Monthly Archives: October 2008

Cloud Computing Price War to come?

Rackspace today announced they are purchasing Jungle Disk and Slice Host in an event that’s going on now.

What does this mean?

Rackspace is competing with Amazon’s Web services. Microsoft is expected to launch other similar services next week at its PDC event. Rackspace will announce several new services both today and over the next few months.

Rackspace’s employees tell me they are making their services open so that their customers can leave and go to other company’s services.

Who is Jungle Disk? They are a service that’s wholly on Amazon’s Web services right now and offer their customers backup and storage. You pay per gigabyte per month to back up your hard drive. They will announce new storage services and will give their customers a choice of using either Rackspace data centers or Amazon’s. Or both. Now you will have access to your data even if Amazon’s servers are unavailable for some reason.

Who is Slice Host? They have thousands of VPS Hosting customers who are mostly web developers who want access to super fast and super reliable cloud services. They compete pretty directly with Amazon’s EC2 services.

More as I live blog the event, keep refreshing to see more over the next hour, or watch the live event.

Earlier this year I got a tour of Rackspace’s new headquarters and met several of its leaders in a video.

DISCLAIMER: Rackspace is one of the sponsors of my blog and FastCompany.tv.

UPDATES: They just announced that Mosso, Rackspace’s cloud services, will be renamed “Cloud Sites.”

We’ll do more live blogging on FriendFeed here because that lets me interact with people a lot faster than my blog does.

Economic optimism

There’s a TON of funding events that have gotten announced over the past few days. I’m tracking those here. Today I’m at a Rackspace event where they are announcing some more optimistic news — more on that later but there are a ton of bloggers who’ll be at the event so I’m sure it’ll be all over TechMeme later too. Not to mention that the event will be broadcast on live video too. It’s not all doom and gloom out there, although I’ve been tracking layoffs on that same link too.

BusinessWeek on America’s CTO gets to top of TechMeme

Hah, at the top of TechMeme right now is a BusinessWeek article about who America’s CTO should be if Barack Obama gets to be President.

Um, Google “America’s CTO?” and you’ll find my article on the topic where I ask Larry Lessig about this (the video of Lessig is a must-watch on this topic).

TechCrunch gets into this too. I guess I’m not the only tech blogger doing politics lately.

“All he talks about is politics!”

In yesterday’s post several commenters said they were unsubscribing because all I do is talk about politics.

Oh, really?

To those who say that I only write about politics or think about politics, you are absolutely wrong.

You must read my FriendFeed comments, for instance. Overwhelmingly tech.

Or see the things I’ve “Liked” (er, shared) with you. Overwhelmingly tech.

Or see all the things I share or blog about. Overwhelmingly tech.

Or see all the videos we do at FastCompany.tv. Overwhelmingly tech.

Or see all my Google Shared items. Overwhelmingly tech.

Or see my event calendar. Overwhelmingly tech.

Only a very small percentage of my work has anything to do with politics.

Which makes me very happy at the unsubscribes. I’m hoping for a smart audience here, not one that throws insults based on bad data.

But if you think you’re ONLY going to get tech here, you’ll be very unhappy. You should unsubscribe now. Last time I checked this is still my +personal blog+ where I get to write about whatever I am interested in. Overwhelmingly that’ll be tech, but sometimes I’m interested in other things.

Have a good day!

VCs putting the brakes on, survey says

DLA Piper (a large law firm that serves the tech industry) just released a survey they did of VCs and found some nasty trends:

• 66% of technology companies indicated they are reducing revenue forecasts
• Nearly 50% of VC firm respondents believe the current financial crisis is worse than the tech bubble crash of 2000
• More than half of respondents (55%) believe the stagnant IPO market will not begin to rebound until 2010 or later

There’s a lot of other interesting findings in the survey, I’ll try to get more. This afternoon I’m visiting Foundation Capital (they are funding cleantech companies, which DLA says is one of the bright spots) and will get their take on the economy.

Why do these surveys matter? They are human beings and if they think this financial crisis is worse than the tech bubble crash of 2000 they will be changing their behavior (IE, making it tougher for entrepreneurs to get funded).

In other news the market is up and leading indicators are positive for the first time in months.

North Carolina startup to take on Quickbooks

A couple of geeks who live in North Carolina hated using Quickbooks to do their invoices. For one it only worked on IE 6. But they found it much more difficult to use than it needed to be. So, what did they do? Built their own called Merchant’s Mirror (it’s in alpha testing right now, should be released in beta in December).

That’s the entrepreneurial spirit, alive and well. I spent 25 minutes with CEO John Brown learning and head geek Ben Hwang about the market and what their accounting service will do differently (it’s totally web based, for one).

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