From the Director of Microsoft's Azure Services Platform Ecosystem

Brandon Watson

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Top Stories by Brandon Watson

One of my favorite VC bloggers, Josh Kopelman, has an interesting piece on the VC math problem as first envisioned by Fred Wilson.  Having gone through the fund raising process, and hearing this nonsense from VCs, I always gnashed my teeth when a VC was setting valuations based on what they needed to own.  Not any intrinsic value of the business, but rather what they felt their ownership percentage needed to be.  This was much more of a problem with the earlier stage VCs, and, interestingly enough, with some of the spray and pray VCs, where you would think they might care less about overall percentage due to the fact that they were investing everywhere. Josh references a paper by Paul Kedrosky which takes a very detailed research approach to examining this issue.  The paper has been downloaded and will be read tonight.  However, the math that blew my mind was contain... (more)

Amazon, Google, Microsoft - Big Three Cloud Providers Examined

Brandon Watson's "Many Niches" Blog There’s been quite a bit of chatter on the web about the Azure Services Platform. Obviously I’m excited to see people talking about our new platform, especially when there is plenty of good, some bad, and some good if not somewhat rambling. There will be no shortage of guessing as to what Microsoft is “really up to” with our development efforts. I wanted to take a crack at that one, but from a completely different perspective. I want to frame the discussion centered on the motivations of the platform providers, and let that be a guide to understa... (more)

Zappos Deal Shows VCs Hate Entrepreneurs

The title here might be a bit sesationalistic, but the deal certainly shows how VCs can act in a way that is counter to the wants and needs of the entrepreneurs and management teams.  The news yesterday that Zappos sold to Amazon has been circulating with many emotions.  CEO Tony Hsieh wrote an amazing letter to his employees, which laid out the deal and what it would mean for the company.  Read it if you haven’t already. Unfortunately, when the press and journos report on a sale, they focus on the topline number, and it is rare that they report much beyond that.  As most of my ... (more)

Broken VCs Aftermath

Venture Capital Blog on Ulitzer Apparently (apparently!), I have said something that hit a nerve.  When I posted my thoughts on the whole issues as to whether or not the VC model was broken, I had no idea that it would be the most popular post I have ever written (and it’s not even noon on day 2).  Crazy. Predictably, some of my VC friends showed up to the conversation to point out that 1) am angry, and 2) that the “good” VCs don’t have associates.  First, I am not angry.  It’s easy for the VCs and their ilk to cast those aspersions, but the reality is that they have a fantastic ... (more)

Introducing Windows Server AppFabric

Azure Cloud on Ulitzer About one year ago I was fortunate to be working on the launch of Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform.  With the start of our new fiscal year, I was asked to take over a team which was responsible for the technical marketing for our developer platform product management team.  It’s been quite a journey, and I have been able to expand the scope of the products on which I am working. Today, we are announcing the availability of the beta bits for Windows Server AppFabric, our platform for deploying and managing servers in the enterprise.  The... (more)