5 Technology Observations: 11 August 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news insights, updates, predictions and chatter to start your day for Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015.

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

9. Google By Another Name: The search giant has re-organized under a new parent company name (called Alphabet) run by familiar names like Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Ruth Porat. The "Google" subsidiary (featuring search, YouTube, Android, Chrome) is led by Sundar Pichai. Additional subsidiaries, containing start up projects, will have their own CEOs. The new org structure, Google claims, will allow start-up efforts to be more nimble -- though many of the money-losing ventures could also face more financial scrutiny from Wall Street. By the way, Alphabet's new organizational structure was inspired by Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffet. PS: Google apparently doesn't own Alphabet.com.

8. Uber for Health Care?: Numerous start-up health care companies have introduced house-call and other models that aim to disrupt the expensive, time consuming, complexity of traditional health care. I'm intrigued since monthly health care insurance is the single biggest monthly expense that After Nines Inc. covers for my family... And rates for health care insurance are predicted to rise about 7 percent this coming year, according to Newsday, our local daily paper.

7. Media Unions -- Pros and Cons: They appear to be popping up all over the place. Vice Media, Gawker Media, Salon.com, the Guardian and other media companies have seen editors and content producers reorganize into unions in recent months, The Wall Street Journal notes. Why? I suspect because editors are tired of working longer and longer hours with fewer and fewer benefits, little job security and tight salaries. That's not to say I favor labor over management. Don't forget: Executive leaders, owners and funders are struggling to reinvent business models as traditional media businesses -- and cash flow -- collapse. If I ran or advised big media, I'd find a way to reward content folks who suggest or launch revenue-producing ideas. Give your content team a stake in the outcome -- success equals perks, failure equals continued challenges involving salaries and staff retention.

6. How Developers Make Money: If you're a software developer, chances are you make the most money by focusing on cloud projects, followed by desktop projects -- ahead of mobile app development and Internet of Things efforts, according to a recent market study by VisionMobile. Read that again: Desktop projects remain more lucrative than mobile apps? Intriguing indeed.

5. A Fix for Apple TV?: Of all the Apple devices my family owns, I'm least impressed with Apple TV. Other than serving up Netflix, we haven't found much use for the device. Now comes word that Apple may significantly update the appliance during a Sept. 9 event. Sure, the next iPhone will take center stage. But I'm curious to see if Apple finally gets its TV strategy in order... Rumor has it we'll see vastly improved developer tools for Apple TV. 

4. Join Me Today: At 1:00 p.m. ET for Tech News Today, hosted by Mike Elgan. I suspect we'll cover Google's reorg and plenty more. I co-host Tech News Today each Tuesday -- but you can watch Mike and his guests every business day.

3. HP CIO Looks Outward: Hewlett-Packard Global CIO Ramon Baez will shift to a new role (Senior VP for Customer Advocacy) for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise once a new CIO is named, The Wall Street Journal says. The outward-facing position will allow Baez to mentor and guide industry CIOs with business transformations. During my days at Ziff Davis Enterprise more than a decade ago, our content team built a range of events where tech industry CIOs -- from Intel, Sun Microsystems and others -- shared their best practices with all vertical markets. I'm a fan of the approach.

2. Fresh Funding: Tech companies raising money to accelerate growth include:

  • Dialogic (Chicago), which specializes in call analytics and automation, received a $10 mill9on credit facility. 
  • HUVRData (Houston, Texas), focused on drone-based data analytics, raised $2 million from multiple backers.

1. Join Me Tonight: Our next podcast (Episode 044) features Kumar Sreekanti, CEO of BlueData. During our conversation at 9:01 p.m. ET tonight, we'll discuss how businesses can leverage cloud-like capabilities to deploy big data solutions on--premises. The effort involves Spark, Hadoop, containers and more. 

Subscribe: Want to receive our blog headlines in your inbox each business day (except Fridays, when we're off the grid)? Then subscribe to our enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.