SM: Describe the value proposition of Blurb, including differentiation versus the rest of the market.
EG: Blurb is bringing book publishing to the masses by providing an affordable publishing platform that’s accessible to anyone with a broadband connection and modest computing skills. Every family, traveler, photographer, bride, cook, poet, teacher, blogger, and artist has a book inside them waiting to be published, whether to keep, give, or sell at profit.
Increasingly, Blurb is also a popular choice for business and creative professionals who create books to promote their products and services. Photographers, business owners, architects, designers, and marketing professionals have unique requirements for integrating books into their business processes, and Blurb’s print-on-demand model, order management, fulfillment services, online bookstore, and attractive prices are driving significant market adoption in this category. >>>
SM: So your professional career began at Oracle. KR: Yes. I left Oracle to get a business degree at Stanford University. When I graduated in 1994, I started a consulting company called Emergent that focused on designing and building Business Intelligence solutions for large companies. We were acquired by Keane (a public systems integration company) in 1999.
Soon afterwards, I got a call from Marc Benioff, who had just started Salesforce.com. I joined as the SVP in charge of Product Management and Engineering when the company had fewer than 20 people. It was there that I became a passionate convert to the on-demand way of delivering applications and solutions. >>>
In an earlier post, we looked at iPhone’s components where I had mentioned that Texas Instruments could possibly be providing the power management device. This mystery has still not been solved but Texas Instruments looks to be the best bet.
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) with revenues of 14.25 billion and $7.26 billion gross profit in 2006 is the world’s third largest semiconductor company. Based in Dallas, it has 31,000 employees in more than 25 countries.
The company has two primary business divisions: Semiconductor and Education Technology. The Semiconductor division, with core products lines of analog semiconductors and Digital Signal Processors (DSPs), is the breadwinner for TI bringing in more than 90% of revenue. It had another division, Sensors & Control that it sold minus the radio frequency identification (RFID) systems operations to an affiliate of Bain Capital, LLC, for $3 billion in April, 2006. Earlier in 2006, it acquired Chipcon Group ASA, a leading company that designs short-range, low-power wireless radio frequency (RF) transceivers for $183 million. >>>
If you like to invest in technology, it pays to understand the trends and the market dynamics. And one of the more compelling trends in the software industry is the evolution from licensed software to on-demand software, otherwise known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). It’s hosted software delivered over the Internet as a subscription service, offering the delightful advantage of a predictable revenue stream. It’s also a big investment opportunity, and I’ll give you some names of stocks that could get a boost.
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If you have a subscription, you can read it. In this weekly column, I intend to discuss trends Silicon Valley style, but in a way that Wall Street can decipher, and analyze companies based on where the market is going, instead of where the market has been. This particular column is on Enterprise 3.0.
SM: What was the market landscape like when you founded the company?
EG: Well for one thing, Blurb was a very contrarian play at the time. VCs were funding blogging platforms and social networks and online plays – and here we were taking bits back into atoms. But fortunately I had good relationships in the VC community and we closed an A round of $2MM to build the platform. >>>
We have had lots of discussions about Enterprise 3.0. In this interview, I will be speaking with Ken Rudin, CEO of Lucidera, a young company attempting to become a leader in the massive Business Intelligence market by applying Enterprise 3.0 principles. Readers, note that Ken is an experienced serial entrepreneur, and you will learn much by paying attention to how Ken tells his story.
SM: Please describe your personal background : Family, upbringing, early career, etc. leading up to LucidEra.
KR: I was born and raised in New York as the youngest of three siblings. Whereas everyone today talks about the prevalence of “dysfunctional families” in our country, I think I must have been blessed by being part of one of the few “functional families” in America. >>>
Rediff (Nasdaq: REDF) is reported to be in acquisition discussions with Google and Yahoo.
The company’s stock moved up to an all-time high of $27.50 per share on July 12 from $17.94 on July 5. The trading volume increased to more than a million shares from an average of 50,000 share a day, and has since settled in the 700,000 range.
No one can blame Rediff for not putting a finger in nearly every conceivable online pie related to India. The one that was missing thus far has been fulfilled a few days back when it launched ‘iShare’, a social content sharing platform where one can share videos, music and images. >>>
One of the coolest features of the iPhone is the orientation sensor that detects whether you are holding the phone vertically or horizontally and automatically changes the display to portrait or landscape. ST Micro is the supplier for this orientation sensor, also known as the LIS302 accelerometer. Considering the estimated price of $2.95 per unit, the ST Micro accelerometer accounts for around 1.3% of iPhone’s component price.
ST Microelectronics N.V. (NYSE: STM) with net revenues of US$9.85 billion in 2006 is the world’s fifth largest semiconductor company. Based in Geneva, the company is the largest semiconductor supplier in Europe and the 3rd largest in China. >>>