The case for meta-morphosis

Originally published in Red Herring issue of November 12, 2000. Every decade or two, corporate chiefs and consultants get it into their heads to change the way companies are designed. In the ’70s, it was fashionable to be a diversified conglomerate, with interests in cookies, oil wells, and everything in between. The ’80s were all about taking … Continue reading The case for meta-morphosis

Data centers run for cover

This article appears in the June 1, 2001, issue of Red Herring magazine. At the height of the dot-com boom, one business was even more fashionable than the half-witted e-tailers: data centers. As venture capitalists pumped billions of dollars into e-commerce startups, those companies developed a sudden need for a place to outsource their servers … Continue reading Data centers run for cover

One to watch: Dangerous devices

Former disciples of Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs keep trying to invent cool new devices that they hope will become as popular as the Macintosh. Apple alumni have gone on to start companies like WebTV Networks, TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO), and now Danger Research, which has raised $10 million in initial funding from Softbank. … Continue reading One to watch: Dangerous devices

Jilted by broadband

When Microsoft was developing the Xbox video game console in 1999, consumers were signing up for high-speed Internet access as quickly as they could. Seduced by this growth in broadband subscriptions, Microsoft made a critical decision. The device would be equipped with a broadband ethernet connection–instead of a conventional dial-up modem–for online games and other … Continue reading Jilted by broadband

The mighty minidisc finds a niche and actually becomes profitable

From Red Herring October 2000 issue Paul Budnitz is bemused by the falling fortunes of online retailers. For the 32-year-old president and founder of the minidisc e-tailer Minidisco in Berkeley, California, business has never been better. Introduced by Sony almost eight years ago, the minidisc is about half the size of a compact disc and allows music lovers to record music … Continue reading The mighty minidisc finds a niche and actually becomes profitable

Backoffice India

As a domestic Internet shakeout looms, smart VCs are investing in India’s brainpower to engineer global markets.  By Om Malik  From Red Herring October 2000 issue Every so often India is rediscovered. Hippies in the ’60s sought enlightenment there. Then came the Deepak Chopra enthusiasts. And now, venture capitalists are seeking to cash in on … Continue reading Backoffice India

Message Boards

From Forbes Magazine, Sept 13, 1999 These are a mixed blessing. You post messages on them; others respond — agreeing, disagreeing or elaborating. BODY: Yadda, yadda, yadda. These bulletin boards are noisy and full of useless chatter, with an occasional jewel buried there. The bulk of the entries are ill-informed opinions, rumors and even outright … Continue reading Message Boards

Broadband bargain

From Forbes magazine, May 3, 1999 HERE IS A WAY to ride the broadband wave without buying a moneylosing company like At Home Corp. Horsham, Pa.-based General Instrument (NYSE: GIC) controls 60% of the settop cable box market. Its new boxes will have high-speed modems inside that allow subscribers to surf the Web, get e-mail, … Continue reading Broadband bargain