Published every Thursday, The Blue Print recaps the industry’s most intriguing news, unexpected shifts and developing trends that are defining the business and technology landscape.
TechCrunch: Stanford students are short-circuiting VC firms by investing in their peers
Stanford’s success in spinning out startup founders is a well-known adage in Silicon Valley, with alumni founding companies like Google, Cisco, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and, yes, even TechCrunch. And venture capitalists routinely back more founders coming out of the Stanford business program than any other university in the country. One group of Stanford graduate students is well-aware of their favorable odds, and think that they should be able to cash in their classmates, too — not just accredited investors and the super-wealthy. They have put together Stanford 2020, a new fund created entirely by Stanford classmates to invest in their fellow students’ ventures.
Why It Matters: Relationships matter in the world of tech and business. While investing in ideas created at Stanford seems like a good way to invest in colleagues and alumni, the benefit for startups seems lacking. It’s paramount that startups find the right team, investors and advisors (along with great PR/marketing to introduce your company to the world) that can be the difference between a good idea catapulting a founder to success or it becoming a flop.
Tags: Google, Cisco, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram
At the House Antitrust Subcommittee hearings this afternoon, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was directly questioned about his company’s strategy of copying competitors’ apps and features, and even threatening to do so as a negotiation tactic amid M&A discussions. In his response, Zuckerberg was forced to admit the obvious: that Facebook, he said, has “certainly adapted features that others have led in.” However, he denied any characterization claiming Facebook used such tactics in an anti-competitive way — for example, to pressure a company to sell to Facebook instead of trying to compete with it. In one particular line of questioning between Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Facebook’s CEO, she asked specifically about the company’s billion-dollar acquisition of Instagram in 2012. The M&A deal had already been brought up repeatedly throughout the hearing as an example of Facebook buying its way into expanded market power.
Why It Matters: Facebook again is under scrutiny for its business practices that are viewed as monopolistic abuses in how it handles competition, monetizes data and decides how to build or acquire technology. This comes after calls to boycott Facebook for profiting off hate speech has led to more than 500 advertisers pulling ad dollars including brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Best Buy, Clif Bar, Eddie Bauer, Hershey, Honda, Levi’s, Starbucks and Verizon.
Tags: House Antitrust Subcommittee, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram, antitrust, acquisition, Pramila Jayapal
Associated Press: Trade, Technology and Security at Risk in US-China Feud
They have the largest economies in the world. They spend more than anyone else on their militaries. From high-tech chips to control of the high seas, their interests are closely intertwined. The ongoing sharp deterioration in U.S.-China ties poses risks to both countries and the rest of the world. Exports to China support just under 1 million American jobs, according to the U.S.-China Business Council, though that was down 10% from 2017’s peak. U.S. and Chinese producers of telecom, computer, medical and other technology and their markets are tightly interwoven. The disruption caused by moves including the Trump administration’s curbs on Chinese tech giant Huawei’s access to U.S. components and technology threatens to disrupt those flows and cost suppliers, including Silicon Valley companies, billions of dollars in lost revenue.
Why It Matters: China remains one of the largest importers of American goods from technology, farming and consumer goods despite a tariff war that has hurt both countries. Meanwhile the United States is carefully navigating its relationship with the threat of national security, nation-state attacks and stolen trade secrets. The relationship with China could have lasting implications for Silicon Valley and other tech companies related to supply and distribution of tech components. For now, you can enjoy cheaper bacon!
Tags: United States, Donald Trump, POTUS, China, Apple, Dell, HP
Gartner: Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud Revenue to Grow 6.3% in 2020
The worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 6.3% in 2020 to total $257.9 billion, up from $242.7 billion in 2019, according to Gartner, Inc. Desktop as a service (DaaS) is expected to have the most significant growth in 2020, increasing 95.4% to $1.2 billion. DaaS offers an inexpensive option for enterprises that are supporting the surge of remote workers and their need to securely access enterprise applications from multiple devices and locations. Software as a service (SaaS) remains the largest market segment and is forecast to grow to $104.7 billion in 2020. The continued shift from on-premises license software to subscription-based SaaS models, in conjunction with the increased need for new software collaboration tools during COVID-19, is driving SaaS growth. The second-largest market segment is cloud system infrastructure services, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which is forecast to grow 13.4% to $50.4 billion in 2020.
Why It Matters: Scalable pay-as-you-grow cloud capabilities offer a compelling alternative to high capex requirements of other models. While companies continue to adjust to the new remote work environment, cloud has become a more attractive long-term option even as spending is expected to return post-pandemic.
Tags: Gartner, cloud, IT spending
SiliconAngle: Google improves connectivity with upgrades to its cloud infrastructure
Google LLC today announced a series of upgrades to its global infrastructure services, giving customers more ways to connect to its cloud computing services. It also announced more deployment options for its cloud, plus new functionality for customers. The announcements were made by Brad Calder, Google Cloud’s vice president of engineering, in a blog post today as part of Google’s ongoing Cloud Next OnAir online conference that runs through Sept. 8.
The first news, announced early today, was that Google has commissioned a new subsea cable, called Grace Hopper, that will run between the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain when it goes online in 2022. Calder said it will be the first transatlantic cable to go live since 2003, and will deliver 16 fiber pairs of capacity to help connect the 24 cloud regions that Google now operates, alongside its 144 network edge locations.
Why It Matters: Fiber offers more speed, reliability and security. As many legacy businesses push more workloads to the cloud and more cloud-native organizations are born, fiber will become increasingly business critical. This is a continuing effort by Google to become more relevant as it tries to catch up to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in customer count and revenue. Currently Azure has the most cloud regions, more than double the next highest cloud provider, Amazon has the most customers and market share while Google is third and playing catchup by putting significant resources to refine its strategy, grow its sales team, and deliver differentiating services, such as AI capabilities.
Tags: Google, Brad Calder, Cloud Next On Air, Private Service Connect, Rapid Assessment and Migration Program, RAMP, Cloud Armor
Network World: Multicloud, security integration drive massive SD-WAN adoption
Increasing cloud adoption as well as improved network security, visibility and manageability are driving enterprise software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) deployments at a breakneck pace. According to research from IDC, software- and infrastructure-as-a-service (SaaS and IaaS) offerings in particular have been driving SD-WAN implementations in the past year, said Rohit Mehra, vice president, network infrastructure at IDC. For example, IDC says that its recent surveys of customers show that 95% will be using SD-WAN technology within two years, and that 42% have already deployed it. IDC also says the SD-WAN infrastructure market will hit $4.5 billion by 2022, growing at a more than 40% yearly clip between now and then.
Why It Matters: Multi-cloud dominates headlines but the reality is that it’s still a hybrid cloud world with some mix of multiple data centers, private clouds and public clouds creating a complex network environment. While multi-cloud integration technology is maturing, SD-Branch offers a way for organizations to manage branch locations in a more complete manner with a unified way to look at security, performance and network management with policies defined centrally and enforcement at the edge to support the unique mix of applications at each branch.
Tags: cloud, SD-WAN, IDC, Rohit Mehra
Business Insider: T-Mobile’s latest IoT partnerships will help address enterprise demand for workplace health and safety tools
Through partnerships announced this week, T-Mobile will provide 4G LTE connectivity for two workplace safety IoT devices that are intended to help curb the spread of coronavirus. In partnership with PIMMAP, T-Mobile will offer its enterprise clients an infrared contactless temperature sensor that scans up to 40 employees per minute to monitor for coronavirus symptoms such as fever, watery eyes, and fatigue. These metrics can be tied to a particular employee through facial recognition. T-Mobile also partnered with Guardhat, which embeds hardhats with sensors that can alert workers if they violate the six-feet social distancing guideline.
Why It Matters: While enterprises primarily use IoT to increase efficiency, streamline operations and better manage the supply chain, T-Mobile is stepping up with IoT solutions for monitoring employee health and safety when many tech companies have announced plans to no longer pursue efforts around facial recognition as it can be interpreted as racial profiling. With health experts indicating Coronavirus symptoms varies from patient to patient, it’s questionable how effective these types of solutions will be, or if employees will embrace it while sacrificing their own privacy.
Tags: T-Mobile, IoT, PIMMAP, Gaurdhat, Coronavirus