Here we begin to examine the current market segments where the multicore processors are having a significant impact. The two major markets are networking and multimedia applications.
SM: Coming back to where your applications are – complex networking applications, and multimedia, right? AA: I don’t know if you want to use the word complex, because there are very simple applications which need lots of performance. The very juicy markets are not necessarily complex. >>>
3Com challenged Cisco with a Boundary Router strategy that threatened Cisco’s core router franchise.
SM: So what prevented you from finally catching Cisco and passing them? EB: In 1997, there was one major shock for 3Com. More and more enterprise networks had to extend into carrier networks. Enterprises could not build all of these large intranets themselves; they could not manage the WAN. They had to use the carrier networks to switch their packets. You could not build enterprise networks successfully and sell to the enterprise unless you could sell through carriers and into carriers. >>>
M&A and VC activity
In February 2007, Sports Illustrated bought a 40% stake in the social networking site FanNation for $25 million, valuing the sports social network at $60 million. FanNation aggregates, filters, and customizes all the relevant player and team content available at any time on the Internet.
Sports Illustrated has also entered into an agreement with Takkle in which the high school sports network received additional funding.
If you have the problem of head lice or are looking for some of the best diet tips ever, chances are that you would head to WebMD’s (NASDAQ: WBMD) health portal to find your answers. More serious illnesses like Diabetes and Cancer drive tremendous traffic on health portals, WebMD being one of the largest in the category.
WBMD’s flagship portal, WebMD Health, is meant for consumers who can glean health information from it. Medscape, the professional portal for physicians has 30 medical specialty areas and over 30 physician discussion boards. Between the two, WBMD reaches out to more than 40 million people per month. According to comScore Media Metrix, WebMD Health is the leading health portal with 17.1 million average monthly unique visitors in Q1 2007. [You will find an analysis of the rest of the ecosystem here.] >>>
SM: How much do people need to learn to be able to optimize programs on the Tilera chips? AA: That depends on the applications and the domain. The good news is you have gotten something working and running. Once you have done that, you can then try various optimizations. You don’t have to read 50 page manuals to figure out how to begin to do things. The streaming approach is very simple, and it is a set of API calls that is inspired by sockets. Because the socket API is well known, this makes the learning curve lower for people.
By the way, so far from what you have read and what you have heard, what are your first impressions about this chip and this company? >>>
SM: Is this when you began to close the gap on Cisco? EB: There was one play that we used which enabled us to close in on Cisco, and we called it Boundary Routing.
Cisco was driven to more complex solutions than us. They positioned routing as something of a magic art, very complicated and it was disempowering for the customer. Their positioning was “Mr. Customer, this is complex stuff. We are going to take care of it for you but, trust us, you need this big expensive box.” This was almost a play from the mainframe days.
We had the opposite view – networking can easily be complicated, but you can contain complexities if you have a sound architecture. >>>
Web 3.0 formula discussion
Most of the sports sites that I went through have very good contextual nuances. These sites have something for every sports fan. I liked the way sites like NBA.com, MLB.com and NFL.com have covered the respective sports. If you love Basketball and want to check out on some stat or some team or some record then NBA is definitely the place.
Sites like Yahoo! Sports, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated (SI.com), AOL Sports and ESPN also cover the top sports like football, soccer, tennis, basketball, golf, baseball, etc. in detail. These sites have separate categories for popular sports. I liked the fantasy section on Yahoo and ESPN, which allow users to play Fantasy Golf, Football, Hockey, Racing, etc. for free. I also liked the Top Videos on ESPN and Fox Sports. >>>
After taking some time off (and as such, skipping the July report), I am taking another shot at reviewing important deals that happened in the Israeli market. Like in Europe and the US, Israel slows down during the summer time. However, a few important deals were announced. A few deals that are worth mentioning: Virgin Fuel (and Gemini) investing in Metrolight, Pitango and Battery investing in Anobit, and Carmel ventures leading a round in Kontera. I will focus on the 2 most important deals. >>>