$25Min funding will be lost by the new Myspace at the end of 2012, following a year of disappointing revenues. The company has lost more than $40 million this year after only raising $14 million in revenue following yet another rebranding.
$50Min new funding will be sought by the…
Translation: Justin Timberlake couldn’t bring the sexy back. Sad. Predictable.
Nate Waddoups, Senior SDE at Microsoft answering “What is so great about Microsoft?” on Quora:
The Windows team invests a mind-boggling amount of time, hardware, and people into maintaining compatibility. There are bugs in Windows that could have been fixed years ago, but can’t be, because that would break applications that (deliberately or accidentally) depend on those bugs. Bug-for-bug compatibility is a problem, but breaking backward compatibility would be a much bigger problem, so even as the lowest layers of the operating system are revised and rewritten, the layers that applictions talk to (the application programming interface, or API) are carefully tested to ensure that no changes are visible to the application.
Bugs as a feature. Can’t imagine why so many of us ditched Windows years ago.
I interviewed Sanjit during a tour of Silicon Valley in Oct. 2008. Here’s how I described the meeting to our Motley Fool Rule Breakers members back then:
I’d never hit a hornet’s nest before. But after I pulled our bright red compact into a small parking spot on San Francisco’s Rhode Island Street, the buzzers were buzzing, stinging wildly at a car that felt no pain.
Then, I was embarrassed. Today, as I write, I’m reflective, wondering if it was the weirdest possible metaphor for our quest — a search for sustainability in a part of the country that’s given rise to some of the business world’s most sustainable names. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), for example.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), too, of course. Like our red coupe, it had proven too durable for the onslaught of pesky hornets. Could we say the same about the company Google itself found irresistible?
Searching for Silicon Valley’s Bobby Fischer
Heading into the nondescript concrete fortress that housed Meraki and a handful of other SOMA — as in, “south of Market” — start-ups, I was skeptical. Cheap Wi-Fi? Doesn’t everyone do that?
No, not the way that CEO and co-founder Sanjit Biswas sees it. He believes that Wi-Fi, today, is the answer to giving 1 billion more people broadband access to the Web. “We can do this at about a 10x cost advantage,” Biswas says in describing the ‘aha!’ moment that led to his founding the company with John Bicket in 2006.
I believe him. Biswas, like the late Danny Lewin of Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM), began working on the idea behind Meraki while a PhD candidate at MIT. But his roots as an innovator reach farther. He took an assignment programming for Oracle's (Nasdaq: ORCL) Oracle 8 database at 15. If there's anyone smart enough to figure out how to connect 1 billion more people to the Web, it's this guy.
Bandwidth is the key. Biswas says that, on average, users consume 200 to 300 kilobits per second in actual bandwidth. That leaves a lot of room for additional users when your connection to the Web itself delivers data at 6 megabits per second.
Meraki, in other words, is a bandwidth Robin Hood. It redistributes to all who need it. The idea has huge implications. Witness its “Free the Net" test network in its hometown. More than 190,000 users are connected via 1,000 devices placed around San Francisco.
Today, Meraki is far from the test stage. Its hardware — the Meraki Indoor and the Meraki Outdoor — has shipped to all seven continents. It’s powering networks in rural Chile. And yet Biswas wasn’t gloating during our meeting. To the contrary; he appeared genuinely surprised by what some are doing with Meraki’s technology.
Google, on the other hand, must be not at all surprised. Meraki may have begun as an idea at MIT but it was formed at the behest of Google employees who saw Biswas give a presentation about his academic research in mesh technology — think of it as the glue that binds distinct nodes on a Wi-Fi network — in early 2006. At least one in attendance offered to invest in Meraki immediately after the presentation. Both Google and Sequoia Capital have put money into the company.
So will this Baby Breaker grow up to join the public markets? I think so, as did my teammates. We like Biswas’ focus. We like the opportunity. And, most of all, we like how he combines realism with idealism. “No one we talk to (as a prospective employee) doesn’t have choices,” Biswas says. “They’re all smart. What separates us is the change the world factor.”
Does making a case for a stock always equal cheerleading? One reader thinks so:
“I understand that The Motley Fool may have an incentive to published biased articles such as this one that does not look at all of the facts of a situation and comes out as a cheerleader for a particular stock.”
Taking a stand on a stock can be informative if you score yourself, which is exactly what we do at TMF. My “score" (i.e., the record of my best and worst calls) is available for all to see at Motley Fool CAPS.
Granted, CAPS doesn’t mirror my real-money results. But anyone who wants to can also see the entirety of my cash portfolio by clicking here. I also post the results of a real-money portfolio each week.
Cheerleading (or bashing) is what you get when an anonymous, unaccountable writer goes off on a stock and then disappears. That’s not me. I’m not going anywhere.
“Apple’s iPad mini seems to be a success, and that has attracted the criminal element’s attention. According to the New York Post, a shipment of Apple’s iPad mini, numbering 3,600 devices and with a total value of $1.5 million, was taken from JFK airport from the same location that a group stole $5 million in cash and $900,000 in jewelry in 1978 …”
Walt Disney chief executive Bob Iger talking with Bloomberg about fourth-quarter results, which came in weaker than expected. Notice what he says about the number of ideas that came into Disney following the announcement of a $4 billion deal for Lucasfilm. If nothing else, this should confirm what I’ve been saying about the merchandising goodness that’s to come.
TechCrunch says some PR firms are charging clients what amounts to a bounty for certain types of coverage. In some cases, the scheme is “pay for play,” wherein a writer is compensated by the firm, which then charges the client for this so-called “success.”
I wish I could say this surprises me, but as a former PR guy who spent time in way too many back rooms, I’m only surprised it took this long for the rest of the tech world to realize these sorts of shenanigans go on.
“Because we actually get paid to write amazing stories, not write amazing stories to get PR people paid.”
From Alexia Tsotsis. A smart sentiment I share, as do my colleagues and editors at The Motley Fool.
The “Your’re the Boss” blog over at The New York Times is a smart source of information for budding business owners. This latest column takes a look at raising outside funding and when it makes sense. Evil Genius Beer decided on a more creative approach:
“Instead of raising all this capital in the middle of a recession for a company that had never sold a pint of beer, we decided to use our internally developed recipes and brands and basically outsource the production to a third-party manufacturer.”
— Luke Bowen, founder of Evil Genius Beer Company.
Are you bootstrapping? Using VC funds? Send me a tweet @milehighfool.
I just now wrote this to help kick-start my brain for a story I’m writing about DC Comics deciding to commission 52 alternate covers for Justice League of America #1 in February:
“This is my bs lede. What the heck do I want to say here? I’ve not yet decided. Maybe something will come to me. Yeah? What then? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY? Basically, that this alternate covers deal is lame. Lame, lame, lame.”
Concrete proof that it would be stupid for Netflix to sell right now
According to the latest data from Sandvine, Netflix now accounts for 32.9% of “downstream” prime time Internet traffic. YouTube ranks next at 14.8% while Amazon nets just 1.8%. Why sell when you have this large an advantage? More importantly, why sell when your core business is trading on the cheap?
See the new page above? That’s where you’ll find tweets and content for Motley Fool Rule Breakers, the stock picking newsletter service that ranked 10th among Hulbert’s top 15 performers over the past five years as of Sept. 2012.
Shares of insurance software provider Ebix fell as much as 31% yesterday on worries over a purported SEC investigation, reported by Bloomberg. The stock closed off 14%, even after CEO Robin Raina challenged the claim, going so far as to suggest the company would “evaluate all avenues of recourse” in its response.
Does that mean Ebix would sue Bloomberg for libel? Pursue the unnamed sources spreading rumors of a probe? Both? At least one reader wants to see Raina get aggressive:
“As long as the SEC doesn’t come out itself with a message, my quess is that this once again is a short seller tactic. Maybe it’s time for action against these people if it turns out that there is no investigation.”