and plenty more to start your day for Wednesday, June 10, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 10 updates to sip on.

10. Hot Stuff: FireEye veteran David Damato has joined Tanium -- a security and systems management startup -- as chief security officer. FireEye has been the poster child for IT security investigations after high-profile breaches at Athena Health and Sony. Damato's career move was first reported by Re/code.

9. This Week At Apple...: For a high-level recap of Apple Worldwide Developer Conference news, check out this edition of Tech News Today -- featuring Sarah Mitroff, Dan Seifert and Lauren Goode (all pictured). Paul Thurrott also surfaced to discuss a breakdown between Microsoft and Facebook. Mike Elgan hosted and I chipped in with color commentary...

8. Boxed In Or Breaking Away?: Box, the file sync and sharing service, is expected to announce quarterly results today. I had a rather interesting conversation with an industry pundit last week, during which we discussed how Box could better serve small businesses. The pundit's answer: Buy eFolder, which is filled with SMB IT experts, and then get out of the way and let them delight small business customers. I'm not suggesting that's a rumor or a possibility. But the comment shows just how much respect eFolder has quietly generated without making any big, splashy VC or Wall Street moves.

7. Carbon Footprint vs. Cloud Computing: Green America has launched "Amazon: Build a Cleaner Cloud" (www.BuildACleanerCloud.org), a campaign to push Amazon to shift to clean energy sources for cloud computing by 2020. Green America alleges that Amazon trails Apple, Google and Facebook in the clean-energy data center push. When I searched for Amazon's policy on green computing on June 9, I got a dead link.

6. Fuzzy Math: Another warning about tech valuations -- this time from The Wall Street Journal, which says some tech startups are using questionable metrics to describe their growth rates. Conventional wisdom says actual revenues, net income and profit margins -- and growth rates for each of those figures -- are preferred business indicators. But quite a few startups keep talking about revenue run rates, bookings and other metrics that potentially cloud the overall growth performance conversation. To me it sounds a bit like the dot-com bubble, when a lot of companies talked about the eyeballs they attracted rather than the revenues and profits they generated... 

5. Tablet On Your Wall: Microsoft has finally offered some more details on its massive Surface Hub -- a wall-mounted touch screen that also features video conferencing and plenty more. Slick. But useful? I'm checking.

4. Differentiating In the Cloud: How can you do it amid all the competition these days? I hope to have that conversation with OneCloud CEO Marc Crespi within the next few weeks. Keep an eye on our podcast page for that potential conversation in the weeks ahead.

3. Why Hadoop Summit?: Plenty of folks asked me why I'm surfacing this week at Hadoop Summit. The short answer involves my ongoing effort to draw the line between big data "noise" and real customer case studies -- especially in the area of analytics. A range of big-name customers -- Aetna, Home Depot, Verizon -- will explain their Hadoop use at the conference. But I'm also searching for smaller companies that are activating Hadoop workloads in the cloud... Special thanks to Hortonworks for opening the conference to me.

2. Reality Check: During the opening keynote at Hadoop Summit this morning, roughly one-third of attendees said they were just getting started with Hadoop, one-third have a project up and running and one-third are deep into Hadoop... Roughly 4,000 people are here at the conference.

1. Follow the Real Leader: Intel Capital has created a $125 million fund for women- and minority-led startups. That's good news. But don't overlook the early leaders who have supported women- and minority-led startups for quite some time. One example I've mentioned numerous times: Golden Seeds, an angel investor network that only invests in women-led startups.

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