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Eric Benhamou & the Turnaround of 3Com (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21st 2007

Eric discovered, at a very early age, one of the most common attributes of entrepreneurs: “I want to do things my way!” This, however, was not welcome in France, where he was growing up.

SM: The old “I am going to do it my way” saying … EB: That’s right. I even started a small business when I was 13. I had observed that where I grew up, in the town of Grenoble, there were quite a few abandoned bicycles and mopeds. I felt there was quite a bit of waste there, and recognized there should be a business in recycling parts. I started a business recycling moped parts with my friends. >>>

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Lessons for CleanTech Entrepreneurs: Raychem CEO Paul Cook (Part 12)

Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21st 2007

SM: Do you wish Raychem was around as an independent company today? PC: Yes, yes I do.

SM: Why did you make the choices you did regarding Raychem? PC: I made the decision to retire at 66 because I believe the CEO has to be young and vigorous. When I retired I decided the best thing for me would be to get away from the company and let the new younger people take it and run with it. I even resigned and retired as the chairman. I was not on the Board when the company was sold.

SM: Do you ever get approached by the private equity people to take it back? PC: Yes, but it wasn’t feasible.

Web 3.0 & Online Health (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Aug 20th 2007


Online Health is definitely attracting eyeballs and the recent data released by comScore proves it. On an average, 31% of the total U.S. Internet users or 55.3 million U.S. Internet audience visited health information sites each month during the first quarter of 2007.

The online health segment grew by 12% in 2006. These sites are generating health consciousness among the users at a scale unknown before.

A survey conducted by JupiterResearch in 2007 on the behavior of the online health care consumers throws up some interesting facts. JupiterResearch estimates that almost two-thirds or 65% of the total U.S. online healthcare consumers click on the search results because they are relevant. Around 10% of the above Internet users conducted research for their spouse and 6% for a child. >>>

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iPhone and AT&T: How Goes?

Posted on Monday, Aug 20th 2007

Starting with this post on AT&T, I will analyze the US carriers and how the launch of iPhone has affected them. Earlier posts on AT&T available here and here can make for interesting reading. AT&T is the exclusive US carrier partner for the iPhone. To get the iPhone, subscribers need to sign up for a 2-year contract with price plans ranging from $60 to $100 dollars per month.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is one of the world’s largest telecommunications holding companies with operating revenue of 63.05 billion in 2006. AT&T companies are leading providers of IP-based communications services, high-speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. Its business is organized into four segments: (1) wireline; (2) wireless; (3) advertising & publishing; and (4) others. In December, 2006, AT&T acquired BellSouth. With the BellSouth acquisition, the Company acquired BellSouth’s 40% interest in AT&T Mobility, formerly Cingular Wireless LLC, resulting in 100% ownership of AT&T Mobility. >>>

The Next Big Innovation in Microprocessors: Anant Agarwal (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Aug 20th 2007

I write this series with great pleasure, as my former graduate school advisor and renowned MIT professor Anant Agarwal unveils his so far stealth-mode company Tilera this week. Tilera could well be the next big breakthrough in processor design.

SM: Anant, please give us some background on where you come from. AA: Growing up, I wanted to be an engineer. I went to school in Mangalore and took the IIT entrance test. I did not have a lot of hope of getting in, and was surprised when it happened. At that time I was working on speech systems. I had been part of a team which built a speech recognition system for Hindi. Then I came to Stanford to work on speech and linear systems theory. Somewhere along the way I switched into computer architecture and began working with John Hennessey, and worked with him on the first MIPS computer. That was 1983. >>>

Eric Benhamou & the Turnaround of 3Com (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Aug 20th 2007

Eric Benhamou is a networking industry pioneer. Eric served as the CEO of 3Com from September 1990 until December 31, 2000, and since then, has been its Chairman. 3Com acquired Palm during his tenure as CEO, and later spun it out. For a while, Eric also served as the CEO of Palm, and later its Chairman. In this series, we are going to focus on Eric’s experience as “a young punk” turning around 3Com. Later, in a separate series, we will explore the history of Palm, as told by one of the most well-respected Silicon Valley executives. Steve Jobs had invited him to the Board of Apple, and President Clinton appointed him to chair the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee which advises the President on federal R&D programs to maintain United States’ leadership in advanced technologies.

SM: Eric, where were you born, and what kind of environment did you grow up in? What propelled you to where you are today. EB: I was born in a small village between Algeria and Morocco in the mid 1950’s at a time when the whole region was going through wars. The Algerian war was breaking up at the time, and there was increasing amount of tension between the Algerian population and the French. This forced all of the Jewish population in the region to leave between the 1950’s and the early 1960’s. We were part of the massive exodus. There were three destinations: Israel, France and the US / Canada. Our family went to France which is where I went to primary school and high school. As I grew up in France, I felt moderately comfortable, but not terribly comfortable. Clearly I did grow up in the French culture; French was my mother tongue. As I became a teenager I was no longer sure that I wanted to live there. >>>

Lessons for CleanTech Entrepreneurs: Raychem CEO Paul Cook (Part 11)

Posted on Monday, Aug 20th 2007

SM: When it comes to selling, what kinds of customers do you look to sell to? PC: In our business it was all industrial customers, we didn’t have any consumer products.

SM: When you are looking at a customer’s problem and finding solutions, you are essentially selling concepts. You don’t always have the product ready yet. PC: That is very correct; we often sold concepts.

SM: Especially with industrial markets, those companies are not early adapters at all. PC: Our manufacturing managers used to tell us we would sell a product before they knew how to make it. However, they always figured out how to make it.

SM: How do you handle customer interaction in that scenario? >>>

Subprime – Enough Already

Posted on Sunday, Aug 19th 2007

By Frank Lara, Guest Author

We all saw this coming, the warning signs where there, and yet, subprime lenders kept doing what they do best – lending money to people who can’t afford to pay it back in the first place.

How could these institutions think that the good times would never end? What planet do they live on, and now that the worst has happened, they are all saying it’s no big deal? Give me a break. So now, the stock market has to deal with it’s arch enemy, uncertainty. How will this impact the market on Monday, will it get worse in the weeks ahead, will my portfolio turn into pennies? >>>