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Startups and financial models for SAAS companies

The other day I met with an entrepreneur I was advising as he prepared to raise his next round of funding.  In the meeting, he wanted me to narrow in and focus on his financial model.  Financial models for startups are important from a big picture perspective, but I never like to get mired in […]

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The Googlization of IT

Today I took a sales team from a portfolio company to meet with a couple of senior IT executives at a major retail company.  Towards the end of the meeting, it started to become quite clear to me the effect that Google and the web has had on IT to date and where it was […]

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I want it NOW, I want it REAL TIME

I was recently asked by a friend if he should get his son the new Nintendo DSi.  This would be an upgrade from the current DS and also add the photo capability.  As I thought about my own son's usage of the device, I said no.  Once my son got an IPod Touch for music […]

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Pioneers get arrows in their backs

Pioneers get arrows in their backs – I have experienced it firsthand from an active investor's viewpoint and written about it in the past.  Being early in a market is great but being too early can be deadly.  Just like the settlers in the westward migration, entrepreneurs who are too early will get arrows in […]

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Hybrid clouds are coming

Amazon has taken off with its cloud compute infrastructure but there still have been some limitations from an enterprise perspective.  Mainly, some enterprises are concerned about keeping their data private, about reliability, and storage costs over time.  Any enterprise looking at potentially leveraging the cloud would love to have a hybrid solution which allows them […]

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Cloud computing for SMBs

Cloud this, Cloud that – the word cloud is clearly an overhyped word and reminds me of the beginning of the hype around hosted models and ASPs (application service providers) in the late 90s and the term SAAS today.  Anyway, as I look at announcement after announcement released about cloud computing platforms, one thing is […]

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Selling to large enterprises costs big dollars no matter how frictionless your sale is

I have written a number of times about frictionless sales and how on-demand companies have a huge opportunity to reduce their sales and marketing costs and subsequently scale their business more efficiently.  Here is an excerpt from a prior post:Frictionless sales means reducing the pain for customers to adopt and use a service/product and consequently […]

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Need homework help – try Tutor.com

I got an email from George Cigale, CEO of Tutor.com, yesterday to check out the New York Times article on his company’s service (full disclosure-my fund is an investor in Tutor.com and my partner Dan is on the board).  The article, "On Demand, On Time and for a Fee, an Army of Tutors Appears," highlights […]

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Do you believe in the Red Shift theory?

The first time I heard the term Red Shift was from my portfolio company, Greenplum.  Greenplum has used red shift to characterize the nature of the existing database market where exponential data growth driven by network computing and internet applications have outstripped the capacity of existing mainstream vendors.  Hence, a new approach was needed (our […]

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Do it yourself (DIY) in the enterprise (continued)

Last year I wrote about the newfound productivity of the prosumer, the consumer who is bringing technologies into the workplace in a DIY (do it yourself) fashion.  If IT can’t or won’t get something done, users can simply check the Internet for the latest web-based service or software download to help them solve their problem.  […]

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