5 Technology Observations: 1 July 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news insights, updates, perspectives, chatter and plenty more to start your day for Wednesday, July 1, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves nine items to sip on.

9. Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine: If you post video ads on Facebook, you'll only be charged when a viewer watches the ad for at least 10 seconds. My spin: Perhaps it's time for a nine-second marketing blitz...

8. All Is (Not) Well: Gartner says global IT spending will fall a dramatic 5.5 percent to $3.5 trillion in 2015. You know the culprits: The shift to cloud computing -- which is putting the squeeze on big iron sales and software licenses -- and the saturated tablet market.

Gartner insists this isn't an IT market crash. But they forgot to mention this key point: Even SaaS and cloud companies are at risk because of sky-high valuations that could be difficult to maintain...

7. Inflated Pricing?: VMware and Carasoft Technology will pay $75.5 million to settle illegal pricing allegations. VMware denies any wrongdoing. The case allegedly goes something like this: VMware offered commercial customers discounts as high as 72 percent, but only gave the government 12 percent discounts...

6. Equal (Pet) Rights: So, your company allows you to bring your dog to work... Looks like snakes, birds and even pigs are now coming in the front door, too.

5. I Beg to Differ: South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Junior says "being excited" is the key to successful angel investing. Frankly, I disagree. After all, we're talking about "investing" -- which should be a dollars-and-cents activity rather than an emotional activity.

4. Wrong Model?: First, the good news. The Huffington Post generated $146 million in revenue last year. Now, the bad news. The pure digital media company spent as much as it made -- meaning that it was a break-even business, according to a New York Times report. Theoretically speaking, I'd rather have a business plan that generates about one-twentieth of those revenues and one-fortieth those expenses. Hmmm. That equates to ... 50 percent margins. Theoretically speaking, of course. 

3. Beware Three-Day Weekends: Most U.S. businesses are closed Friday, July 3, to observe Independence Day (July 4). Three-day weekends are the perfect opportunity to (A) negotiate an M&A deal or (B) announce bad news while most of the media is on vacation... We'll be watching for both types of fireworks...

Did Jamison West spot the next blue ocean opportunity... with Skykick?

Did Jamison West spot the next blue ocean opportunity... with Skykick?

2. Startup Got My Attention: They're called Skykick. I've never covered them before. Jamison West of Arterian is featured on their home page. And they just raised $10 million. At some point I may (or may not) have more to say about this. Read up on them in the meantime...

1. Second-Half Team: Welcome to the second half of 2015. We rather enjoyed the first half of 2015. But... we hope you enjoy 2H 2015 as much as we plan to...

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