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TMC Dallas Video Interviews 2011

July 25, 2011

Recently I spent some time in Dallas doing video interviews with companies in the Dallas, Texas area and during the course of the discussions I was able to get a sense of where the markets have been and are going. The vast range of different opinions really comes together into a few themes.

They are simply that wages and turnover rates in India are skyrocketing meaning some jobs may be headed back to the US. This is offset by an interview with  King White of the Site Selection Group - an organization which helps companies decide which countries and states they should locate in. He tells us that states with higher taxes are less attractive and subsequently deter companies from opening there.

Nosh from Google a P2P Foursquare Meets Zagats

July 19, 2011

I just met with Craig Walker the Founder & CEO of Firespotter Labs and he went over where his Google-backed companies will be innovating in the future. As you may recall, Walker founded Dialpad and Grandcentral which eventually got acquired by and became the foundation of Google Voice. Walker explained his new company will be looking to disrupt markets where there is an opportunity to disrupt.

We can for example expect more disruption in telephony and the hospitality market was referenced by him as a space worth $600 billion/year and yet there has been little innovation beyond the buzzing pagers they give you when there is a line to get a seat.

His company's new app, Nosh available on iOS and Android aims to merge the best of Foursquare and Zagat with the p2p elements of having reviews done by users who could be your friends. You can rate food at the restaurant where you eat and you can share the rating with others - the scale is 1 to 5 stars.



HTML5 Job Growth at 34%. Scholarships Now Available

July 11, 2011

With HTML5, Every Web Page Becomes an App

Between the first and second quarters of 2011, HTML5 job growth was at 34% while HTML-only jobs increased by only 7% and Flash jobs decreased by 10%. This according to Freelancer.com

This confirms that one of the most exciting trends in tech right now is what investing legend Roger McNamee, managing director and co-founder of Elevation Partners calls the HTML5-based post Internet cycle boom mega-cycle.

Examples of interactive Visa ads within the Wall Street Journal app on the iPad



This past weekend I was reading the Wall Street Journal on an iPad - and an ad came up for Visa which touted hotels and movies. And as I clicked on this interactive advertisement I was presented with an offer from a luxury hotel. Moreover, within a matter of seconds I was virtually viewing a hotel suite which was gorgeous and I was further able to book a room if I chose to do so.



Even though the app I used wasn't developed in HTML5 the potential for the same level of interactivity exists in all all pages designed with this new standard.













Tech Bubble Talk from Eric Schmidt

July 11, 2011

Are we in a bubble or not? Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt thinks the idea is worth paying attention to. He isn't declaring we are in one but he says either the revenue growth of these new tech companies is so large that the valuations are justified or that there is a liquidity squeeze where a large amount of capital is chasing a small amount of shares.

Bottom line is we don't know if we are in a bubble - but we will likely learn if we are in 2012 when much of the share lock up periods expire.

Interestingly, he mentioned that although many people said Google was overvalued when it went public, it never dropped below its offering price.



Gary Kim at IP Carrier has more.







Leaked RIM Letter: Apple Nailing us, Our Apps Suck

June 30, 2011

A leaked letter from a RIM worker discusses how the company is getting beat by Apple and how its apps are sub-par. Suggestions on how the company can improve include focusing on the user experiance, recruiting senior software leaders and enable them to make critical decisions. Moreover the suggestions include cutting projects to the bone - focus more on end-users and less on carriers. The video below was used as reference.



The letter goes on to say to say there needs to be more marketing to drive consumer demand and Canadians are too nice - get rid of the dead wood and non-performers.



Microsoft, Apple & Twitter News June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

It’s been a busy day in tech and communications news – so far these are a few of the stories worth knowing about:

Microsoft needs to get larger? Scott Rothbort at TheStreet gives us eight companies Microsoft should buy – and you know what, some of these make great sense such as Adobe & Netflix but in reading the article, I wonder if Yahoo! makes sense anymore.

VoIP Veteran Tribolet Joins magicJack Vocaltec

June 24, 2011

Michael Tribolet is a true IP communications veteran and was the Vice President of Operations at Dialpad - a VoIP leader in the nineties. He then went to Vonage America and became President. He also worked at Managing Director and CEO of ACN Europe BV - a company with 1,500 employees.

I have known Mike for years and its good to see him back in the VoIP space where he has been part of so many important companies which shaped the market.

magicJack Vocaltec CEO Dan Borislow who I last interviewed here had the following to say:

Michael has successfully created and delivered value to investors and VoIP companies for over ten years.







Spreadable Shuts Down - Why?

June 10, 2011



While reading a blog post from telecom and channel partner thought leader Peter Radizeski, on how small businesses are responsible for much of the nation's hiring I learned about the fact that Grasshopper is shutting down its Spreadable company - an organization focused on word-of-mouth spreading of customer referrals.

I haven't talked with the people at Grasshooper in years - certainly not since they changed their name to Grasshopper - but I have often had conversations with others in the market about how their marketing campaigns seem to be the most untargeted in the space since much of it is being placed on satellite radio. According to the company's competitors, their marketing is as shotgun as it gets because - they seem to be purposefully utilizing mediums which are difficult to measure and they are relatively nonexistent online.

And as more decisions are being made on the web - this is quite a surprising and counter-intuitive strategy.

But when I started to read the first post from the company related to why they shut down Spreadable I could see they understand digital marketing quite well - its just surprising that you rarely see them online. Kind of a paradox I got to thinking. It is worth mentioning Spreadable too relied on Satellite radio among perhaps other mediums for its sales.

Another thought I had while reading is what company shuts down a business and then celebrates its failure in public via a four-part series?









HTML5 Shines on New FT App

June 10, 2011


According to Ed Silverstein on TMCnet's sister site TechZone360, The Financial Times recently released a web app at app.ft.com based on HTML5 and in doing so has shown the Splinternet may be reversing course. As you may recall, I coined the term Splinternet in 2008 to describe the splintering of app environments on the web. Programmers currently utilize so much overhead to program for various environments that they take precious resources from differentiating their apps. The scenario is reminiscent of the hundreds or thousands of printer drivers developers had to provide with their software before Windows became popular and handled this task for the development community.


Mitel to Come Out Swinging, Will They Connect?

June 1, 2011

This past January I wrote a piece which compared Mitel to ShoreTel titled Is ShoreTel filling the Nortel Void and since the post Mitel has been in a state of flux with a new CEO Rich McBee recently joining. When the opportunity presented itself to come to the Mitel Business Partner Conference titled Mitel Freedom – in Florida, I jumped at it in order to get more perspective on Mitel’s strategic direction and future.

The conference officially kicks off tomorrow morning but I wanted to give my readers as much information as possible before things got going. Tonight I had a sashimi (no, the other one – without the rice) dinner with Ron Wellard, GM and EVP of Mitel Communications Solutions, Jim Davies the CTO and Jay Nichols the VP of Sterling Communications – the PR firm handling Mitel.

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