The view of economy from Palo Alto's socialtext

Socialtext is one of those companies that got started during the last downturn and has played an important role in the valley’s startup culture for the past few years (they hosted the first BarCamp, for instance). So yesterday I went over to have a chat with founder Ross Mayfield and CEO Eugene Lee. We discussed mostly the economy, but a little bit about the enterprise software and services that socialtext sells. Socialtext started as a company that sold wikis to enterprises, but has expanded that into a social collaboration and productivity suite that’s doing very well. While I was in the office two sizeable sales came in from two big companies.

Eugene Lee was an executive at Cisco when Cisco had to lay a lot of people off during the last downturn, so he talks about that too. I split the interview up into three pieces:

Part I. What will happen to both large and small companies during downturn? What are they seeing from their enterprise customers? (Hint: record sales so far this quarter but great uncertainty for next year).
Part II. Discussion of corporate pain of email.
Part III. Ross tells me about socialtext’s alumni network and how that can help both companies and workers who are laid off.

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Author: Robert Scoble

Scoble gives you a front-row seat on the future. Especially on platforms that use the fourth user interface, spatial computing, like virtual reality or mixed reality that will come soon thanks to his own front-row seat as entrepreneur in residence at UploadVR.com and his past experience as futurist at Rackspace. Best place to find Scoble? On his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/scobletechnology/

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