Dropbox in Forbes

via Forbes.com

As a happy customer (50GB plan) of Dropbox since years now, I was very interested by this article in Forbes. Some insights (even if I encourage you to read the full article):

  • Dropbox has today 50 million users, one new user per second joining
  • 96% of the users pay nothing
  • 325 million files saved per day
  • Steve Jobs/Apple wanted to acquire Dropbox in 2009 for a nine-digit price
  • 2008: 9 employees. 200k customers
  • 2010: 14 employees, 2 million customers
  • Revenue 2011: $240 million, already profitable, 70 employees
  • Revenue 2012: even if they would not sign one single new customer, their sales will double
  • Dropbox started with $15k from Y Combinator
  • 1st VC round from Sequoia of $1.2 million
  • VC round in 2008, $7.2 million raised
  • VC round in August 2011, $250 million raised with a valuation of around $4 billion, VCs participating: Index Ventures (lead), Sequoia, Greylock, Benchmark, Accel, Goldman Sachs and RIT Capital Partners
  • Competitors perceived: Apple iCloud, Google Drive

Impressive story, wow…

Mobile Trends 2011

via ReadWriteMobile

ReadWriteMobile is publishing an interesting post about the coming and emerging 10 Mobile Trends for 2011 based on a Forrester Research study. Some of them seem to be relevant also for us at Innoveo:

2) 2011 is the Year of the “Dumb” Smartphone User

Smartphones will become more affordable, thanks to handset subsidies. And these new users will be less engaged and active than smartphone early adopters. Forrester expects they’ll download fewer apps on average, but will consume more mobile media thanks to consumer education and convenience provided by the phones.

Despite the fact that these former “dumb phone” users may download fewer apps than early adopters, the overall app forecast is still good. In fact, Gartner also just released a report that stated mobile app store revenue will pass $15 billion in 2011.

3) The Mobile Fragmentation Problem will Continue

Forrester says it expects fragmentation to continue, but it’s not just referring to the multiple variations of a single OS. It means that some customers have smartphones, some have feature phones, some use apps, some use SMS, plus there are multiple OS’s in existence, in multiple versions, with multiple screen sizes and there are a higher number of devices out there. In short: fragmentation. The costs of porting, maintaining and promoting apps will remain high.

4) The “Apps vs. Internet” Debate Will Continue…to be Irrelevant

Says Forrester, it’s not a question of “either/or” when it comes to a choice between apps vs. the mobile Web, but both. Frequent and intense users of services like banking and brokerage will want curated experiences in the form of apps, but the Internet will remain the fallback for more occasional information and needs.

8) Companies will Invest First in Convenient Services for Consumers

Forrester says that mobile product and service professionals, particularly in the travel industry, will invest first to keep their most lucrative customers happy. And in the hierarchy of benefits that mobile offers – revenue generation, cost savings and convenience – convenience will reign during 2011.

10) “Mobile” Will Mean More than Mobile Phones

Consumer adoption of tablets, eReaders, portable media devices and other mobile products has grown in 2010 and this will continue in 2011. Apps and services will need to work across devices and consumers will want ubiquitous access to content and services.  This will force service providers to sync content via the cloud to maintain a consistent experience across platforms.

cross-posted on the Innoveo Blog

Seth Godin –The business of Software

via Seth Godin

If you are reading this post, you may know how far I like all the super valuable inputs of Seth Godin. Really inspiring! So, when Seth was publishing a post about the business of software, I was super excited.

First I have learnt that Seth’s first job was to lead a team that created 5 games for …. the Commodore64!!

Some, to my point of view, very interesting abstracts from his post. Although I *really* encourage you to read the whole post (even a bit long, really great!):

[…] Clearly, just writing a piece of software no longer makes it a business.
So if it’s not about avoiding fatal bugs, what’s the business of software?

At its heart, you need to imagine (and then execute) a business that just happens to involve a piece of software, because it’s become clear that software alone isn’t the point. There isn’t a supply issue–it’s about demand. The business of software is now marketing (which includes design). […]

COMMUNICATE TO USERS: As we’ve seen in just about every industry, marketing involves effectively communicating a story about benefits to (and among) the people who will appreciate them. For software entrepreneurs, this means identifying a group of people who need the utility of what you can offer them and who are willing to give you permission to educate them about why they should buy. Without either element, the software is dead. […]

I think niche opportunities for software are largely unexploited. […]

So, the questions I’d ask:

  • Who can I reach?
  • Is the product so remarkable that they will talk about my product with their peers?
  • Can I earn and maintain permission to continue the conversation?
  • Once they learn about the utility offered, will they pay for it? […]

ENABLE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN USERS: This is the holy grail of software. […] The network effect is the increased utility of a device that enables communication. […] If you can improve productivity or satisfaction by connecting people, then people will selfishly help you do your marketing.

When building a software business that uses the network effect, I’d ask:

  • Does the connection this enables create demonstrable value?
  • Is there an easy and obvious way for someone who benefits to recruit someone else to join in?
  • Is it open enough to be easy to use but closed enough to avoid becoming a zero-cost commodity? […]

LAST THING: Paying for it. In a competitive market where the marginal cost of an item is zero, the price will move to and eventually reach zero. […] The goal, then, is to create a dynamic where the market isn’t competitive. […] The other condition that’s necessary, though, is that users have to believe that payment is an option. The web has trained the vast majority that interactions online should be free. That makes the act of selling software, particularly to people who haven’t used it yet, really difficult. There are two ways around this:

  1. Free samples. Many software companies (37signals being an obvious one) have discovered the drug dealer model, in which the software is free for a month, connections are built, utility is created and then it begins to cost money.
  2. Move to a platform where commerce is expected. […] The app store for the iPad is like that. The expectation is that this software is going to cost money. It’s far easier to sell a serious app for the iPad than it is on the web, because the platform is organized around commerce.

[…] I wanted to help you realize that just because you can code something that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The issues of permission, of networks, of scarcity and of the desire to pay are inherent in the business part of the business of software. […]

Wow, really really impressive analysis!

Software industry

via Judith Hurwitz (first and second articles)

As usual, very interesting feed for thoughts coming from Judith.

Some abstracts:

The definition of an application is changing. The traditional view that the packaged application is hermetically sealed is going away. More of the new packaged applications will be based on service orientation based on best practices. These applications will be parameter-driven so that they can be changed in real time. And yes, Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) didn’t die after all.

Exactly what we are doing at Innoveo with our product Innoveo Skye since years!

Managing end points will be one of the key technology drivers in 2011. Smart phones, sensors, and tablet computers are refining what computing means. It will drive the requirement for a new approach to role and process based security.

Totally agree, we are working on that also at Innoveo. Cannot disclose yet.

Cloud computing moves to the front office. Two years ago IT and business leaders saw cloud computing as a way to improve back office efficiency. This is beginning to change. With the flexibility of cloud computing, management is now looking at the potential for to quickly innovate business processes that touch partners and customers.

Also something we feel coming out of the market and as new business need. Why not working on that too ;-)

cross-posted on the Innoveo Blog

Seesmic has acquired ping.fm

Loic LeMeur, the CEO of Seesmic, announced yesterday that his company has acquired ping.gm. As a “happy-user” of both services, I find this acquisition definitely interesting ;-)

I am using Twhirl as a Windows Twitter client, and the ping.fm service to spread my updates to LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Plaxo and FriendFeed.

We’re happy to share with you very big news if you have not heard. We’ve acquired Ping.fm. Get ready to update 50 social networks from Seesmic.

[…] Ping.fm has more than half a million active users who post daily from any device just by sending an email, a text message or chat – simple tools that existed since the early stages of the Internet are available on all connected devices. This is why Ping.fm is extremely easy to use and access -just send an update and it can touch on 50 social networks including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Ning, WordPress, TypePad, Yammer, Status.net and many more. Ping.fm is compatible with every single Internet device in the world, which is why it has become so successful among thousands of users. 


Thanks to its powerful and simple API, more than a hundred applications already use Ping.fm to update all the main social networks and Seesmic commits to maintaining and improving the Ping.fm platform. Not only has Twhirl supported Ping.fm for about a year, but we are also preparing to open Seesmic apps with our own plug-in architecture so we understand and care about the developer community. Ping.fm co-founders, Adam Duffy and Sean McCullough, are joining the Seesmic team full time and will keep improving Ping.fm as well as integrating it with our Seesmic applications. The number one request from Ping.fm users is to have more powerful clients support postings to their social networks, so they should be pleased to know Seesmic applications will be adding this functionality.

Seesmic is also welcoming ping.fm angel investors as shareholders and advisors Joi Ito (@joi), Reid Hoffman (@quixotic) who was already a Seesmic shareholder and Mohamed Nanabhay (@mohamed). Seesmic applications on BlackberryAndroidWebWindows  and OSX via Air will all have advanced Ping.fm integration very shortly and therefore will instantly support 50 social networks.

[via Loic’s information mail]

Supercomputing and Linux

via 451 CAOS Theory

I haven’t realized yet how far Linux extremely dominates the Supercomputing market as Operating System.

Evolution of the Linux OS share in the Top500 (Supercomputing 2009):

  • November 2007: 84.6%
  • November 2007: 87.8%
  • November 2009: 89.2%

All Top10 systems are based on Linux.

The 451 Group published also another “worth-to-read” article about Open source software and the need for speed.

We’ve also seen speed as a factor for building and providing cloud computing infrastructure. Vendors report that Linux is ideal for cloud construction since the availability of source code means that unecessary pieces can be relatively easily and quickly cut out of the OS.

BY the way, more than 80% of the Top500 systems are using Intel computers, 10% IBM Power processors, and 8% AMD Opteron. More than 85% are already based on Quad-core processors! HP is delivering 42% of the servers, and IBM 37% (source: Top500 computer sites).

And: 82% of the Top500 systems integrate between 2’000 and 8’000 processors. 1% more than 128’000 processors (source: Top500 computer sites)!

And: the Top1 (a Lab of the US Department of Energy) uses 224’162 AMD Opteron Six Core 2.6 GHz processors and generates 1’759 TFlops (source: Top500 computer sites).

MVVM Light Toolkit V2

via Laurent and the Innoveo Blog

Cool stuff!

At Innoveo Solutions we are using .NET and WPF for our Innoveo Skye® Editor application. Skye® Editor is a distribution channel editor targeting business people letting them edit and configure their insurance products.

From the beginning we have adopted the Model-View-ViewModel architecture. Having our solution growing we were facing the issue of having our ViewModels dependency growing too. Some ViewModel became too much dependent of others. This was obvious in our unit tests whose complexity to setup were growing too. It was time to find a solution to decouple the ViewModels.

The solution came out after a discussion with Laurent Bugnion, the famous author of MVVM Light Toolkit. At that time we used the V1 that already helped a lot in this decoupling.

Now with MVVM Light Toolkit V2 it is even better with the new Messenger API. What we also really appreciated in comparison to other frameworks is that it is really light and the ability to open and edit the user interface into Expression Blend.

So Thank you Laurent for this GREAT framework and I looking forward for V3!

I also would like to thank my managers at Innoveo Solutions who understand Open Source and the need to have people contributing to Open Source projects, even during their professional working time. A Win-Win situation and not just a one way benefit as often.

Thanks also from my side to Laurent Bugnion, great work and contribution!

VMware/SpringSource – About PaaS

VMware announced on August 10, 2009 its willingness to acquire SpringSource for $362 million in cash and equity, plus $58 million of unvested stock and options (press release). The process should be closed in Q3 2009.

How can this acquisition be interpreted? What are the goals of VMware/SpringSource?

Some interesting inputs and analysis found on Internet.

A post from Rod Johnson, CEO of SpringSource

About the merge itself

[…] We have signed a definitive agreement with VMware, who will acquire SpringSource. Subject to regulatory approval, we expect the transaction to close in Q3. SpringSource will become a division within VMware. I will continue to lead SpringSource, reporting to VMware CEO Paul Maritz.

About the opportunity

[…] But the broader transformation in IT goes beyond Java frameworks, tooling and runtime infrastructure. The way in which people think about software stacks is changing. Virtualization is reshaping the data center, and cloud computing is set to drive far-reaching changes. Significantly, cloud computing blurs the division between development and operations, bringing new power (and responsibility) to developer.

And so the question becomes, what is the most simple, powerful, pragmatic way of utilizing SpringSource technologies in the data center, and in the cloud?

About the vision

Working together with VMware we plan on creating a single, integrated, build-run-manage solution for the data center, private clouds, and public clouds. A solution that exploits knowledge of the application structure, and collaboration with middleware and management components, to ensure optimal efficiency and resiliency of the supporting virtual environment at deployment time and during runtime. A solution that will deliver a Platform as a Service (Paas) […]

About the vision (said in other words)

The next chapter of our work at SpringSource is tackling those challenges: Building on our Build/Run/Manage solution to provide the industry’s best solution from developer desktop to cloud deployment. Bringing Spring’s power and simplicity to enabling the millions of Java developers to benefit from the full power of cloud computing. […]

About the representation of this vision

SpringSource Build/Run/Manage and VMware Cloud

About the open source community

Our commitment to open source practices, licenses and traditions will remain unchanged. We expect our contributions to open source to increase. Our open source projects will retain their commitment to enabling user choice. Spring will retain the portability between deployment environments that empowers users. […]

An analysis from 451 CAOS Theory

Part I

[…] VMware is clearly in need of a story beyond virtualization, even if we are still relatively early on in enterprise adoption. Still, looking into the future, it sees clear skies, and that does not fit with the multi-billion dollar opportunity shaping up in cloud computing. Thus, VMware is willing to invest a significant amount in SpringSource, which does represent a crossover in customers without much, if any, crossover in competition.

Part II

VMware is working to address its increasing competition from all sides. While it may seem somewhat odd for VMware to want to get involved in enterprise Java application development and deployment, it may want to take advantage of SpringSource’s relatively quick climb in the enterprise Java development and support business. VMware may also be looking to offset any gain in enterprise Java influence and control by Oracle, which may do so with its more than $7 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Part III

VMware is also facing increasing competition from OS vendors, including Microsoft, Novell and Red Hat, which is among SpringSource’s biggest competitors with its JBoss business. Again, SpringSource may not seem the most likely suitor for Java application development, but VMware may see this as an area where it can most effectively integrate its own technology and talent to differentiate in virtualization and cloud computing.[…]

Open source?

Although SpringSource’s open source nature has been critical to its developer reach and success, this is likely not as important to VMware, which may view SpringSource more as a subscription software company than as an open source software company. Either way, it seems VMware, similar to Oracle, may have somewhat limited vision when it comes to open source software, seeing it for its development and time-to-market advantages, but missing other community benefits — including user and customer communities, feedback and contributions — that help make things work.[…]

Disclosure: Innoveo Solutions is using Spring in its Innoveo Skye™ software product.

cross-posted on the Innoveo blog.

Cédric nominated to the EOS Directory Advisory Board

I am very proud to announce that Cédric Walter, one of our colleague and founding member of Innoveo, is nominated to the EOS Directory (Enterprise Open Source Directory) Advisory and Expert Board. Cédric is a very well-known contributor of the Joomla community since 2004.

EOS Directory is a great catalog of more than 350 open source projects, that are listed, described and analyzed. It is today the leading online platform to help enterprises and organizations identify and evaluate Open Source technologies. Initially launched by Optaros, about two years ago, the platform has been recently handed over by Bruno von Rotz, initial sponsor of the initiative, well known Open Source specialist, and one of our Innoveo Board Member.

In support to strengthen the neutral approach to ratings and selection of the technologies, the new EOS Directory Advisory and Expert Board has been established over the last weeks.

The Advisory and Expert Board will be both instrumental in guiding the future development of the EOS Directory Platform as well as in making sure that the content is accurate, relevant and fairly represented. (Source: EOS Directory Blog)

Congratulations to Cédric!

More Information on Cédric’s blog and the EOS Directory blog.

Cross-posted on the Innoveo Blog.