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In the interest of balance, today I'm waxing on about the awesome opportunities presented by M&As - and some of the lessons I've learned along the way to help things go a bit more smoothly. M&As are one of the most powerful opportunities for a Phoenix to rise; stronger, brighter, ready to soar into a leadership. After all, you're bringing two companies together who presumably have complementary skill-sets, products, market knowledge and customer bases. What could be MORE exciting?  Instead of investing time and dollars to build these assets  - we have the opportunity to blend the best of the best and keep running! But sometimes it's easy to forget that opportunity once the deal is complete. When the deal is signed and we roll up our sleeves as the true blending begins, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the day-to-day reality of these two completely unique business entiti... (more)

Intel Capital Closes Out Adaptivity's $10.3M Series A Funding Round

"Large enterprises are increasingly interested in data center optimization and cloud computing technologies," said Bryan Wolf, Managing Director of Intel Capital, as Adaptivity - known throughout the industry as The IT Blueprint Company - announced today that it has raised an additional $3M of venture capital financing from Intel Capital, thuscompleting its Series A round of funding and bringing the total to $10.3 million. Adaptivity’s software suite is well positioned to take advantage of this market trend," continued Wolf, "by enabling IT organizations to improve infrastructure performance and agility, transition to the Cloud, consolidate and optimize infrastructure, and meet compliance and risk requirements.” Adaptivity’s IT blueprinting software enables companies to codify and embed best practices, IT standards and rules into the infrastructure design and deploy... (more)

RightScale Snags $13M in Boost for Cloud Computing Management

"We’re very excited to be working with RightScale's experienced team to guide the company's growth, including its expansion into the European market," said Index Ventures partner Danny Rimer as it was announced today that RightScale has secured $13 million in its second round of venture capital funding, led by Index Ventures. RightScale CTO Thorsten von Eicken interviewed by SYS-CON.TV's Jeremy Geelan at the 1st International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo recently in San Jose, CA. "With RightScale's platform, organizations can quickly realize the benefits of cloud computing without the risks commonly associated with cloud deployments, such as vendor lock-in and loss of IT control," Rimer continuied, adding “Having looked at this space in great detail, we believe that RightScale will continue to be the clear leader in cloud computing services." The company has tw... (more)

Multitouch Programming for HP TouchSmart

Not long ago I blogged about the difficulty of finding SDKs for some multi-touch platforms including the HP TouchSmart. It turns out there is an SDK of sorts for the HP TouchSmart: .NET 3.5 and WPF! That's right you can program TouchSmart multi-touch applications in WPF. There are little things you need to differently to make your WPF applications work in TouchSmart, but the guidance is there to help people get started. I don't have time to learn how to program an HP TouchSmart (way too busy with Microsoft Surface development right now) but I'll provide pointers for people who are interested. Here are the links you'll need to get started: HT TouchSmart Software Development Guidlines 1.5 For whatever reason you have follow an install process which essentially unzips a PDF document. The document itself is a little difficuilt to follow but will make a lot more sense if you... (more)

Comeks Runs Out Of Cash, Seeks Buyer

This was one of the weirdest incoming pitches I’ve received in a while. Finnish startup Comeks, which I’d never heard of before, contacts us to tout its product, a nifty application that lets you generate funny cartoons based on the pictures on your phone and enables you to push them out to social networking services, and then casually lets us know they’re up for sale. I got in touch with co-founder and CEO Arto Viitanen, who told me the startup simply ran out of money, after raising €400,000 from Accel Partners about two years ago when the outlook for internet and mobile startups was way better than in the current economy. With the seed funding, the company produced a tool called Comeks Shorts, which lets you send visual SMS messages for the price of a normal SMS message. Last week, they added to that service “Fun Photo Blogger”, a tool that lets you create funny... (more)

Appcelerator Releases New Preview Of Open Source Developer Platform Titanium, Adds Bells And Whistles

This morning, Mountain View-based startup Appcelerator is taking the wraps off its second Preview Release for Titanium, an open-source developer platform meant to compete with Adobe AIR and the likes for building rich internet, mobile and desktop applications. Titanium PR2 comes with a number of new features that are worth taking a look at, like an extensible Module API and built-in support for Linux and a wide range of programming languages like Python, Ruby and JavaScript in addition to C++. More technical details are outlined on the company blog Appcelerant. The new release of the open developer platform, licensed under Apache Public License (version 2), can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OSX or Linux here. The release also includes a nifty tool dubbed Titanium Developer which groups a number of social media and communication services like Twitter, FriendFeed and... (more)

Interview With Digg’s Kevin Rose: The State of The Union

Last week I sat down with Digg founder Kevin Rose to get the Digg “State of the Union.” The company, now more than four years old, has continued to grow incredibly since launching in late 2004 and regularly innovates with new products. They are rumored to be approaching profitability after making headcount cuts earlier this year. But much of the hype around Digg is now in the past. From 2006 onwards there were regular rumors of Digg being acquired. So many, in fact, that we called on CEO Jay Adelson to “Just sell Digg already” in late 2007. And Jay certainly tried to. They were very (so very) close to closing a deal with Google in mid 2008, but the deal fell apart at the 11th hour. Digg was quite literally left standing at the altar. And we believe that the company made the decision at that point to stop looking for buyers and to focus quietly on the core business... (more)

Tungle Goes a Long Way Toward Reducing the Pain of Scheduling Meetings

Image byTungle via CrunchBase One of the biggest drains on time, effort and motivation in this business is the hell of arranging physical and virtual meetings with clients, prospects and podcast interviewees. Few of those people are in my timezone, we have no shared Exchange or Lotus Notes to endure rely upon, and I have absolutely no control over the calendaring solution that they choose to use in managing their own time. For all I know or care, half of them might still retain secretaries with quill pens to keep their paper diaries. Over the years, I have tried a lot of tools with varying capabilities. Some were full-featured overkill that attempted to assert far too much control over my workflow. Worse, some of them tried to control the workflow of my invitees — people with whom I might only interact a couple of times — and that was completely unacceptable. At the... (more)

Bluenog Awarded 'Red Herring 100 North America'

Bluenog has announced that it has been selected as a winner of the Red Herring 100 North America Award. The Red Herring editorial team deployed a detailed process to whittle down a pool of 1,000 eligible, promising companies to 200 finalists. Ultimately, 100 winners were chosen and recognized as the top technology companies of 2009. Evaluations are made on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, innovation, management, global strategy, and ecosystem integration. The winners, elite executives and venture capital leaders from North America, celebrated in San Diego from May 11-14, 2009. "Of the thousands of companies that have submitted their entries, we were tasked with choosing the technologies that are making the biggest impact this year," said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. "Bluenog is one of those exceptional comp... (more)

PR on Ulitzer: Strategies for B2B Social Media

PR on Ulitzer Carabiner Communications, a public relations firm serving start-up and fast-growth technology companies, has made available a new white paper to help business-to-business (B2B) companies launch social media programs to connect with prospects and customers. Entitled "Social Media: How B2B Companies Can Connect," the new paper explores the evolving social media landscape and explains in detail how companies can launch their own social media campaigns. Also discussed in the paper are key questions executives should ask before starting, how their companies can participate, and how to measure results. This follows Carabiner's March launch of its social media and video service, SocialConnector(SM), which helps clients build and integrate social media tools and content into their online communications campaigns. Since launching its new service, the firm has be... (more)

Damn You Google, Damn You Yahoo! Why D'Ya Do This to Us?

A strange dynamic has taken hold on the internet.  Just as people expect sunshine and air to be free, they also expect internet based software applications to be free.  Ok, maybe not completely free… they agree someone should pay, just not them.  Damn you Google, damn you Yahoo! why did you do this to us? With companies left and right offering full versions of their products for free,  users have been conditioned NOT to pay for anything.  This conditioning can be seen across everything from social media sites to messaging to business applications.  The problem with this as I see it is the negative impact on innovation. Users think that they win by getting free software or services, but do they really?  If you ask me the only real winners in the free ecosystem are the investors behind well funded companies.  By locking down markets with free offerings companies can ... (more)