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Financial

Pinterest Now Worth $1.5B

May 17, 2012

Now that was fast – Pinterest just raised $100M at a valuation of $1.5B in a round of funding led by Japanese e-commerce site Rakuten Inc. Pinterest's existing venture-capital investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners also participated according to a press release.

Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten said: "While some may see e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience, we believe it is a living process where both retailers and consumers can communicate, discover, and curate to make the experience more entertaining. We see tremendous synergies between Pinterest's vision and Rakuten's model for e-commerce. Rakuten looks forward to introducing Pinterest to the Japanese market as well as other markets around the world."

And the Japan connection makes sense as I have recently detected a dearth of Hello Kitty pins.

The Most Comprehensive Interop 2012 Video Interviews

May 16, 2012

In case you missed Interop 2012 in Las Vegas and even if you were there – I have some really good news for you. TMC was there and we shot about seven hours of the most important and engaging interviews possible. We have all the companies you need to know about in spaces such as private and public cloud to big data, analytics, network testing and more. We spoke with the small upstarts and the giants like HP, Cisco and IBM.

Justifying Amazon's 16x Greater than Apple P/E Ratio

May 16, 2012

One of the biggest surprises to me is comparing P/E ratios of tech companies against Amazon. Actually to be more specific, I marvel at Amazon’s P/E against pretty much any company I have seen lately. Now I don’t go around memorizing the price to earnings ratios of companies but yesterday I happened to be talking to TMC webmaster Robert Hashemian who is also an accomplished financial author having written Financial Markets for the Rest of Us. Together we compared the trailing P/E of Amazon against virtually any company we could think of like Adobe, Apple and Microsoft which were far lower.

GM to Facebook: Your ads Don't Work

May 16, 2012

When you are about to have one of the largest public offerings in the world - north of $100 billion and much of the reason for the size of your IPO has to do with advertising revenue, there is nothing worse than having one of the world's largest and most sophisticated advertisers telling you your ads don't work. And that is exactly what just happened to Facebook when GM pulled the plug on a $10 million dollar ad deal.

To put this in perspective, GM is the third largest advertiser in the US and its budget is absolutely huge. Last year in fact it was  $1.8B. The interesting part of the situation is that even though GM won't be continuing its ad spend this year it plans on continuing to spend $30M or so for Facebook content.

What this tells us is Facebook is just becoming a driver of the Splinternet or another Internet which advertisers and developers need to take into account.



Ultrabooks Finally Get Needed Attention From Intel

May 4, 2012

Intel is running a new ad touting the long-lasting Ultrabook which has hours of battery life. And while I applaud Intel for finally acknowledging this category needs marketing I am still at a loss. You see battery life is one of the features which makes a MacBook great and so is the wonderful design. We all know Ultrabooks exist almost exclusively so PC makers can compete with Apple.



So this being the case why do all the Ultrabooks except the ones from Asus and possibly Samsung look like absolute crap?



Important Stories From This Week's Business Insider Startup 2012 Event

May 4, 2012

Missed the Business Insider Startup 2012 event or just didn't take good notes? Well if either of these situations applies to you, TMC has you covered. Our network of sites has been populated with the must-know stories written by TMC's editorial team - Jamie Epstein and Juliana Kenny covered this event. Enjoy:



Are You Ready for the Identity Economy?

April 28, 2012

With Facebook’s value being pegged around 100 billion dollars; it is easy to see why many are calling identity the new oil of the internet. And one company, UnboundID is looking to become the leader in this bold new frontier which they call the identity economy. By allowing companies to buy, sell, trade and leverage customer information the company allows their customers to combine this information with others in order to add value to themselves as well as end users.

An example of this concept in action is logging into a site using Twitter or Facebook – end-users hate to answer questions online and indeed many will abandon a site which makes queries which take their time.

Facebook Buys Mobile Photo Sharing Site Instagram

April 9, 2012

Even before its IPO, Facebook has decided to make a major acquisition with millions of users for a billion dollars of cash and stock. Mark Zuckerberg mentioned on his Facebook timeline that this acquisition of Instagram is the largest they have ever done and may be the last of this size.
Moreover, that Facebook will leave Instagram as a standalone company insomuch that you will be able to use Instagram without sharing on Facebook if you so choose.
The move was a very smart one as Instagram could eventually be a threat to the company's core business. Furthermore it allows the social networking giant to gain even greater access to the mobile market - the fastest growing segment of just about every tech business. And even more importantly is the cover the company has in the form of Google+ allowing it to gobble up marketshare without regard for antitrust concerns.
Reminds me of Oracle putting together a major software company with major marketshare using the cover of Microsoft competition.
Will Pinterest be next?



In Crony Capitalist Move, Germany Threatens to Tax News Aggregation

March 13, 2012

New aggregators have been singled out in Germany as a market worth taxing. The idea it seems is that these companies are benefiting based on the hard work of old media or newspapers. The challenge is aggregators will gladly allow publishers to opt-out of being highlighted but by doing so companies get less web traffic which actually can damage them.

To many this is an example of crony capitalism - or having a company (or group of companies) in a potentially slowing market use its power to have the government "level the playing field."

A tax is a penalty or fine - and discourages a certain behavior. When you are late to the library with a book you pay a fine.



The 7 Wireless Data Cap Losers

March 6, 2012

We are in uncharted territory when it comes to mobility as this year we will see a slew of productivity-boosting 4G, quad-core smartphones like the Ascend 4D Quad from Huawei which I saw at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Moreover, while devices get more powerful, we will only want to do more with them and quite often this means relying on wireless networks from carriers.

The only problem is these providers are rapidly running out of bandwidth and this means they have decided the best course of action is to cap users and slow their connections once they hit a certain threshold. Their other strategy is to just charge for bandwidth being used.

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