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Aneel Bhusri on disruption and taking on Oracle: “It always comes from the upstarts”

10/23/14 11:01 pm

The first generation of enterprise software giants badly missed “the cloud.” There might be no better real world example of the innovator’s dilemma . Stalwarts like Oracle and SAP largely ignored the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, willingly ceding what they viewed as a small opportunity to any upstart willing to make a play for it. Many tried. And yet, despite this lack of competition, most of the early cloud companies failed to gain much traction. This was a topic of conversati...

Listen again to this week’s PandoLIVE

10/23/14 10:46 pm

Most of the airtime of this week’s PandoLIVE call-in show was given over to our discussion about Whisper’s current privacy scandal. Fortunately, though, there was still time to talk about our sponsor Backspace’s plan to murder children and turn them into delicious jam. I suspect they’re going to regret trusting us to ad-lib their ads now. You can listen to the full show below: … SPONSOR MESSAGE: Free Hosting!  Visit  to see if your...

Aneel Bhusri: I thought Larry Ellison was a nice guy… and then he went off on Workday

10/23/14 10:26 pm

Speaking on stage at tonight’s PandoMonthly, Aneel Bhusri explained what it was like when Larry Ellison “went off” on Workday at the 2012 AllThingsD conference just before Workday’s IPO. Here’s his response, as reported by  the WSJ : Larry: It’s going to be very interesting to monitor Workday. We monitor Workday, and we beat Workday all the time. Workday doesn’t use a database. They use Flash as a user interface, so they can’t run on iPhones or iPads. Whenever we’re in a ...

Management Lessons From Mars

10/23/14 10:24 pm

On a hot August Earth night in 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover began its celebrated “seven minutes of terror” --- slowing from 12,600 mph to a triumphant gentle landing at Mars’ Gale Crater.

Stunning Photos Of Mars From The Curiosity Rover

10/23/14 10:24 pm

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is trying to figure out whether the red planet ever offered a habitable environment for life, and it's taking amazing photos in the process.

Pando members — watch the livestream of Aneel Bhusri and Jerry Yang. RIGHT NOW

10/23/14 9:00 pm

Starting right now in San Francisco, Sarah Lacy is interviewing Aneel Bhusri and Jerry Yang for this month’s PandoMonthly. As ever, we’ll be covering news from event here on Pando, but Pando Members can watch the whole interview, live and in HD, in the members’ area . If you’re not yet a member, you can join right now, right here . Paul Carr Paul Carr is editorial director of Pando. Previously he was founder and editor in chief of NSFWCORP.

Here’s A Sneak Peak At MotionSavvy’s UNI Sign Language Interpretation Device

10/23/14 6:58 pm

 MotionSavvy, the San Francisco startup working on tech to help the deaf communicate, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to commercialize its first product, UNI. The UNI app works with Leap Motion technology to translate each hand sign from American sign language and translates it into audible words on a tablet. We first wrote about the tech behind MotionSavvy when it launched out of the… Read More

So Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs. But will the movie be any good?

10/23/14 6:00 pm

You may have heard that Aaron Sorkin, the purveyor of verbal acrobatics and thinly-drawn female characters behind “West Wing” and “Social Network,” has written another biopic of a famous entrepreneur: Steve Jobs. Now the upcoming film, which will be helmed by “Trainspotting” director Danny Boyle, has a leading man . Christian Bale will pick up where Ashton Kutcher left off by playing the mercurial Apple founder. Say what you will about Bale  — the “Ba...

Senator demands answers as Guardian publishes evidence that Whisper exec lied about user privacy

10/23/14 5:54 pm

There’s no pretty way to say this: Whisper is fucked. Earlier today, it was reported  that Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, has written to CEO Michael Heyward demanding a Committee staff briefing to explain the company’s privacy protections. In the letter, embedded below, Rockefeller wrote : To assist the committee in evaluating questions that have been raised about [Whisper's] practices and policies, I ...

Amazon's Holiday Forecast Misses Expectations

10/23/14 5:21 pm forecast sales and profit for the holiday quarter that missed analysts' projections, underlining the limits to Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos's strategy of spending big to fuel growth. Revenue for the current period will be $27.3 billion to $30.3 billion, the Seattle-based company said in a statement today, while profit excluding some items will range from a loss of $570 million to a gain of $430 million. Analysts on average projected sales of $30.9 billion and profit...

Amazon Fire Phone Flops

10/23/14 4:50 pm

 Given that Amazon was tanking the price of the Fire Phone down to 99 cents two months after launch (leading to many a “Fire sale!” joke), this probably won’t come as much of a surprise: the Fire Phone isn’t a success. On the Amazon earnings call today, Amazon noted that the company was taking a $170 million dollar writedown “primarily related” to… Read More

Amazon Tanks 10% After Reporting Larger Than Expected Third Quarter Loss

10/23/14 4:16 pm

 Amazon reported lower than expected revenue in its third quarter, and a larger than expected loss. Analysts expected the company to lose $0.74 on revenue of $20.84 billion. Instead, Amazon lost $0.95 per share on revenue of $20.58 billion. That per-share loss works out to a net loss for the firm of $437 million. Read More

Australian Service Directory Site Oneflare Raises $876,000 For International Expansion

10/23/14 4:00 pm

 Oneflare, a local services marketplace based in Sydney, Australia, has raised an additional $1 million AUD (about $876,000), bringing its total funding so far to $1.5 million AUD (about $1.3 million). Investors include Les Szekely of Equity Venture Partners, Garry Visontay, of the Sydney Seed Fund and Dr. Jeffrey Tobias of The Strategy Group. The startup says it will use the capital on… Read More

Microsoft Up 3% After Reporting Better Than Expected FQ1 Revenue Of $23.20B, EPS Of $0.54

10/23/14 3:11 pm

 After gaining more than 1 percent in regular trading, Microsoft reported its fiscal first quarter 2015 earnings: Revenue totaled $23.20 billion in the period, leading to profits of $0.54 per share. The revenue figure represents a 25 percent year-over-year increase, a large piece of which is due to the Nokia hardware acquisition. Read More

PlayStation 4 Update Coming On 10/28 Lets You Play Games With Friends Who Don’t Own A Copy

10/23/14 2:57 pm

 Back in August, Sony started teasing a new feature it calls “Share Play.” Though we’re still waiting to see just how well it works, the idea itself is wonderful: once enabled, you can let your friends play your games with you (or by themselves, even) from across the vast Interwebs without them actually owning a copy of the game. Read More

Researchers Want To Send Us To The Moon Using Robots And Oculus Rift

10/23/14 2:53 pm

 A researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, Daniel Shafrir, and his team want to do something incredible: they want to send a rover to the moon and then let us, the Earthlings, control it and look out of its stereoscopic cameras as it tumbles around that barren alien rock. The researchers are working to win a $30 million prize from Google to beam video back from the moon. The team, called… Read More Pulls 'Haggling' Ads After Dealer Outcry

10/23/14 2:44 pm pulled a series of YouTube ads this afternoon after auto dealers threatened to pull their business from the auto-shopping site. President Seth Berkowitz said in a statement: "Our digital videos illustrating the 'Absurdity of Haggling' missed the mark. Some of our partners were deeply insulted, expressing that our attempt at humor reinforced outdated stereotypes. That was obviously never our intent. It has created a distraction from our business of helping to ...

With 40 Million Downloads, betaworks-Backed Dots Gets A Refreshed Logo

10/23/14 2:06 pm

 Dots, the betaworks-backed gaming studio led by Paul Murphy and Patrick Moberg, has today announced a rebranding for the company. The new logo takes inspiration from Charles Eames, according to a Medium post, and uses colors from the first iteration of Dots while incorporating the newer, and more popular, TwoDots game into the company logo. Read More

Surface Revenue, Redux

10/23/14 2:03 pm

 In about an hour, Microsoft will release the results of its most recent quarter, the first quarter of its fiscal 2015. The company is expected to report revenue of $22 billion, and earnings per share between $0.49 and $0.55, depending on which set of averaged estimates you trust. That will all come shortly. For now, let’s talk about Surface. Read More

Why Ello’s idealism might be the real deal

10/23/14 2:00 pm

I haven’t paid much attention to Ello, the nascent social network that attracted headlines when it debuted because of its promise not to sell user data or make money from advertisements. And I’ll admit that a not-insignificant part of me wished that people would shut the hell up about it. That changed this morning, when the company announced that it has become a public benefit corporation with a charter that specifically prohibits selling data or showing advertisements, ev...

Join Me Tomorrow In Krakow

10/23/14 1:53 pm

 I’ll be speaking at an event held by Geek Girls Carrots Crakow, a group of amazing programmers who are working to bring everyone onto the STEM wagon. The event will be held at Przemysłowa 12 in Krakow, Poland at 7pm. You can sign up here. I’ll also be attending and judging AGHacks, the biggest student Hackathon in Poland. This event will include “DARMOWE JEDZENIE I… Read More

TestFlight Beta Testing Goes Live For All iOS Developers

10/23/14 1:53 pm

 Apple has pushed its TestFlight Beta testing service live for everyone, the company revealed on its developer news portal today. Registered developers can now invite up to 1,000 beta testers to try out their iOS apps, using emailed invitations sent via the iTunes Connect portal. TestFlight, the beta testing service Apple acquired sometime within the last year, allows developers to build teams… Read More

Care about journalism? Don’t read GigaOM until it drops the NSA as an advertising partner

10/23/14 1:00 pm

As difficult as it is for journalistic purists to accept, sponsored content (or “native advertising” or “advertorials” — pick your poison) has become an inescapable form of monetization in the new media economy. But “sponsored content” covers a wide spectrum. Sometimes an advertiser will sponsor a series of stories but leave editorial control entirely in the hands of the news outlet (that’s how Pando does it). Other times, articles are written wholesa...

Charlie Briefs You On Your Upcoming Meetings By Emailing You One-Pagers On Attendees

10/23/14 12:47 pm

 A new web application called Charlie has raised a seed round of $1.75 million led by Lightbank Capital. The product emails you short, automatically generated one-pagers detailing what you need to know about the people you’re about to meet with, based on your Google Calendar entries. Read More

Slack Is Raising Another Round At Up To A $1B Valuation

10/23/14 12:39 pm

 Slack, the enterprise collaboration platform co-founded by Stewart Butterfield of Flickr fame, continues to defy its namesake: we have heard from sources that the company is raising a new round of funding at a valuation of between $800 million and $1 billion, just six months after raising nearly $43 million. The total raise is said to be eight figures and Sequoia and KPCB are participating,… Read More

Jonny IV Wants To Be Nasty Gal For Men

10/23/14 12:31 pm

 Today marks the launch of yet another ecommerce brand focused on mens apparel, as Jonny IV joins ranks with Buck Mason, Frank & Oak, and many others. Founded by Eugene Kang, the former head of ecommerce at Forever 21, Jonny IV is different from other brands in that it focuses on street wear as opposed to a single, look, like the preppy Frank & Oak, basics-focused Everlane, or the… Read More

Twilio Project Turns 2048 Into A Multiplayer Game That You Play By Text

10/23/14 12:21 pm

 Remember all of the wonderfully-entertaining frustration that was Twitch Plays Pokemon? Take that concept and turn it on its head. Wrap it around a puzzle game instead of a side-scroller, and have players text in commands rather than input them via chat. The end result: TwilioPlays2048. Read More

Q&A With Facebook’s Josh Miller On Why His Rooms App Isn’t Anonymous, It’s The Early Web Reborn

10/23/14 12:10 pm

 Is Rooms the anonymous Facebook app people were expecting? “No. Unequivocally No…because you cannot be anonymous in our app,” Josh Miller tells me. The Branch founder turned Facebook product manager’s new forums app Rooms launches today, and he says lessons from Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat, and the early days of the web guided its construction. Rather than a… Read More

Google demonstrates its power over the press by cowing German publishers

10/23/14 12:00 pm

The last few months have brought a lot of talk about how Facebook and its algorithms control the media landscape by rewarding publications for following trending stories, prioritizing light content over hard news, and worrying more about a story’s sensationalism than its accuracy or implications. Meanwhile, another tech company has been quietly manipulating the press and fighting to keep its control over the media landscape, and it’s done so with nary a complaint from m...

Facebook Launches Pseudonymous App “Rooms” That Lets You Create Forums About Any Topic

10/23/14 12:00 pm

 It’s not quite anonymous, but forums standalone app Rooms is Facebook’s first product that allows you to ditch your real name. Rooms lets you set up a mobile-only in-app discussion space about any topic, customize the look and moderation settings, set a screen name for the room, and choose who to invite to share text, photos, videos, and comments with others in the Room. It’s… Read More

Trading Your Privacy To Save A Few Dollars

10/23/14 11:58 am

Privacy is a sensitive topic—especially in the post Edward Snowden NSA-gate era. People don’t like being spied on, or having their personal information shared…unless it’s on their own terms. It turns out that your privacy is a commodity, and you can trade it for perks and benefits.

Hardware Battlefield Applications Close In A Week

10/23/14 11:52 am

 Stop procrastinating and fill out your application for Hardware Battlefield. The show is set to be even better than last year with participating startups getting free exhibition space at the 2015 International CES and competing for $50,000 and the coveted Metal Man trophy. For the first time, TechCrunch has partnered with the CEA to be an official media partner of the tradeshow. This… Read More

Mint’s Aaron Patzer Launches Beta Version Of An On-Demand Answers App With $4 Million In Funding From Shasta And First Round

10/23/14 11:37 am

 Aaron Patzer, the founder and former CEO of Mint is placing his next bet with the on-demand info space. He and co-founder Jean Sini (another former Minter) are launching the beta of Fountain, an app that gives you advice from a curated set of experts. The app is currently focusing on the home improvement space and in alpha testing phase with a bunch of friends and family, but Patzer tells us… Read More

No more clueless meetings. Charlie is a virtual assistant that prepares briefing sheets on every meeting attendee

10/23/14 11:00 am

We’ve all been there, rushing into a meeting with someone we’ve never met, barely sure of their name let alone their professional background or personal interests. It’s a tough place to start a new relationship, and totally avoidable with a little prep. But we’re all busy. If only we were like the President, or anyone even half as important, who has an assistant prepare dossiers on each participant before every meeting. Prepare to feel like the President. Charlie is a virtual assi...

How Adobe Plans to Win the Marketing-Cloud Battle

10/23/14 11:00 am

Earlier this week, Forrester released its first ever report ranking marketing technology companies by product offering. At the very top of the list? Adobe -- a company known better for Photoshop and its creative suite than its tools helping companies interact more intelligently with customers and prospects. Adobe beat out software powerhouses Oracle, IBM and SAP, which have made marketing software a priority, in some cases counting on marketing tech to drive software sales to other ...

Android Wear Update Adds Offline Music, Bluetooth Headphone And GPS Support

10/23/14 11:00 am

 Android Wear is getting its first big update, with features that make smartwatches using Google’s wearable operating system more standalone devices, including music syncing and GPS location support. That means if you leave your watch at home while you go out for a jog, you’ve still got access to sweet jams, and your watch can still tell you where you are, and how to get home. The… Read More

Auto Dealers Fume Over 'Insulting' Ads

10/23/14 10:15 am

UPDATE (4:30 p.m.): has pulled the ads. New YouTube ads from, which suggest that car dealers are unethical hagglers, have provoked a backlash. Kevin Frye, e-commerce director for The Jeff Wyler Automotive Family in Cincinnati, said the four videos perpetuate stereotypes of dealers as bargainers trying to take advantage of shoppers with outrageous markups. Continue reading at

Let’s stop focusing on why wearables might change the world and deal with market reality

10/23/14 10:00 am

As far as 50-page existential ponderings on the current state and future direction of wearable technology go, The Wearable Future — a new report released Tuesday as part of PwC’s consumer intelligence series — is a doozy. It is filled with talk about wearables needing to move toward more “human-centered design,” reshaping the market around user experience in order to meet its destiny of reshaping every industry you could possibly think of: medicine, retail, human resources… For...

It's Not Just About E-Commerce: How Alibaba Is Courting Hollywood

10/23/14 9:45 am

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma is stepping up his Hollywood dealmaking push, leading a team of Alibaba executives meeting with studios to acquire online content, people with knowledge of the situation said. The Alibaba Group Holding founder will meet in coming days with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., Sony Corp. and Comcast Corp.'s Universal, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks ...

A Quora thread is getting its own show. What other Quora questions would make compelling TV?

10/23/14 9:00 am

Having already tapped Tumblr and Twitter  for television show ideas, Hollywood is looking to a less-likely source for inspiration: The Q & A site Quora . According to Variety , producer Josh C. Kline is pitching production companies on an idea he found in a Quora thread below the question, “If every state of the USA declared war against each other, which would win?” Yeah, it’s the kind of question asked by the kid in the dorm room smoke circle t...

Vancouver’s Version One Ventures raises $35M to double down on its nomadic, cross-boarder early stage practice

10/23/14 8:00 am

Making the leap from angel investor to institutional VC is never an easy one. Not only is it like going from amateur to professional in terms of your responsibility level to limited partner (LP) backers, but there’s also the challenge of proving you can get access to the same quality of deals and deploy capital at a far larger scale. Boris Wertz, founding partner of Vancouver-based Version One Ventures made that leap just under three years ago, raising an over-subscribed $19 million...

The programatic story needs to be told: OpenX signals IPO-readiness, hires veteran comms exec Deborah Roth as CCO

10/23/14 7:00 am

The best companies, much like people, grow up over time. One of the clearest signals of this maturation is hiring the kind of experienced leadership capable of operating a business at meaningful scale, both in terms of employee headcount and revenue or customer count. For OpenX , the seven-year-old, Pasadena-based programmatic advertising platform , this maturation meant in part taking the challenge of telling its story more seriously, according to co-founder and CEO Tim Cadogan. ...

The SEO Secrets Every Business Should Know

10/23/14 6:33 am

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most misunderstood marketing mediums out there. There are so many different approaches, depending on what results you want from your website. Every business today, no matter what sector, has an online presence, and research has suggested that 81% of businesses consider blogging, a recent and effective SEO strategy, to be an important part of their marketing plans. Why? Because on average, a company that blogs will have nearly 450% more indexed pages...

Pinterest Taps Weather Channel's Eric Hadley to Oversee Agency Relations

10/22/14 7:20 pm

As Pinterest prepares to ramp up its advertising business, the social network has hired a top marketer to tighten its ties with brands and agencies. Pinterest has tapped Weather Channel Senior VP-Sales Strategy and Marketing Eric Hadley as the social network's head of partner marketing. Among other responsibilities, Mr. Hadley will lead Pinterest's agency outreach organization that works with creative shops and media agencies to develop content and media-buying strategies for thei...

PhotoMath Is A Free App That Can Solve Equations Through Smartphone Cameras

10/22/14 6:58 pm

Math is one of the hardest subjects in school, which is why owning a graphing calculator seems like a necessity for students. But what if you could use your smartphone to solve equations by pointing the camera at the problem in your textbook instead of using a graphing calculator? That is the idea behind PhotoMath. PhotoMath is a free mobile app that can read and solve mathematical expressions using your smartphone camera in real time.

Copycat Charges Spotlight Brand Issues For Xiaomi In Scoring A Global Hit

10/22/14 6:52 pm

Copycat charges by Apple's Jony Ive highlight the branding issues that will face Chinese smart phone maker Xiaomi as its seeks to go global.

AT&T Misses Expectations On Q3 Earnings And Revenue

10/22/14 5:08 pm

Shares of the wireless carrier slip in after-hours trading after it misses its earnings per share estimates by a penny and profit margins decline.

Survey: 80% of Premium Publishers Want to Sell Ads Based on Time

10/22/14 4:19 pm

Just weeks after the Financial Times said it would begin selling digital ads based on the time for which they're exposed to readers, a new survey shows other digital publishers are growing bullish about the tactic. The survey, from Digital Content Next, found that 80% of "premium" publishers are interested in pricing and selling their advertising inventory according to time-based metrics. The research surveyed 25 members of Digital Content Next, formerly called the Online Publishers...

Google's New Email App Won't Have Ads, Will Bundle Brands' Emails

10/22/14 3:27 pm

Google released a new email app called Inbox on Wednesday that can best be described as Gmail-lite. Intended to be less time-consuming than Google's original email service, Inbox borrows some of Gmail's features like prioritizing important messages and leaves out others, like ads. "The team is focused on developing the product, and there are no ads in Inbox right now," said a Google spokeswoman in an email. Continue reading at

Can the studio model build a billion dollar company? Santa Monica’s Zuma Ventures is the latest to try

10/22/14 2:45 pm

Accelerators are so 2011, or so it now seems. Few, save for Y Combinator, have managed to generate true venture caliber returns for the limited partner backers. And there’s only a handful who have shown themselves capable of consistently recruiting and graduating successful and sustainable companies. So its no surprise that many would-be investors are looking for new models to find leverage in backing early stage startups. Angel investing or raising a micro-VC fund are always options, ...