5 Technology Observations: Aug. 19, 2015

Goooooood morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. The extra "O's" are because things are oh so good around here at After Nines Inc. But before I explain why, here are five technology news observations,  insights, chatter, rumors and more to start your day for Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015.

Actually, today's lineup involves eight items to sip on.

8. Pivotal Move At EMC: Paul Maritz is stepping down as CEO of Pivotal, the big data and analytics startup owned by EMC. The move also means that Maritz will not pursue the CEO post at EMC, where current CEO Joe Tucci is widely expected to retire in the next few years... Pure speculation on my part: Did Maritz step down because EMC has already selected a different successor for Tucci?

7. Lots of Buzz: NBCUniversal (owned by Comcast) is investing $200 million in BuzzFeed. The deal comes one week after NBCUniversal pumped a similar amount of money into Vox Media (a BuzzFeed rival). The good news: Digital media upstarts are growing fast and attracting real dollars from established media giants. The bad news: Established media giants often don't know how to manage and nurture startup businesses past the hot growth stage. And let's not forget Comcast's woeful reputation for customer service over in the broadband market.

6. Six Startups I Can't Mention: I spent last evening at LaunchPad Long Island's PitchNight, on the NYIT college campus in Old Westbury, New York. A half-dozen entrepreneurs pitched their startups for funding to a handful of angel investors. Somewhere between 50 and 100 attendees watched the proceedings and weighed in with questions. While I can't share specifics about each company, I can offer these takeaways:

  • If you don't own and control the underlying technology, you're not really in the Intellectual Property game. You're really reselling somebody else's stuff -- and that's not a great way to fetch a great valuation.
  • If you're not focused full-time on your startup, angels will think you're not fully vested in your own idea.
  • If you have an idea or a solution that can potentially change the world, investors will certainly understand why you're asking for such a high valuation. In fact, they'll applaud you.
  • If you have a really, really, really simple idea that (A) you can protect and (B) monetize really fast, investors will also open their wallets pretty darn fast.

5. Router Innovation: I spent the weekend trying to configure a WiFi router range extender for my home. Alas, I ran into a range of problems. Now comes word that Google has launched its own "intuitive" consumer router called OnHub. Think of it as a central, wireless routing station for your growing list of IoT (Internet of Things) endpoints. And don't forget Datto founder Austin McChord has been dreaming up a next-generation router to disrupt Cisco and others in the SMB market. The Datto effort should surface in September or so... at least that's what I've heard without speaking with anyone directly on the topic...

4. Even More Buzz: TBS is set to launch a wearable tech startup show sponsored by Intel. Hmmm... I assume the upstarts on the reality show won't be pitching or designing products that use AMD, Qualcomm, Samsung and other rivals?

3. Tune In: In our latest podcast (Episode 045), Jitterbit CEO George Gallegos explains how APIs can integrate data across cloud and on premises applications. He also reveals a potential plan to raise venture capital later this year. Don't forget: You can check out all of our podcasts here.

2. HP Update: The technology giant will reveal quarterly results tomorrow (Aug. 20) after U.S. markets close. Instead of getting caught up in the legacy businesses (PCs, servers, etc.), I'll be closely watching HP's performance in next-generation areas like SaaS and all recurring-revenue opportunities. 

1. Required Reading: I cleaned out my office this weekend and stumbled upon "Planning for Success the HTG Way" -- which is essentially a playbook for life, leadership, business and legacy. When HTG's Arlin Sorensen and Scott Scrogin first introduced me to the book about three years ago I was earning pretty low grades in terms of life-work balance. Fast forward to the present and I've made considerable progress. Hmmm... I'm tempted to offer more details but give me some more time to organize my thoughts. Perhaps I'll offer a more comprehensive brain dump -- even describing why things are so darn good at After Nines Inc. -- after the Labor Day holiday...

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