Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Five Things Make a Post

One. I am somewhat willing to believe the Advertising Federation of Minnesota, when they say that advertising taxes don't work. But the arguments for "why tax X is bad" seem cookie-cutter. Drives X across the border? Check. Money that is taxed can't be spent elsewhere in the economy? Check. X is already taxed through personal income and sales taxes? Check. I'd like these arguments a lot better if we admitted that, yes, taxes are bad, but we are looking for the least-bad solution. Then it might not come off as special pleading. (Or non-special pleading since the arguments seem always the same.)

Two. Qonqr gets a mention in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Shorter version: once Scott gave up finding capital and just worked on building the game, he was able to get more traction building the game! Also their yearly revenue is about $150k, which is decent for an indie freemium game but still pretty poor for a company listing six founders.

Three. VMware continues its acquisitions centered around the software-defined data center, announcing the purchase of Virsto (for an undisclosed amount.) Virsto makes a virtual storage appliance that pools conventional storage arrays into a smarter pool of storage for VMware (and, for the time being, Hyper-V.) Their file system has some nice VM-aware features which might influence the direction of VMware's Virtual Volumes (vVols) technology. News reports selling this as a "growth" are bogus; this is a play to broaden VMware's infrastructure story but it will not sell any additional VMware installs in the short run. VMware has already dipped their toe into this sort of technology with their vSphere Storage Appliance (which pools local disks into VMware storage.)

Virsto has $24m in venture backing providing a likely floor for the purchase price. (Virsto has somewhat of a strange corporate history with their $12m series B round partially going to make an acquisition of Evostor....) Their offering is software-only with one reference quoting a list price of about $2500/host. No real lead on revenue numbers, but I wouldn't expect to see a big multiple here. (It's hard to get big deals when you're not selling the disks--- but, your margins are good.) VMware's license list price is between $1000-$3500/host, but the combination of the two products will not result in an additive increase.

The model of "smart software aggregating dumb storage" has a certain appeal, but I think you will see some roadbumps-- that would make a whole other blog post. (Short version: even dumb storage isn't dumb these days, but the storage APIs do not provide sufficient visibility to control them.)

Four. I read J.J. Adams' new anthology of mad scientist stories, reviewed by mrissa previously. Some of the stories were just dumb (Harry Turtledove obviously doesn't know what makes a funny story actually funny) but there were enough good ones to keep me entertained. And yet... most of the authors don't seem to come from a background very familiar with the practice of science and engineering. Where are the mad scientists' grad students? Or their patent lawyers? Mad venture capitalists hanging around? Mad scientists probably need to be administrators as well as innovators to get any proper mad science done these days!

Five. My insurance company actually cut me a check! For overpaying last year when Tintri switched insurers after we'd met the family deductible. But not the complete check, since the prescription handler (ExpressScripts) seems to be more efficient than Anthem itself at getting things done.
Tags: books, finance, startup
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