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Tech Roundup: YouTube Revenue, Google and Start-Ups, eBay in Cloud, More

Long and short of venture capital and Google-ization of start-ups -- When the world is collapsing, it's good to be able to laugh, otherwise you're just miserable. And had a pretty funny parody set of presentation slides from a VC called Whiner Jerkins for all its web 2.0 investments. But the more serious post has a pretty good analysis of the flaws in "build audience now and figure out how to make money later" model that had been so popular in Silicon Valley until everyone realized that the money tree might be facing winter defoliation. Particularly interesting was the reasoning that VCs have tended to back companies that aim for bigger returns on riskier businesses because they have more upside but, realistically speaking, no increased downside. Entrepreneurs, however, generally have exactly the opposite interest: taking a lower gain in return for a lower chance of failure. Ironically, the biggest point of humor -- that Google alums fund much of the start-up work in the Valley -- is also true to some extent, and these people have lost lots with the drop in stock prices. Sometimes even the best search doesn't turn up what you need when you need it. [Source: Parody Slides, on VC Needs]

eBay weighing offering business intelligence services -- If you're going to be successful in a data-intensive business, you have to get good about how to deal with the information. Apparently eBay has an internal five petabyte data warehouse that adds 50TB of additional data every day and it's thinking of taking the show on the virtual road. Running on a Teradata systems that can process a terabyte in five seconds, it's following Amazon's lead and looking to offer the hefty data services, originally built for in-house use, to client corporations. They would help clients get data warehouses up and running faster than those companies could do themselves. The question is, will the users have to participate in an auction to see how much they have to pay for the answers? [Source: ComputerWorld]

Consumer electronics sales take hit -- Given the financial atmosphere in the country, counting on continued sales of consumer electronics was probably overly optimistic. Although not completely definitive, MasterCard saw a 13.8 percent drop in spending on consumer electronics and home appliances in September compared to the same time last year. Wal-Mart Stores and BJ's Wholesale Club saw softening movement in consumer electronics. Not all of the analysis in the Times's story was necessary spot on. For example, Micron Technology may be lowering production of flash memory for such products as digital cameras and music players because of weakening demand, but there's also a glut of chips on the market that is still working through the industry. However, IDC is cutting forecasts for PC sales. All in all, it may be a lump of coal in the industry stocking come Christmas morn. [Source: New York Times]

Gartner's ten top technologies -- We're coming to one of the scariest times of the year. No, not Halloween -- the time that consultants start making their annual predictions for what will happen next year. Gartner has released its list and, interestingly enough, its largely the same as last year's But then, if these technologies actually were strategic, you'd think they wouldn't change out so quickly. Some are green IT, mashups, web-oriented architectures, and unified communications. One addition is cloud computing, whose definition seems suspiciously akin to that of SaaS and all the other variations in which running applications is outsourced over the Internet. As they say, everything old is new again. [Source: InfoWorld]

YouTube revenue plan so secret that even Google doesn't know it -- When one company pays as much for another as Google did for YouTube, you figure that someone knows of something going on that the rest of us don't get. Chad Hurley has been getting the question "When will you make money?" for a long time. The answer? "I don't think there's going to be a silver bullet that answers all those questions." Silicon Alley Insider translated that phrase into business English: "Chad Hurley Fesses Up: There's No Secret YouTube Revenue Plan." Has anyone broken the news to Eric Schmidt yet? [Source:, Silicon Alley Insider]

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