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Indiegogo campaign for XGear ends in 48 hours

XGear is a small auto accessory that plugs in to your car’s data port and extracts data being continuously collected and quantifies it. All this is done seamlessly without any human interaction and with pinpoint accuracy.

You get to learn about your car and understand your driving behavior. At the same time, it also provides you information about your car’s maintenance and other safety related issues. Bye bye unnecessary oil changes every 3000 miles.

Currently, XGear is trying to raise money on Indiegogo. Their goal is a modest $10,000 out of which they have already raised $5,134 as of this post. 48 hours remaining…

IoT is all the rage and this product is extremely promising. I can’t wait to get mine…

My first time at OPEN Forum Silicon Valley

Last weekend I attended OPEN Forum 2014, Silicon Valley’s annual business event for Pakistani entrepreneurs and technologists. It’s open to everyone but 98% of the attendees and guests are Pakistanis, rest are Indians (no kidding).

I had heard that it’s an event that provides little or no value due to organizational short comings and lack of real topics affecting entrepreneurs from the diaspora. Yet, I found it to be extremely informative, inspiring and encouraging.

Informative: Excellent lineup of speakers talking about topics that covered “Landing your next Job” to “Future of IoT.”

Inspiring: Stories from entrepreneurs who have failed, learned from failures and then succeeded on epic levels. It’s a tell all and there is nothing better than a great story.

Encouraging: A pitch session with V.C. judges and excellent product demos.

Will definitely visit next year.

The “B” Word

The “B” Word

You know it’s serious when KQED is inviting PhDs to talk about the “B” word.

Bubble.

Of course, the starting point during every bubble conversation is what happened 14 years ago in 2000 during the dot-com bubble. Any time you compare current market to 2000, you start with a lost argument. What happened in 2000 will not happen again, not in that same manner at least. The Valley learned its lesson and will not make foolish decisions (let’s hope).

And yes, the numbers are not there yet, but the perception is.

In 2000, there were 261 Tech IPOs with a median age of 5. That’s a lot of IPOs in an infant industry trying to rush to market; maybe VCs forced them or the founders wanted out. In 2013, there were only 43 Tech IPOs with a median age of 9 years. Fewer IPOs and more mature business models. Do you see the difference? It’s a clear indication that startups and VCs are not rushing to IPO.

Let’s not bother with the first day pops and EPS, that’s all relative.

I think there is one person here we can all blame for this bubble talk. In fact, we all love to hate him. He is this T-Shirt wearing, Harvard dropout who happens to be the CEO of Facebook.

With his high profile acquisitions; Instagram, Whatsapp and Oculus, he has created an environment of “eyeballs-more-valuable-than-revenue.” One of the indications of a bubble is no revenue but high evaluation based on the future revenue probability. But that reason alone isn’t enough to call it a bubble, at least not yet.

Economists spend every waking moment trying to understand markets and predict the next bubble or recession. Yet, most of the time, either they fail or their warning falls short. Let’s not do their job for them.

Keep calm and geek on.

Photo Credit: Paulina Eli

It’s about time, Box

It’s about time, Box

Finally, last week Box filed S-1 with SEC to go public. It’s about time.

I use Box every now and then to store important documents. I am not a customer, just a free user with 50GB storage, out of which, I have used 145MB.

Box doesn’t make money, this wasn’t news to me. I knew this back when I prepared its 2011 tax return. In fact, it has long been speculated that Box is deep in red but the IPO news played out like an alarm clock going off. Overnight, every tech blogger out there turned into a financial analyst trying to warn the masses of the impending doom. That’s what I love about the internet, it’s free amusement for the knowledgeable and trivial anxiety for the gullible.

In the sea of startups, there is only one startup out there that has focused 100% on one thing and just one thing. That’s Box and the focus is enterprise cloud storage. Do one thing and do it right. Once the core product is nailed, they will have have all the time in the world to diversify their offerings.

After the IPO, things will get quite tough for Box. Wall street likes to see increase in revenues even if that doesn’t translate into profits. So far, that’s one thing going in the right direction for Box.

I promised myself that I won’t use the word “bleeding” in my post while talking about Box and won’t mention Aaron Levie’s ownership percentage in the company. I think I have succeeded, temptation has nothing on me.

But, I really suggest you read this Quora response by the man himself about his ownership percentage.

It takes lot of persistence to survive this long, I wish all the best to Box, its employees and investors.

Photo Credit: TechRepublic