Bad news for Fanboy haters.
Samsung infringed on six Apple patents and will have to pay $1 billion+ in damages according to a jury verdict in the "My patent can beat up your patent" legal fight between the two dominant smart phone makers.
Another big loser in this battle was Google, who saw a big Android adopter get smacked.
Samsung, who manufacturers Android-based devices, is one of the few smart phone and tablet manufacturers with the design chops to get people to consider something other than Apple. So imagine Samsung getting punched in the face and its head smacking back into Google's face, and you get the idea.
The only question this weekend is what will have Bay Area Apple opponents more depressed: a big blow to one of the few viable Apple alternatives, or the Dodgers' pending blockbuster deal to acquire Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett for the stretch run against the Giants?
Bad news for Dodger haters too.
Posted by Jason Morris on August 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM
Sequoia Capital has the reputation of being on the cutting edge of venture investing. It makes a lot of smart bets, from household-name examples like Google and LinkedIn, to lesser-known darlings like Stripe, Y Combinator and Instagram. The firm has a reputation for picking winners and not being afraid to double down in a market as it matures (see Yahoo! and Google).
So while on the one hand, it might be surprising to see Sequoia place a big bet in a relatively mature industry like information security, it actually makes a lot of sense: As the world becomes more digital and social, and technology continues to infiltrate our every-day lives, information becomes an even bigger target for hackers and identity thieves.
Maybe that's why almost two decades after Schwartz MSL began working with its first security clients, like Security Dynamics (which became RSA and then was acquired by EMC), Axent (acquired by Symantec) and dozens of others, VCs still love security companies as outlined by this NY Times piece (which includes Schwartz MSL clients Bit9 and Solera Networks). Even during the dotcom crash, security companies were in good shape because of emerging financial services regulations, high-profile worms and viruses like Nimda and Code Red, and database breaches that forced companies to spend even in the tightest of times.
Today, the VC community's interest in security companies is as easy as A-P-T (advanced persistant threats). With new technologies and platforms evolving each year, large security companies have to innovate to face new threats, and nimble start-ups often beat them to the punch. Security must innovate at the pace of Apple and Samsung who, when they are not in court battling over IP issues, seemingly introduce new and more powerful smart phone and tablets on a weekly basis.
Security rarely delivers the booming IPOs of social and mobile, but it also rarely sees a company go public that doesn't have good business fundamentals and a revenue model that works. The industry may not deliver a lot of investment home runs, but it certainly has its share of singles and doubles, which are important for VCs to show a good batting average when they go out and raise their next fund.
Twenty years later and security is still a hot spot for VCs. Here's guessing it still will be in another 20 years.
Posted by Jason Morris on August 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Silicon Valley. Now I get it and it only took me six years in Bay Area PR.
I was born and raised in Massachusetts. Got my Bachelors at Bentley in Waltham, had all three of my kids there and spent most of my young adult life in and around the Boston area, including my first 8 years at Schwartz MSL.
My first trip to the Bay Area was in 2001 with the CEO of IONA Technologies on a media tour, and though I fell in love with it immediately and would move here less than five years later, I still didn't really understand what made it unique from a technology, innovation and PR standpoint. The Boston area has MIT, Harvard and many more top universities, along with a host of great VC and private equity firms. The risk appetite tends to be a little lower, with a lot of innovation and investment success focused on medical devices, healthcare IT and technology infrastructure, which has served it well during boom and bust technology cycles.
There are a lot of similarities between the Bay State and Bay Area, including political leanings, great seafood, an innovation economy and a high concentration of brilliant people. But there is one major difference beyond climate: the local celebrity culture.
In Boston, the athletes are our celebrities. When Josh Beckett golfs before missing a start or Kevin Youkilis marries Tom Brady's sister, it is big news not only in the sports section, but in tabloids, on the airwaves and in the lifestyle section. Bob Lobel, Glenn Ordway, Peter Gammons, Dan Shaughnessy are sports journalists you love or hate. But everyone knows their names.
In the Bay Area, technologists and VCs are the celebrities. First it was Bill Gates, Jerry Yang, Steve Jobs, Scott McNealy and Larry Ellison. Today, it's Eric Schmidt, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Marissa Mayer and Mark Zuckerberg. Everyone knows the names of John Doerr, Paul Graham, Vinod Khosla, Peter Fenton and Marc Andreessen, along with Michael Arrington, Sarah Lacy, Om Malik and Don Clark. In Boston, the minor leagues are in Pawtucket, Providence, Lowell and Portland. In Silicon Valley, they are Y Combinator, HAXLR8R, SVTC and the other accelerators helping technology's prospects reach the big leagues.
Boston has Yawkey Way, Gillette and The Garden. The Bay Area has Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley and SOMA. In Massachusetts, Larry Bird could be governor. In California, Meg Whitman tried.
With the launch of this new blog, Valley View, we're going to periodically offer perspective on big goings on in Silicon Valley, mainly from a PR standpoint but also some free-form posts. We'll try to get the perspectives of technology industry movers and shakers, industry insiders and journalists on the big things happening here that will impact the rest of the country and the world. We'll blend people who were born and raised in the Bay Area, and those who bring the perspective of having lived elsewhere.
Can Marissa Mayer turn around Yahoo!? Who will win the patent fight between Apple and Samsung? Will Facebook and Zynga figure out the mobile revenue model? Will a team foolishly claim Beckett on waivers before August 31 and if so, will the Red Sox just let him go?
Okay, maybe that last one doesn't fit, but you can't spell parochial without PR.
Posted by Jason Morris on August 2, 2012 at 6:40 PM