The Next Boston-Area IPO, New Incubators, Unsung Heroes, and the Lost (& Found) Generation: 10 Tech Tidbits
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you probably haven’t thought about lately: GSN Digital, the gaming and entertainment firm with roots from game publisher WorldWinner. Senior vice president Mark Cullinane (former chief revenue officer at Turbine) recently told me his biggest surprise in gaming was “how much Facebook was a game changer.” Now the question is whether mobile will have as big an impact: “More and more, apps are a doorway to a place where we can have a deeper customer relationship,” he said. Among GSN’s latest highlights: it’s hosting a new TV game show called Lingo, which debuts on Monday and has Web, mobile, and social tie-ins.
7. EveryScape has evolved. The Newton, MA-based maker of visual guides for local search has gone consumer on us. In April, the company released a free iOS app, called UScapeit, which allows anyone with an iPhone to capture 3-D panoramic video and share it with others via e-mail or Facebook. The goal was to generate “a broader groundswell of interest,” says CEO Jim Schoonmaker. The app got more than 20,000 downloads in its first couple weeks. Company growth is looking up too—Schoonmaker says first-quarter 2011 revenues “far outstripped all of last year.”
8. It’s not a new idea, but Eric Paley of Founder Collective thinks Boston is “getting its act together” and starting to recover from the “lost generation of entrepreneurs” (coined last year by VC Jeff Bussgang). Basically this town went from very few 20-something tech-startup folks in the past decade to a new crop of young bucks who are looking to lead their companies, many as CEOs—and this trend of founders staying on as CEOs is relatively recent too. Paley’s advice to young startups: Don’t go after a series of $5 million opportunities; think bigger, while also staying very focused.
9. Speaking of Paley, he’s doing a “Founder Dialogues” event with Andy Ory, co-founder and CEO of Bedford, MA-based Acme Packet, on June 29. Do you know Acme Packet (NASDAQ: APKT)? You should. “Session border control for unified communications and collaboration” doesn’t quite do it justice. Try $5 billion market cap, sitting at the intersection of every important trend in cloud, mobile, and networking, and also, one hell of a comeback story.
10. Andy Ory met with me over lunch recently. I asked him about the Microsoft-Skype acquisition: “It blows my mind that the largest long-distance carrier in the world is Microsoft. And, oh, by the way, they don’t own a network or any telephones here,” he said. “Really amazing, if we talk about disruption.”