Automattic Valued Between $150-300M

This post on Mashable caught my eye:

After the recent acquisition of Gravatar, surely the company is looking for as high of a valuation as possible, which could be anywhere between $150 million to $300 million right now. Automattic has reportedly raised just over $1 million in funding.

This is one of my favorite companies in the Valley because they continually turn out top shelf software, don’t whore themselves out for attention, and have fundamentally redefined the market they are in.

There are few companies that can catch them so it’s not surprising to think that Automattic could be worth a lot of money, but that should be less headline grabbing than the fact that they did all that with $1.1m in financing. Here’s Toni’s post on the financing they did last year.

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About that BEA / Oracle Thing

This is a huge win for Oracle and for its customers that are running PeopleSoft. And, if you are running your PeopleSoft application on top of the Oracle Database you’re entire stack will be Oracle’s products, with the exception of the Operating System. Think about it ….. The total cost of ownership will be dramatically reduced!
Derek Tomei

Can someone point me to an example of how giving one vendor total control of your “stack” has resulted in lower cost of ownership…


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SlashID is a new identity service that promises to solve the problem of having too many credentials for too many websites.

I read some of the details and thought it sounded pretty interesting, so I registered:

SlashID manages your passwords so that your password never leaves your computer. The SlashID doesn’t know your password, and therefore cannot lose or disclose it to anyone.

SlashID never issues assertions, which means that no web sites have to ever rely on us for the authentication of their users. Instead, SlashID helps your browser decrypt your Shared Secret, which is then sent directly to the Website, without disclosing it to SlashID.

As much as I like the concept of what SlashID is doing I have to admit that I didn’t get far in real world experience. The single biggest inhibitor is that when you register you get dropped into the console application where you manage your subscriptions, however, there are no UI cues that guide you through the all important steps that are required to actually be productive with the service.

Secondly, and more significant than the UI issue, is that the service requires that the website or application service build in the SlashID service and only a couple are currently available and integrated today, WordPress being the most recognized brand, but again I had difficulty understanding what I was supposed to do in order to take advantage of this.

I think they way they have thought through the security of this identity service is compelling but it’s too damn hard to be successful with from minute one and that’s a problem. Furthermore, anything that requires developers to integrate the service is going to be a tough rock to push, as has been the case with OpenID.

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Sony PS3 Price Cut – Again

I’ve written so many times that Sony’s PS3 is a bomb and they should just call a do-over that I am actually getting tired of the story. There’s only so much validation I can take:

Sony Corp. is slashing the starting price for PlayStation 3 consoles in the U.S. by $100, its latest attempt to boost slow sales of the machine in time for the holiday season.

The lower price will probably help, but Micrsoft is including 2 really good games with the Xbox360 so the net cost is about $90 lower than the sale price, meaning Sony is still quite a bit more expensive than Microsoft. Also, the fact that the $399 version won’t play PS2 titles could be yet another bad decision on Sony’s part given that the
PS3 titles haven’t really lit up in the marketplace.

Back to the previous posts on this, when I first started writing about this I had people commenting that I was wrong for a number of reasons, including the very good observation that the PS3 is the cheapest Blu-ray DVD player you can get and that alone makes it worth it. I also pointed out that Sony was dragging down their PS3 partners with the failure of the PS3 to take the market by storm and the consequences for the Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD battle between Sony and Toshiba.

Interestingly, when I wrote about it in July no one disagreed about what a disaster this product has been for Sony. The market has decided: Sony’s PS3 is a big loser, the Wii kicks ass, and even with their manufacturing problems the Xbox360 more than delivers the groceries.

So why do I continue to write about it? Aside from my interests in gaming, the PS3 story is a fascinating case study in how market fortunes in markets dominated by few competitors can change, how evolving markets turn traditional strengths into weaknesses (in this case the rise of older games not interested in FPS titles that depend on cutting edge technology), and lastly, how closed ecosystems are impacted.

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