Pivot or Divot? The Decisive Difference between Strategic Pivots and Frustrating Flails

Pivot or Divot? The Decisive Difference between Strategic Pivots and Frustrating Flails

“Strategic pivot” has been a fashionable buzzword for several years. Now wildly over-used, it can be misleading and cause poor decision-making by investors, entrepreneurs, and management teams. So I thought it was high time to try to define what a successful pivot looks like versus a wasteful flail.

Scaling a Big Data / IoT Company Toward $1 Billion

Scaling a Big Data / IoT Company Toward $1 Billion

Big data and IoT businesses continue to attract enormous amounts of venture and PE funding but very few of them have yet to demonstrate the growth expected of them. Splunk is an exception. The company’s 2016 revenues will approach $1bn. and its current valuation is $8bn. Perhaps more significantly, the stock has experienced greater growth and stability than most recently public tech companies. This article addresses some of the management “secrets” behind the company’s success, in the words of Godfrey Sullivan, former CEO for eight years until his retirement in November 2015.

The Autopilot Crisis: What Tesla Mustn’t Do

The Autopilot Crisis: What Tesla Mustn’t Do

In recent weeks Tesla has been drawing a lot of attention for its new “Autopilot” feature. A crash in Florida May of a Model S while Autopilot was engaged, added to the fact that this feature was released in beta mode, exacerbated by Tesla’s refusal to cede ground in the face of blowback from motorists and experts, are building toward a true PR nightmare. How should Elon Musk and his team respond?

What Tech Must Learn from Trump and Brexit: Stop Disrupting, Start Engaging

What Tech Must Learn from Trump and Brexit: Stop Disrupting, Start Engaging

Technological advances have been credited with accelerating the pace of globalization. Unfortunately, globalization – including multi-national initiatives such as the EU single market – has unwittingly caused casualties among middle and working class people around the world due to widespread outsourcing, offshoring, and the easing of border security in the case of the EU. The crisis of middle east migrants into Europe has not made things easier, and the repeated domestic and international terrorist attacks of the past several months have made things worse. These factors help to explain the Trump phenomenon in the U.S., the recent Brexit vote in Europe, and the surge of far-right movements in France, Austria, the Netherlands and other EU countries against immigration, international trade agreements, and dramatic income inequality. Coming full circle, tech companies cannot afford any longer to ignore their role in addressing these issues if they are to avoid being scapegoated sooner or later by enraged citizens manipulated by cynical political leaders.

Google 2, Oracle 1: The Fast-Growing API Economy Survives a Major Scare

Google 2, Oracle 1: The Fast-Growing API Economy Survives a Major Scare

In 2010 Oracle sued Google over patent infringement regarding the use of 37 Java APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) when it developed the Android OS for smartphones. The latest of three lawsuits – following the original 2010 case and the 2012 appeal – just ended in favor of Google. Software developers, enterprise customers, users, and industry participants can all breathe a sigh of relief. Assuming this verdict sticks it will reinforce current business practices around APIs, and in the process help the API-fueled growth of startups and others developing APIs for new business and consumer applications to continue.

The Public Cloud: Is There Still Room for Google?

The Public Cloud: Is There Still Room for Google?

In recent months Google has demonstrated its determination to compete with AWS and Azure for leadership in the public cloud infrastructure space for the enterprise. It took them a while to get serious about this, but in late 2015 they brought in Diane Greene, founder of VMware and an acknowledged heavyweight in enterprise computing, and since then have lured some prestige customers from AWS and other cloud service providers. Is there still time for Google to pull it off, or are they too late to put Microsoft and Amazon on the defensive? Guest columnist Hakan Jakobsson presents some strong arguments against Google’s chances of success.