(Reprinted from the Metro Spirit, 5/23/2012)
Facebook IPO – Well, we can’t have a technology column this week without a mention of the Facebook IPO, so let’s start there. Last Friday, Facebook began trading shares on the Nasdaq exchange. This event has been eagerly awaited by the tech community as a signal that high tech business is back on track. As it turned out, the IPO turned out to be more of a non-event. The numbers…after an initial pricing of $38 per share last Thursday, the stock opened at $43 per share but quickly fell to below $39 per share. The IPO raised over $16 billion for Facebook, making the offering the second largest in history. The initial $100 billion market capitalization puts Facebook in the top forty of market cap, ahead of established tech companies Amazon and Cisco. But this is not 1999, and reality set in on Monday. After its first full day of trading, Facebook closed at $34, down almost 11% from its initial pricing. Investors are looking careful at Facebook’s revenue potential. In 2011, Facebook generated approximately $5 of revenue per user. Compare this to $30 per user for Google. Given that Facebook stock is valued at approximately 20 times its projected sales, and Google’s price-to-sales ratio is only 6, most analysts seem to think that Facebook has a hard road ahead.
It’s Like Herding Clouds – The Leadership Augusta Class of 2012 graduated last Thursday. Congratulations to all of you, especially my wife Kari. You do have an exceptional class, but not the best ever. (Truly.) Now, you might ask what all this has to do with technology…absolutely nothing, except for that fact I got to catch up with my 2010 Leadership comrade and devoted Augusta Tek reader Doug Fine. Doug brings us the Tech Tip of the Week with Week.
It starts like this: All the free cloud storage products are great…until you hit the maximums amounts. Then you have to spread your data between multiple services, and trying to keep track of what is where. It’s like herding clouds. What if you had an app that would stitch together all the free services into a single bucket? What you need is Otixo! Otixo provide you a single application to access all of you online files. Otixo support virtually all of the major cloud services, including Dropbox, Box, Google Docs, SugarSync, Picassa, MobileMe, Amazon S3, FTP servers and WebDAV drives. I was able to create an account and get all my personal cloud storage configured in less than 20 minutes. It’s a very nice tool.
Here’s the catch…a free Otixo account only lets you move a ridiculously small 250MB per month. To use this in any productive manner, you’re probably going to have to pay the $10 month for unlimited data transfer.
SpaceX Visits the ISS – This past Tuesday, the private space company, SpaceX, launches its Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. This mission is the first by a private company to send a spacecraft to the ISS. This is a demonstration missions designed to confirm the Dragon spacecraft’s capability to dock with the space station. If successful, SpaceX will begin its contract to perform a minimum of 12 re-supply missions. Without the Shuttle, the Dragon is the only spacecraft in the world capable of returning significant cargo from the space station. This space transport system was designed to carry astronauts in the future, and the cargo missions will go a long way in providing the flight experience necessary to achieve that goal.
(Note: At the time of writing the SpaceX launch was still T-3 hours away. Check the website for the latest!)
Until next week, I’m off the grid. @gregory_a_baker