Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cloud investment & horse betting


In my earlier blog,  I listed 29 most promising cloud companies as listed by network world and other sources.

Now GigaOm headline is September 24, 2010: Cloud Startup Values Are Getting Insane. 
RightScale and Eucalyptus are getting $100M valuation. The GigaOm guys, right in heart of Silicon Valley know how to sell hot news. With their announced Pro service, they ar emore  informed  than the traditional analysts, and they themselves had a $2.5M round of  funding.


A year earlier in September 2009 we had the  11 Top Open-source Resources for Cloud Computing

The latest news October 29  2010 are the 10 best financed cloud startups. Here they are:
1. Aster Data Systems – $53 million

2. RightScale – $42.5 million

3. Virtustream – $40 million

4. Engine Yard – $37.5 million

5. Cloudera – $36 million

6. Nirvanix – $35 million

7. rPath – $32 million

8. Eucalyptus – $25.5 million

9. Joyent – $22 million

10. Nimbula – $20.75 million
 I checked how many companies were listed in 29 most promising cloud companies.in terms of market share. Only  Rightscale made the lists of best and they may have some significant revenues.

One the question I have, is how they reached these $100M valuations? And if they did, what we call most promising, or companies to watch are not fulfilling yet  the expectations. Looking at 11 Top Open-source Resources for Cloud Computing  where are the  starts ups based  on Open Nebula, Zoho, Puppet, Traffic Server and even RedHat cloud?

Other fast newcomers are data grid companies like  NoSQL or  the massively parallel databases. Their Meetups in the Valley are gathering a lot of attention, and soon we will see significant investments in Cassandra, Riak and other AWS Dynamo derivatives.

So betting on technology is like betting on horses: favorites don't win always and the jackpot could be in small new companies no one has heard off until they become winners.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Are America's employees hypochondriacs?

I commented Umair Haque new blog

 
Umair, your voice and thoughts and blog are music to our ears. Probably the best way to start is to revive US economy driven by high-tech, is the IPO. The Feds can think of a law that gives incentives to all investments in IPO. This is the most attractive exit strategies for the VC community. 2nd, the VC's must invest in very early stage corporation, and not, like some institutionalized VCs employing scions of families with money and young MBAs with no business risk experience. Some VC act as loan officers in a commercial bank thirty years ago.

Here is a quote from Liel Leibovitz in Tablet: "the most radical thing about Brin, Zuckerberg, and the technologies they created is that they encourage constant commentary, ongoing debate, endless involvement. It’s a way of thinking that is very bad for oppressive corporations, zealous theocracies, and anyone else wishing to exert complete control over information." http://bit.ly/cNjISe

Using the clout at HBR, maybe we can organize step by step a practical implementations of the manifesto's you brilliantly produced. Reading you, I feel as I went to a doctor, who diagnosed exactly my malaise, whereas any other person told me I am imagining and perhaps the entire corporate America's employees are hypochondriacs.

See my initiative on Change.org: Revive the high-tech start up on Silicon Valley and US http://bit.ly/ayQZL2 We gathered some 51 signatures.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The IPO, the job, the bottom line & the Corporation

 
This a quote  The Institutional Innovation Manifesto by Umar Haique

The IPO
The IPO. The IPO window, venture investors will tell you, has been shut down for the better part of a decade. Here's a thought: maybe all the above — reckless banks, overinvesting in yesterday, and tuned-out investors swearing allegiance to yesterday — has more than a little to do with why it's shut. And will stay shut. So instead of hoping, praying, and pleading for it to open, why not reinvent the IPO as we know it? Here's my guess: whoever can conceptualize a better way for companies to get funded, one that doesn't require payoffs through the nose to (dis)investment bankers, enough legal paperwork to bury Jupiter, and the persuasion of institutional investors who should probably be institutionalized for all the care they've shown towards monitoring the health of the companies they own — well, said innovator probably stands to make a fortune.
 The job.
The job. Some call this is the Age of the Internet, the Age of China, the Age of Innovation. But above all, we live in the Age of Dilbert. Or, more accurately, we suffer through it. So why can't we have work that nourishes the mind, body, and soul? Why can't we have work that's meaningful and fulfilling, challenging and compelling, riveting and involving? Work that's not just, well, work, a source of displeasure that pays the bills, but a calling, a mission, a purpose, and a passion, that pays life forward? Here's my hunch. Whoever does reinvent the job might have finally built a company that's so relentlessly innovative, so fully engaged, so unshakably persevering that it reduces pretty much everyone else to a distant second place.
 The bottom line
The bottom line. We've spent decades trying to figure out how to make employees "feel" valued. But we can't seem to do it. Why not? Perhaps we have to work on stuff of authentic, enduring, and meaningful value first. If all you want to do is maximize near-term profit, well, there's little meaning or fulfillment in that for anyone, apart from an emotional zombie or a business school grad (just kidding, folks :-)). To get deeper engagement and commitment from people and more loyalty from customers, companies must do things of higher purpose in the first place. And that means rethinking profit itself, and what counts as real profit — and what just counts as ill-gotten gain. Now, here, let me say: I speak not simply of triple bottom lines. What's not important isn't whether you have three, thirty, or three hundred bottom lines: what is vital is innovating how to conceptualize doing stuff of more authentic worth.
The Corporation
The corporation. I have a theory. Trying to get the corporation as we know it to ignite 21st century prosperity is a little bit like using a water pistol to try and stop climate change. You can fire away till you're blue in the face, but the problem probably isn't going anywhere. It's a futile act — the industrial age corporation, bound to maximize financial profit, bereft of liability, asymmetrically endowed with the rights of people but not their legal, social, human, and ethical obligations, was a tool built for a very different purpose. But just as problems shape tools, so depending on tools recreates problems. Hence, tomorrow's most radical innovators are already starting to reinvent the corporation itself, history's most heavily used organizational form: think forporations and you start to get the picture.

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