March 2006 Archives
March 30, 2006
Maxtor and Fabrik team up to drive the digital media home
I had an interesting briefing by Maxtor and its stealth software partner Fabrik on Tuesday. And I really appreciated them sending a car service to whisk me off 1 1/2 miles to the Hilton in downtown SF.
What was interesting is how Maxtor, one of the top hard drive companies (currently being acquired by Seagate Technology) is making its bid for the digital home. It is doing it through a strategy that leverages its brand and also moves it up the value stack.
I used to cover the hard drive industry when I was at the Financial Times. [It was a thrill to meet the legendary Al Shugart, a couple of years ago!]
In the late 1980s the hard drive industry used to consist of more than 40 companies and Silicon Valley was ground zero for this industry. This is also the region where IBM developed the first hard drive:
The first hard disk drive was the IBM 350 Disk File, invented by Reynold Johnson and introduced in 1955 with the IBM 305 computer. This drive had fifty 24 inch platters, with a total capacity of five million characters. A single head was used for access to all the platters, making the average access time very slow.
The history of the hard drive industry followed the same pattern of consolidation that has characterized other tech industry sectors. Wall Street provided a lot of encouragement for the M&A, not just to fuel its investment banking business but also to promote the carrot that greater consolidation would lead to better profits.
The problem with the hard drive industry was that it continually got ahead of itself. The race to pile more bits per square measure was brutal. The technology breakthroughs were piling up and continually disrupting the industry. The hard drive industry, year-after-year produced faster, higher capacity hard drives for a lot less money. The performance gains were always greater than Moore's Law.
The hard drive companies couldn't make money in most years and were in this constant battle to undercut each other, either with technology or price cuts. But Wall Street urged even greater consolidation and the argument was plain: fewer players would mean more control over pricing. But it didn't happen, Wall Street analysts, perplexed, started to refer to the "profitless prosperity" of the hard drive industry.
Silverlake Partners, the savvy Silicon Valley investment group acquired Seagate as part of a complex deal with Veritas and set to work on remaking the company--with some limited success.
However, it has been a tough, tough market, and it comes during a time when we have a data explosion of enormous magnitude. We save every bit of data multiple times and we generate a galaxy of data through our storage of photos, digital home movies and enterprise transactional data to...everything else.
So, back to Maxtor. It realized that it needed to move up the stack and add value to its drive. EMC, for example, was buying up low-priced hard drives, sticking them in a cabinet--wrapping some software around it--and getting 60 percent plus margins on the enterprise storage systems it was selling.
Maxtor has been following a similar strategy and has built up its brands such as its successful "one-touch" drive line. One-touch and it backs up your PC. Brilliantly simple and obvious.
Now, it wants to go further--it wants to be the media server in your home, it wants a piece of the digital home. And it might just get a decent sized chunk with its unique strategy.
A lot of the product introductions are under embargo--but you'll see them from April 10 onwards into the summer. What isn't under embargo is its business strategy which for me, is where the juice is. Maxtor has teamed up startup Fabrik, a software and data hosting company for its "Project Fusion" which is a way for people to manage, organize, store and share their media: photos, movies, music, etc.
Now, you might say, we've seen this, and heard this pitch before and there are a ton of companies that seem to say similar things, and want a similar slice of the future digital home entertainment system. And you are right.
But Maxtor and Fabrik are coming at it in a different way. They believe that the data is where the value lies and therefore they can provide a software application layer along with their hard drives, that can coexist, and support, the user interface applications for the digital home from Microsoft, Apple, Logitech, and many others.
It is a crafty strategy because the software interface is AJAX based so you can access and manage and organize your media from any computer with a web browser. Which also means that while you might be a "server hugger" and want your media files on a terabyte Maxtor data storage system sitting at home--you could also choose to store it in the cloud somewhere. The approach accommodates both types of users and Maxtor plays in both realms.
The software from Fabrik offers tagging to help organize, it produces multiple resolutions of photos automatically, and it has many other useful capabilities. But what it really is, is a desktop user interface for media file management that sits on the web. This means that Maxtor and Fabrik have the opportunity to establish a file management system that is web based rather than client-based as is Windows or Mac OSX, (which are also file management systems.)
It's a good strategy because you can still run whatever user interface/application you want to play on your clients. So in that way, Maxtor/Fabrik doesn't have to go toe-to-toe with the big players already in the home and on your desktop.
You'll only be able to get the drives bundled with Fabrik, or the Fabrik software by itself--through Maxtor. It's a variation of the Apple Computer/iTunes model...and you can bet there will be opportunities for added services.
Keep an eye on this Maxtor initiative led by ex-Apple exec Mike Williams, vice president and general manager, Maxtor Branded Products--I will certainly be watching. And take a look at Fabrik and its software here: http://www.fabrikinc.com/index.php.
This & That Three-Dot style: Thursty Thlacks toast Strumpette Thursday eve; I'm number 4 in Silicon Valley; The Beat Museum moves on down the road
(Hat tip to Dan B.) Bite Communication's unaffiliated (responsible) drinking club Thursty Thursday (TT) is hoisting a few to toast "Strumpette" the latest sensation in the PR BlogoSphere (BS). Come join TT president Steve Kerns at:
Steve "I promise to not use the term blogosphere seriously in one of these invites" Kerns
President, Thursty Thursday, Inc.
The "A Toast to Strumpette" TT
- Date: Thursday, March 30, 2006
- Time: Happy hours starts at 5 pm.....I'm shooting for sometime close to there
- Location: 90 Natoma (Natoma is an alley off of 2nd Street close to Howard)
. . .
If you use quotes around "Silicon Valley" SVW gets a number 3 rank out of 87.7 million results That's not dang bad...for a guy with a notebook.
I love having this top association with this region which I consider the world's greatest engine of innovation. And I love being immersed in its stories, its people, and in helping to create the future.
If you live and work in this part of N. California you are part of an elite group. And whether you are working in the trenches or in the executive suites, you are helping to create a future world that will impact the lives of billions of people. That's not dang bad...
. . .
My TotalChoice Hosting service or as I prefer to call it TotalUseless keeps sending me emails that I am about to run out of my monthly bandwidth allotment. However, to purchase a gigabye or two ($2.50 a piece) I have to contact the sales department during normal business hours. I can't even click an online box to purchase the gigs. My apologies if SVW goes dark at some point today... If I can't get my order through on time they will shut me off until April 1! As soon as I can manage it, I'm going to transfer over to Dreamhost which hosts my other projects.
. . .
I've been writing a fair amount this year about what I see as a strong cultural lineage between the writers of the Beat generation and the Blog generation. Both celebrate a rawness and passion in their literature. I've attended some of the events organized by the newly created Beat Museum in North Beach.
Fellow beatblog fans might be interested to hear that the Beat Museum is moving temporarily to The Cannery at Fisherman's Wharf while it looks for a permanent home in North Beach.
From the announcement:
We knew from the very beginning that our stay at 1345 Grant Avenue was only going to last through the end of March. This gave us the opportunity to see if The Beat Museum was viable in North Beach and the answer came back with a resounding, “Yes!”
Now we’re on the hunt for the perfect permanent location. We’re looking for a place that is large enough and flexible enough to grow with us as we grow The Beat Museum.
So, come see us at our new temporary home! We closed today at the Grant Avenue location and will open up on Wednesday, April 5th at The Cannery. It’s only a little more than a half a mile away from Broadway and Columbus.
Thanks for your support!
10 AM – 6 PM
7 Days a Week
(starting Wednesday, April 5th)
Our mailing address is:
The Beat Museum
2801 Leavenworth Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Did anybody solve my Google atom bomb/treasure hunt riddle?
More than a year ago, on February 3 I wrote the this post and it caused a stir in the nascent BlogoSphere. I stated a hypothetical scenario and something which could be one of several flaws in the pay-per-click advertising model--the dominant form of online marketing.
There were quite a few people that didn't understand it, but that was fine because I didn't want to seem as if I were yelling "fire" in a crowded place. The people that did understand it understood the significance of the scenario.
Today there are larger numbers of people that will understand the riddle. And although I use Google as an example, it is not specific to Google, it is something that would affect many other advertising networks.
Here is the original post and I'd be interested in an original solution (I think I have one :-)
Here is the scenario:
A billionaire has arranged to give $100m to the first person that clicks on a special link that looks like a Google text ad.
Jupiter Research is sold -- one year after SVW scoop that it was up for sale
A year ago I wrote that Jupiter Research was up for sale only to get significant push back from Jupiter itself.
Here is the original: Jupiter Research is up for sale with multiple bidders
Here is Jupitermedia CEO's Alan Meckler's response contained in this post from Rafat Ali at the always excellent PaidContent.Org.
[BTW, it is interesting to note Mr Meckler's pump of Jupiter Research on his own blog. It is a good job that those days of pump and dump are long gone.]
Jupiter Research For Sale? [by rafat] : Update: Meckler writes in to us: "These have been going on since Gartner announced the Meta deal. We have no deal going on -- however we are always for sale as a company -- that is the fiduciary obligation of a CEO for a public company. We also owe to stockholders to listen to any offer. Are you a buyer!" Ah, well..
Jupiter Research, part of Alan Meckler's Jupitermedia, is up for sale, according to Silicon Valley Watcher, with multiple bidders for it.
The sale of Jupiter would further consolidate the market research analyst community, which is down to a handful of companies dominated by Gartner, the largest, according to the story.
Meckler's a master at mixing and matching businesses, and has had the golden touch of getting out of business at the right time. He bought the entrails of Jupiter Research (then Jupiter Media Metrix)for a mere $250K in 2002, and has gone on to rename his company based on it.
The research firm has been doing well, at least according to Meckler himself, who wrote up a post titled "Jupiter Research Rising", a week ago on his blog: "Syndicated research clients hit 297 the other day (up from 241 at this time last year). Contract value renewals have climbed to close to 100%. JR is now profitable and we expect healthy financial growth this year."
Here is the announcement of the sale from Jupitermedia:
(New York, NY - March 29, 2006) - Jupitermedia Corporation (Nasdaq: JUPM) today announced that it has sold its JupiterResearch division for $10.1 million in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities by the purchaser, subject to certain post-closing adjustments. The purchaser is JupiterResearch, LLC a subsidiary of JupiterKagan, Inc., which is a portfolio company of MCG Capital Corporation (Nasdaq: MCGC).
"The sale of JupiterResearch closes an exciting and successful chapter for Jupitermedia. During our nearly four years of ownership, we were able to revitalize this important business through the combined efforts of the JupiterResearch team and our operating acumen," stated Alan M. Meckler, Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia Corporation. "The sale of the JupiterResearch business is further evidence of Jupitermedia's strategy to be primarily focused on our rapidly growing digital asset collections. The funds received will continue to strengthen our balance sheet and allow us to have greater buying power for more acquisitions for our Jupiterimages division," added Meckler.
March 29, 2006
Case study: The elegant social engineering design of Strumpette wreaks havoc in the PR BlogoSphere
Amanda Chapel is a real character if not a real person, and the content on Strumpette is real. In an inaugural post, Ms Chapel baited the top PR blogger Steve Rubel who works at Edelman.
This is becoming an interesting case study on how to react to negative news/opinions, especially if one or more of the participants are fictional. Usually, the strategy would be to focus on the source (Strumpette) and correct any inaccuracies, address any negative comments right there at the source through comments and trackbacks.
Edelman's people have tried to do that but so far, have failed to do much that isn't fueling things the wrong way. And that is largely because of the marvelous social engineering design of Strumpette. Take a look at "Edelman Gang Gets Rough with Strumpette"
We could get some best practices out of this very interesting situation, one that has an array of moral and ethical high grounds occupied and fought over with zest and extra-hardened fingernail polish...:-) In which some of the participants could be of questionable gender and questionable morals. Let the questions continue--it is marvelously entertaining--but is anybody working in PR?
March 28, 2006
Howard High-Intel's leading PR chief is retiring this Friday
Howard High, one of Intel's top PR leaders and communications strategists is retiring after 27 years. I've worked with Howard for nearly 20 years and to me, he has always represented the very best qualities of Intel and of his profession.
I'm glad Howard gets out to play :-)
Here is his note:
Hi Tom – I don’t know if you have heard, but I wanted to tell you that after 27 years at Intel, I have decided to retire. My last day in the office will be this Friday. I want to play a bit and see what it is like to enter a week without 50 hours of my schedule pre-committed. I’ve enjoyed working with you over the years and wish you and Silicon Valley Watcher nothing but success in the future. Thank you for the kindness and the fairness you have given me and Intel over the years.
If you'd like to contact Howard you can reach him here:
The importance of not being Earnest...
Maybe, but...does it matter? It is wonderfully entertaining and I sent a personal email of encouragement with some of my top blogging tips and said I'm happy to help out with any advice needed. I also said that I would respectfully keep confidential any private correspondence between us--unless agreed otherwise by both parties. [This has to become a basic rule of social etiquette in this day and age when anyone can publish.]
And, I would also keep quiet if Amanda were to be a single or group project. Either way my blogging advice remains the same.
Here is Giovanni's comment and my reply. Let me know what you think about my idea for creating a persona that several writers could share on a weekly basis...I might enjoy it, I'd give it a try, anybody else?
by: Giovanni Rodriguez on March 27, 2006 06:20 PM
Strumpette is a H-O-A-X. Sez me.
Do we have any evidence that "she" exists? Yes, there's a blog. Yes, there's email. What else?
Reply by: Tom Foremski - Silicon Valley Watcher
That's what you said last time G. You said SandhillSlave was a man and I said no way and I betcha I'm right.
Strumpette's Amanda might very well turn out to be a group hybrid personality--it would be fun either way. It is certainly entertaining so far. Maybe we could all take turns to be SandhillSlave or Amanda and play out a persona. Perhaps the real person could be hidden among a flurry of writers and able to protect their insider identity...?
What if we were to adopt a real or imaginary persona, one with a distinct blog voice/online personality, and several people agreed to write one blog post per day within the character of the blog persona? That could be interesting, and maybe even compelling content...
So for example, if Amanda is a composite of several persons then we could have several writers randomly writing as Amanda... They could be semi-fictional semi-factual stories for entertainment purposes only...and they might even protect the anonymity of insiders?
What do you think G? Could you pretend to be Amanda, or an Angela or an Angus, for one day? I bet you could do it with your theatrical background... you could probably manage all three :-)
March 27, 2006
Apple Computer's CTO is leaving within days - SFGate scoop
SF Chronicle's blog supremo Al Saracevic, senior bus. editor over at SFGate.com's new tech blog The Tech Chronicles has a very nice scoop hot off the server!
It is Adios to Avadis "Ave" Tevanian, Apple Computer's Chief Technology Officer and operating system expert. He is heading out of the Infinite Loop for unknown pastures and his last day is March 31st. Bang on the April 1st 30 year anniversary for Apple.
Every company is now partly a technology-enabled media company--I explain in moving pictures
Andy Plesser, who organized the impressive Impact '05 conference at New York University in September, sent me this note about his plunge into blogging.
It includes a link to a video clip of myself (blush), I was on a panel with Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's political consultant and probably the most high profile political consultant in the US right now because of his experience with blogging and other media technologies, used to great effect during Mr Dean's presidential bid.
[Andy is a consumate professional and has been one of my earliest and staunchest supporters especially when I left the FT and ventured forth to test out the new media waters nearly two years ago...He and his family are also wonderful hosts whenever I'm in New York, which is not often enough.]
Hope all is well. After sitting out the blog world for a while, I've jumped in with a video blog, which I have titled Beet.TV - it's on the very cool VideoEgg/TypePad platform.
It's a work in progress. I wanted to present thinkers in the
media/PR/tech space - it's a great way for my firm to keep in a
leadership position and to create a new platform for our ideas and
Here's a clip of your excellent appearance at last year's Impact.
All the best, Andy
Plesser Holland Associates New York + Washington
A Case Study for how to correct an online article
This interview appeared in Bulldog Reporter's Daily Dog. It's well done, but I needed to correct a few points. [My comments and corrections are in bold and in brackets.]:
Blogger and Tech Scribe Foremski Shares Seven Timely Tips for Building Relationships with Influential Bloggers in Your Market
“Because I blog, I am sometimes introduced as a ‘former journalist,’” [I'm a "former FT journalist"] says Tom Foremski, editor, publisher and founder of Silicon Valley Watcher (www.SiliconValleyWatcher.com). “But my advice to PR people is not to distinguish between the two. If something looks like journalism—then it is. There’s no seal of approval,” says Foremski, who used to file columns for The Financial Times[I used to work full-time as a news reporter for the Financial Times before leaving in mid-2004.] “Those distinctions don’t make that much sense these days. For example, a lot of newspapers ask their journalists to be bloggers in addition to their usual assignments.” [So then are they temporarily no longer journalists if they are writing their news blogs at work?]
His point: “The real issue isn’t whether someone is a blogger or not—but whether they’re credible. It doesn’t matter if they write in AP style or grandma style,” he jokes. “What’s important is who they reach and if they’re influential in your market. You can look for reciprocal links to determine that. But links don’t show where conversations are actually started. It’s more complicated than that. There really is no silver bullet other than getting involved.” Foremski offers these blog-savvy tips for doing just that:
1. Start small—simply visit relevant blogs. “You don’t have to launch your own blog to get involved in this,” says Foremski. “Just start by reading blogs in your market. Then move up to leaving your comments on other blogs. The danger with starting a blog is that you have to feed it every day—and that can be stressful [...if you are not a professional journalist--the monster has to be fed and fussed over everyday :-) ] It also might not be the best use of your time.”
2. Treat bloggers like journalists—with these exceptions. “While bloggers shouldn’t be treated that differently, you do have to make the rules more clear,” Foremski says. “That includes being very specific about what you mean by things like ‘off the record,’ ‘on background’ and ‘embargoed.’ Make sure the definitions are very clear on both sides first.”
In addition: “It can be hard to find blogger names and contact information. The only advice I can give is to follow the links. Another difference is that bloggers get really, really upset if they find something in their email inbox that wasn’t requested. The rest of us are used to getting pitches that went to everybody. But bloggers resent it. They will blog about lame PR practitioners. You can become the story in blogs if you’re not careful,” Foremski warns.
3. Help bloggers with fact checking and due diligence. “It’s not a bad idea to consider bloggers without media backgrounds as ‘juvenile’[I said "inexperienced"] journalists,” Foremski continues. “They have that natural ability to reach audiences and write—but might not be familiar with the processes of vetting information and fact checking. That’s because their minds are focused on commenting and responding quickly. In fact, bloggers seem to rely on the mainstream media to do the fact checking for them. To be honest, there’s not a lot of fact checking going on in the mainstream media, either.”
[This is very, very true we trust and use the factual information provided to us by a company and its representatives. We don't trust claims of being the first, or best or anything of that nature.]
His point: “We all assume that the stuff in your press release is 100 percent accurate. So make sure the numbers, spellings and everything is completely vetted. Few newsrooms I know of have fact checkers any more. Some high-end magazines might, but they’re usually just fact checking stories that come in from freelancers.”
4. Play to bloggers’ egos—offer exclusives. “Bloggers like juicy pegs and controversy,” says Foremski. “They like dirt. [I did not say "dirt" although the statement is true for some bloggers.] Any journalist likes exclusivity—but bloggers are especially interested in anything that let’s them say, ‘I know something you don’t know.’ The ego and byline are a big part of why bloggers blog. They want to be on top of the[link] pile.”
His advice: “Understand this when reaching out to bloggers. They are far more competitive. I’ve been in pubs with other blogger journalists and have had to run out and file a story while pretending to go to the bathroom. [I was with other professional journalists who are also bloggers-- journalists love scoops even more.] It’s more personal. We don’t want anybody to beat us. If you understand that, then you offer more things like exclusives or behind-the-scenes information and access.” But, he warns: “Don’t offer an exclusive that isn’t really one. Remember that hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned.”
[You'd better believe it -- I strive to be nicer-than-nice if an honest mistake occurs but niceness is only appreciated if you occasionally demonstrate how unpleasant things could be otherwise...]
5. Revisit the basics and dust off the “old rules.” “The new rules of reaching bloggers are the same as the old rules of reaching the press—just more intense,” Foremski says. “If it was about trust, credibility and building relationships before—it’s more so now. If you had to tailor ideas before—you have to make sure you customize every single pitch for a blogger now. In other words, don’t pitch a blogger without reading him first. It’s all the same media relations as before, except that there are more ‘outlets’ to deal with. That means your job is now focused on doing more of what you should have been doing before. What you weren’t doing right in reaching out to the media will become glaringly obvious reaching out to bloggers.”
[Which means you have a heck of a LOT more work to do. But hey, don't cry too much, PR professionals are rolling in work and are getting 1999-dotcom era salaries. When they signed-on, I'm sure they knew they just sold most of their best hours of their day--their personal life and families get the lower quality hours...]
6. Bring bloggers “into the tent.” “I had breakfast with Richard Edelman recently,” shares Foremski. “He has a term he uses: ‘bringing people into the tent.’ That’s what he did by having breakfast with me. It really works.” [It is also a way for a blogger to get into the tent and get access . . . it works both ways :-) ] His advice: “Don’t leave bloggers out. For example, some bloggers don’t get press passes. Change that. Treat them equally. Also, offer bloggers access to senior-level people. It doesn't matter if it’s not a big business magazine across the table. Embrace these guys. There are millions of blogs out there—but only a few top ones in your sector. It shouldn’t be hard to find them and bring them in.”
[I said that meeting with key bloggers should be a normal part of traditional media relations, as it is with professional journalists. But you cannot make your senior executives available to anybody--there just isn't enough time in the world. It is not just bloggers but journalists from small, or little known publications, that constantly have this problem of access.]
7. Don’t forget freebies—they can open doors (and hearts). “Tchotchkes work with bloggers more than with normal journalists,” says Foremski. “It’s much easier to buy them off in that way,” he jokes. “They love it. Goodies really work—especially tech goodies.”
[I did not say "buy them off" but I did say that bloggers tend to get excited by freebies. Ninety per cent of the time the freebies are not digital but pens or t-shirts--the rest of the time it's a USB flash drive, (I receive and give away a lot of them.]
You can read the original and other good pieces here: http://www.bulldogreporter.com/dailydog/issues/1_1/dailydog_journalists_speak_out/index.html#label%202
Postscript: The article was well put together, covered a lot of good points and because I am a journalist blogger I was able to correct a few points.
BTW, this is a good case study on one way you can handle a similar situation and put the record straight. By using a trackback to the article, or leaving a comment with a link to this post, I can address any issues--at the point of readership--not in a letter to the editor days later.
- - -
Here is my pitch: If you'd like to learn more about how to communicate in the new world and avoid some of the many pitfalls, starting in April I'm setting aside a few days per month to come in and spend half-a-day or so to chat with comms teams at companies and agencies, and set aside more time to speak at conferences.
Please contact Jen McClure, the founder of the non-profit think tank, the Palo-Alto based Society for New Communications Research (of which I am a founding fellow.) Jen's number is 650 387 8590 and we also have a stable of senior fellows with expertise in all areas--from building the technical infrastructure to podcasting and beyond.
There is a consulting fee for commercial organizations, which helps to fund our work with non-profits and educational institutes. But even with commercial organizations I do a lot of free 45-minute-or-so visits (if in Bay Area), and you can ask me anything you'd like :-).
DARPA TinyOS developers get $5m from Intel and others
Who says Big Brother/Sister isn't coming? It is but under a different guise...Here is mesh/sensor network company Arch Rock, who today announced $5m in funding for:
Arch Rock’s vision is to help customers create and manage billions of sensor-based touch points with the physical world of matter and space and generate new actionable intelligence that can be leveraged in a wide variety of new industrial and consumer applications.
An investor said:
By being able to measure anything, monitor it on the Internet and act on the information, businesses will be able not only to predict the outcome of a situation, but actually influence or control that outcome. That’s the promise of wireless sensor and control networks” said Forest Baskett, general partner with NEA.
The Series A funding comes from New Enterprise Associates, Shasta Ventures and Intel Capital. And the Berkeley inventors of TinyOS (DARPA funded) are the founders of the new company.
I predicted such investments two months ago: Big Brother brings business opportunities
Here is the release:
Berkeley Inventors of TinyOS Found Arch Rock to Scale Wireless Sensor Networks as the Next Tier of the Internet
Company Raises $5 Million Series A Funding from NEA, Shasta Ventures and Intel Capital
San Francisco, March 27, 2006 – Arch Rock, a company founded in mid 2005 to develop products that enable wide adoption of wireless sensor networks within the broader context of Internet technology, announced today that it secured a $5 million Series A investment from New Enterprise Associates, Shasta Ventures and Intel Capital. Forest Baskett, general partner with New Enterprise Associates, Rob Coneybeer, managing director with Shasta Ventures, and Judy Estrin, CEO of Packet Design, LLC, have joined the company’s board of directors. The Series A funding will be used to expand the company team and its sales and marketing capabilities. It will also be used to further develop Arch Rock’s cohesive set of portable operating systems, layered networking protocols and service oriented architectures, the three critical components that enable scalable deployment and rapid application development for sensing and control across numerous industries with diverse needs.
Wireless sensor networks are collections of tiny computers that can monitor almost anything – such as light, motion, proximity, temperature, biometrics and chemical substances – and are networked by forming wireless meshes using low-power radio. Arch Rock’s Internet-enabled wireless sensor network solutions allow companies to apply business logic at all tiers of these sensor networks in order to easily capture new kinds of information from the physical world and harness that information through their enterprise software and web services applications. Arch Rock’s vision is to help customers create and manage billions of sensor-based touch points with the physical world of matter and space and generate new actionable intelligence that can be leveraged in a wide variety of new industrial and consumer applications.
The Arch Rock management team is comprised of renowned experts in the fields of wireless sensor networks and embedded systems, Internet networking, and enterprise software.
· Roland Acra, President and CEO. Acra is a 20-year networking industry veteran who was President and CEO at Procket Networks and held several senior executive positions at Cisco Systems.
· Dr. David Culler, Chairman, co-founder and CTO. Culler is a professor of Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley, former director of Intel Research Berkeley and principal investigator of DARPA's Network Embedded Systems Technology program (DARPA NEST) that created the open TinyOS platform for wireless sensor networks.
· Dr Wei Hong, co-founder and vice president of Engineering. Hong brings over 15 years of industry experience in databases and enterprise software, including as Principal Investigator at Intel Research and senior architect at Informix and Peoplesoft.
"Arch Rock brings a great team to this emerging area and we are excited to see their focus on integrating wireless sensor networks into the service architecture of the enterprise” said Prasad Rampalli, VP, Digital Enterprise Group at Intel.
“By being able to measure anything, monitor it on the Internet and act on the information, businesses will be able not only to predict the outcome of a situation, but actually influence or control that outcome. That’s the promise of wireless sensor and control networks” said Forest Baskett, general partner with NEA. “The company’s strategy to enable sensor technology to integrate seamlessly with the Internet and the Web has the potential to unlock the next wave of innovation on the Internet.”
Arch Rock is already deploying tailored customer solutions across several industries and applications as diverse as industrial automation, logistics, and information technology.
“Our vision is that sensors will far outnumber computers and that the Internet architecture and value system is the way to scale” said Roland Acra, CEO, Arch Rock. “Multi-vendor hardware, networks spanning diverse links, and distributed applications - these are the principles around which the Internet has thrived. We will bring forward these principles and look forward to building a healthy ecosystem in order to scale wireless sensor networks for the benefit of our customers,” said Acra.
About Arch Rock
Arch Rock provides software, systems and services enabling wireless sensing and control networks to be easily deployed and integrated at scale within the Internet and enterprise frameworks. The San Francisco-based company deploys open-systems that bridge the gaps between manufacturers of sensor devices, wireless networking technology, and Internet based software applications. The company has secured financing from New Enterprise Associates, Shasta Ventures and Intel Capital. More information can be found at http://www.archrock.com
Scoble and the A-list; a beatblog Howl; Strumpette launches with a trail of breadcrumbs...
Microsoft A-list blogger Robert Scoble says he wants to be off the A-list blog roll--things are getting way too mean. Yep, that's true. I try not to be, it's too easy.
. . .
I went to the "6 Poets at 6 Gallery" event Friday in North Beach because of my interest in the Beat Generation and its historic lineage to blogging, and thanks to Allison and Erica who got there early, we had the best standing room in the house, right next to the poets. It was a fun event and I met a lot of interesting people.
The rest of the evening, however, is less easily recalled. I remember something about expressing my own personal "Howl" at the world towards the end of the night...
I could claim to have been aroused by the passionate poetic visions so wonderfully recreated. But I think forgetting to eat during the extended social part of the evening had something to do with an interesting, but highly unrecommended odyssey back home.
. . .
Strumpette: A naked journal of the PR business is the new chick on the blogging block, smart and se.x.y, and that's just her writing. Her physical description of herself promises pert parts and other fine qualities of a pertinent nature.
And she has the top male PR bloggers eating out of her hand and she just launched(!) Amanda, don't you just feel some days that it is all just too easy :-) Or, are you really A-Man-Da!
Personally, I try to go for the more challenging muckraking--I figure I can do the easy stuff later...
[BTW, Steve Rubel couldn't, wouldn't, and doesn't need to take on Richard Edelman. He'll be there a long time...that's where I'd put my 25 bucks. I'll even put 25 on you making it to Edelman within the year, if you can build your pagerank :-)]
March 24, 2006
Tivo: The great failure of viral marketing (and Naked Conversations?)
I was sitting in Harrington's chatting with Julie Crabill and her colleague Khristine Valdez from Shift Communications Thursday evening, and we were talking about this and that, and viral marketing came up. And it struck me that viral marketing was a huge failure when it came to Tivo.
Tivo received a tremendous amount of viral marketing--I heard about it from enthusiast friends of mine for several years before I bought one and became a convert, and a viral marketer. Yet, despite my friends/colleagues passion for the device, and despite the fact that they are peers (high on Edelman Trust Barometer)--I didn't "get" Tivo, until I got one.
To put it another way, I didn't dig it until I got it.
That's not the way viral marketing is supposed to work, I should have become a customer years earlier. And I know many others who are late to Tivo despite massive amounts of positive viral marketing.
And this is a phenomenon that i see a lot. Viral marketing is not all that it's supposed to be. It is usually hailed as the holy grail in marketing because it is free marketing. Yet viral marketing also can produce an opposite reaction, sometimes conscious and sometimes not. It can cause a determination not to buy. For example, going to a movie or reading a book or seeing a TV show that everyone loves.
Is it equal parts positive to negative when it comes to the benefits of viral marketing? I would guess a 70 to 30 per cent split in favor of positive. What would you say?
- - -
BTW, Tivo could have become the Netscape web browser to the TV--instead it thought it was a box maker.
Most recently, it has switched to an annual subscription/commitment model instead of month-to-month payments. Why would someone hand over an annual payment or make a year-long commitment to a company struggling to find its way? Shouldn't Tivo remove obstacles to gaining customers and make it as easy-as-pie to be a subscriber?
Travellin Loco Luco on artz and kultur events....
Bling, bling..... bling, bling, bling... BAM! Back on the
radar and back in the swing of things here at SVW. Time for
your Friday wrapper from Loco Luco.
Winter has been VERY kind to me: spent New Year's Eve on stage in SF,
singing in front of 7,000 withThe String
Cheese Incident;rocked an intimate, holiday show with Miss Sarah King
in Portland, OR; and sang silly love songs at the Corazon de Amor" Valentine's day event.
All the music has left me a wee bit
behind on the tech front and I'm only now catching up with the latest
and greatest in recent, new media developments(although it always seems
to be a revolving door!).
Ok, so, back on the scene... and 'bling, bling'... I'm addicted
again. Wearing my pho-chanell, pho-diamond studded
glasses(like, major bling, bling, yo!) passing through Vegas airport
this week, I was wishing I could pull up the network on the interior
lenses and kick it 'round the metaverse. I even pretended it
was happening, tapping my fingers against my thumbs, as if I had the
perfect user interface to sort data while I stood in line to board the
plane. yea, I read too much sci-fi.
But here's one step
in the right direction of interface design. Indeed, I'm tired
of sitting... and I've wondered if someday I'll be able to interact
with the machines while going through the primary series of Ashtanga...
or playing basketball.
Ok, but enough about me and my super future, fantasies.
Here's a list of some hot things happenin this weekend round the bay,
through the metaverse, and beyond:
Gogol Bordello in SF this weekend: Ok, so you probably can't get tickets to the show at this late notice(you should still try) but at least you'll know for next time. This incredible gypsy-punk-performance rock act will blow your mind! By far, the best show EVERYONE I know has EVER experienced.
Then, if you're travelin through Chicago(as I am), check out Andy
Warhol at the MCA
Traveling round the country this week, you may have noticed a
swarm of hipsters stealin up all the bar stools at your favorite
airport bars. Indeed, some of them are headed to spring
break, but the other, more mature, variety(the ones that don't have
"nice ass" stenciled on their pants) are surely headed to Miami for the
music fest. Get an ear full, if you're near, at theWinter Music
Fest in Miami, Fl.
And, on the home entertainment front... if you've had enough of main
stream, commercial-flix, check out some under-appreciated, indie flicks
I recently watched the CRAZIESTflick
age old sport of catchin' catfish wit yo bare hands)! Nah,
you won't find that on netflix...
And, finally, a bit of eye candy from my latest obsession: street art.
Check out the Wooster
CollectiveorWe make money
not art for some killer street art and underground beauty.
Or, if you're in the Bay Area, see Logan Hicks' and Adam5100's new show, "Layered," at the Urbis
Artium Gallery on Geary Street.
See ya on the flip, Luco