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

Posted on Wednesday, Aug 22nd 2007

SM: Where did you go after Stanford? EB: The first company that offered me a job was Zilog. They were the second microprocessor company in Silicon Valley; Intel was the first one. The inventor of the microprocessor, Federico Faggin had left Intel and founded Zilog.

I joined him about 12 to 18 months after he had started the company. There I learned about microprocessors straight from the inventor, so it was absolutely terrific. At the same time I had learned about networking from my visits to Xerox. Within a couple of years, I found myself building more complex microprocessor systems. Zilog was a great learning ground but a poorly managed company. the engineering had absolutely no direction, it was like a play yard. >>>

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Concur’s SME Opportunity

Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21st 2007

I have just published an interview with Steve Singh, Concur’s CEO. In it, I trace the Concur (Nasdaq: CNQR) story in a great deal of detail that is well worth understanding, to see why this company has a strong growth opportunity ahead.

As I said earlier, the SaaS and Extended Enterprise trend alignment are good factors, but there are some additional strategy points that I would like to make, which offer huge prospects for Concur’s growth.

Concur is very well-positioned to sell its services to not only enterprise customers, but also Small Medium Enterprises (SME). Now, to fathom the importance of this opportunity, one needs to look at the history of software companies and their at large lack of success in penetrating SME.

But even before that, ask yourself the question, why is SME important? >>>

Web 3.0 & Online Health (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21st 2007

Top Players and Rankings

With more and more users going online for quality content on health, fitness, medication, and expert advice, there is a rising demand for healthcare portals. Some of the top sites for health are WebMD Health,, MSN Health, Yahoo! Health and EverydayHealth. Health queries, medication, symptoms are very popular among users.

According to comScore Media Metrix, WebMD Health is the leading health portal with 17.1 million average monthly unique visitors in Q1 2007. was second with 9.8 million average monthly unique visitors in Q1 2007. MSN Health had 8.1 million average monthly unique visitors and Yahoo Health had 6.7 million average monthly unique visitors during the same period.

Online health portals are experiencing rapid growth. Healthline, launched in 2005, grew by 269% to 2.7 million average monthly unique visitors in Q1 2007 from 0.8 million average monthly unique visitors in Q1 2006. QualityHealth grew by 114% to over 2.6 million average monthly unique visitors during the same period. >>>

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The Next Big Innovation in Microprocessors: Anant Agarwal (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21st 2007

When I arrived at MIT in 1993, Anant was in the midst of his first startup, decidedly bitten by the entrepreneurship bug. The project I was on was Alewife, which Anant discusses below. Many of the ideas and breakthroughs in Tilera date back to the research we did during Alewife. At the time, I was young and naive, and did not understand yet how these advances might be brought to market.

Throughout history, often technology and innovation has preceded the market by decades. The best example of this that I can think of is the Digital Camera, which was invented in the mid-seventies, but took until the late nineties / early two thousands to really gain market foothold. Similarly, concepts of Tilera have evolved over the last twenty years of Anant’s career. >>>

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. >>>

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. >>>

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. >>>