How to Create a Killer Startup Company

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I have had the opportunity to work for and around a good many start-ups during the course of my career.  Often the start-up founders would simply define a problem, develop a solution and launch a company.  The marketing department would then do their very best to identify the individuals in each target company that experienced the problem and had a budget to fix it. This was always a challenging task, that has become even harder today. Today, start-ups must not only identify a problem that needs solving, but they must compete against "digital transformation" initiatives in both the business and IT organizations that are trying to reduce complexity through the elimination of applications, customized software solutions, IT systems, multiple instances of ERPs and vendors. The goal of many organizations today is to simplify the IT environment, and to make business proce... (more)

How the Dotcloud Affects the Need for Startup Funding | @CloudExpo #Cloud #DataCenter

How the Dotcloud Affects the Need for Startup Funding When you decide to launch a startup company, business advisors, counselors, bankers and armchair know-it-alls will tell you that the first thing you need to do is get funding. While there is some validity to that boilerplate piece of wisdom, the availability of and need for startup funding has gone through a dramatic transformation over the past decade, and the next few years will see even more of a shift. A perfect storm of events is causing this seismic shift. On the macroeconomic side this storm includes the still-persistent repercussions of the Great Recession, historically low interest rates, and uncertainty about global commerce and trade. On the technology side, still more realities add to the perfect storm, including the increasing popularity of as-a-service options, which make it easier for startups to l... (more)

Platfora Wants to Make Sense Out of Hadoop

Platfora, a Hadoop analytics start-up, has gotten $5.7 million in Series A money from Andreessen Horowitz and the CIA's venture arm In-Q-Tel. The fledging is trying to make pretty, understandable graphs out of big petabytes-size Hadoop data. Its product, which will compete with Datameer's, won't be available until next year. It says Hadoop lacks the interactivity and sophisticated reporting capabilities needed by business users. It's aiming to work with existing Hadoop clusters, including Cloudera, MapR and Amazon EMR, among others, and automatically turn the questions business users pose into dimensional and predictive dashboards, reports and insights. It says it will enable sub-second report delivery, analytics overlays and drilldown performance. It's focused on web, advertising, finance, telecommunications, logistics and federal intelligence operations. Platfor... (more)

Jonathan Schwartz Launches eHealthcare Start-Up

"Everyone cares about health in a deeply personal way," blogged former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz on Tuesday as he alerted the world to the existence of his new website, PictureofHealth.com. Schwartz has started the company with old friend, he explained, adding: "We’re not saying much beyond 'we’re focusing on the intersection of innovation and public health,' but we are starting to build out a dev and design team." The interesting part comes when Schwartz looks back on his Sun years and compares their somewhat dry nature to the business he intends to enter now: "Why are we focusing on health? It’s ultimately a personal choice for both of us. For me, perhaps the most satisfying part of my last job was seeing Sun’s technology used in ways and by people that changed the world. Whether that was inventing a new business, creating a new market or creating national infrastru... (more)

David Skok Authors Startup and VC Blog on Ulitzer

When I saw David Skok's name on a recent Ulitzer author's page I was pleasantly surprised. David has been one of the key figures in the technology space for the past two decades, in particular with his venture capital activities. Throughout his long career, he successfully launched a number of companies. He has been a general partner at Matrix Partners since 2001. Last time I mentioned his name in one of my blog entries was here in 2004. I had an email exchange with David in October 2007 when we started architecting our revolutionary Ulitzer new media platform. David introduced me to Christian, a trusted enterprise developer, who provided invaluable input that helped us in our selection of a development platform for Ulitzer. Roughly one year after Ulitzer's beta launch, it is nice to have David's "For Entrepreneurs" blog syndicated on various Ulitzer topic sites. He... (more)

Who’s Gonna Buy Novell?

Novell set this week as the deadline for acquisition offers, according to the Wall Street Journal followed by the New York Times. Elliott Associates LLP spokesman Scott Tagliarino claims Elliott, whose $5.75-a-share offer put Novell in play a couple of months ago, knows nothing about Novell's schedule. "It's running its own show," he said. Elliott's offer is still on the table. Novell refused the hedge fund's unsolicited bid as too low but since the offer inflated Novell's sunken stock price the company knew it was trapped and went looking for a sweeter deal. The Journal reports being told by "people familiar with the matter" that 20 companies have expressed interest of some kind in Novell, but that any serious offers are all expected to come from private equity firms and top Elliott's $2 billion bid. How much more Novell could possibly be worth is the question. ... (more)

Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, and Disruptive IT Firms

Andreessen Horowitz has a model I have not seen at any other Venture Capital firm, and that model is paying off for a broad ecosystem of companies, investors and enterprise IT professionals. From the standpoint of an enterprise technologist, the payoff will come by their support of firms fielding capabilities that will make a positive difference for organizations. The best way to learn about their spirit and approach is to review the blogs of their founders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. But the best way to prepare yourself for coming distruption, in my opinion, is to dive right into the portfolio of firms they have invested in and are nurturing. The following pulls text from the Andreessen Horowitz write-ups on some of the most interesting (from an enterprise CTO perspective) firms in their portfolio: actifio.com Data Management Virtualization Actifio™ pioneered ... (more)

Damn You Google, Damn You Yahoo! Why D'Ya Do This to Us?

A strange dynamic has taken hold on the internet.  Just as people expect sunshine and air to be free, they also expect internet based software applications to be free.  Ok, maybe not completely free… they agree someone should pay, just not them.  Damn you Google, damn you Yahoo! why did you do this to us? With companies left and right offering full versions of their products for free,  users have been conditioned NOT to pay for anything.  This conditioning can be seen across everything from social media sites to messaging to business applications.  The problem with this as I see it is the negative impact on innovation. Users think that they win by getting free software or services, but do they really?  If you ask me the only real winners in the free ecosystem are the investors behind well funded companies.  By locking down markets with free offerings companies can ... (more)

Are You An IT Superhero?

At times, do you think you're a Superman or Wonder Woman? Pitted in a daily struggle between the IT department and the business units? We all know that IT managers juggle a number of hats and scramble to put out dozens of fires, and truly can be a superhero to their organizations. But did you ever think about what kind of superhero you are? Where do you rank in the Legion of Superhero's taxonomy? Are you an IT Wolverine, Green Lantern or Flash? Take the IT X-Men (or Women) quiz to see if you have the right stuff to be an IT Superhero. 1. Do you do it all? A one-man or one-woman shop? Able to leap tall stacks of blades in a single bound? Delivering uninterrupted download services at the speed of a 50-Mbps bullet? You're a man or woman of titanium. The only thing that can sap your strength is not kryptonite, it's klez. If this is you, then you're an IT Superman or Wonde... (more)

Internet Marketing Essentials: 4-Part Series

New Media on Ulitzer Many B2B companies know that they should be incorporating an ongoing social media campaign into their arsenal of tactics to generate leads and sales. But, as a business owner or marketing professional, half the battle is trying to get your head around the social media wave, the crushing amount of information about it, where to even begin, and how to make it all fit into your marketing plans. The great news is that being successful at Internet marketing does not need to be as complicated as others may sometimes make it out to be. It will, however, require some start-up time and dedication to get a solid working plan in place. Here's the thing. The key to effective and profitable Internet and online marketing requires an integrated approach, utilizing the right tools and applying them with consistent effort. This 4-part series brings you up-to-spe... (more)

Cloudscale CEO Launches Cloudcel Topic on Ulitzer

Cloudscale Founder and CEO Bill McColl, on Monday, launched Cloudcel topic on Ulitzer. Cloudcel on Ulitzer offers articles on the Cloudcel platform. Cloudcel enables the world's Excel users to simply and seamlessly exploit the full power of realtime, highly parallel cloud computing to process realtime and historical data of all kinds. At the recent Hadoop World conference, Doug Cutting, Hadoop Project Founder, remarked that "The Dream" was to provide non-programmers with the power of parallel cloud computing tools such as MapReduce and Hadoop, via simple, easy-to-use spreadsheet-like interfaces. With Cloudcel, the non-programmers of the world (and the programmers too!) can "live that dream" today. Not only can you develop and launch massively parallel MapReduce/Hadoop-style cloud computations, simply and seamlessly from within the standard Excel interface, you can... (more)