My long time friend Alan Shimel has been blogging up a storm on Network World (if you want to hear any amusing story, ask him about the first time he met me.) When Alan started writing his column for Network World he asked me for introductions to a bunch of our portfolio companies that were using open source. Alan is a tough critic and calls it like he sees it so while I knew there was no guarantee that he’d go easy on the companies, I knew that Alan would do an even handed job of highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. I also know that everyone I invest in values any kind of feedback – both good and bad – and they work especially hard to delight their customers so any kind of feedback will make them better.
Earlier today, Alan wrote an article on Standing Cloud titled Seeding the Cloud with Open Source, Standing Cloud Makes It Easy. On Monday, Standing Cloud released their first version of their product (called the Trial Edition) which is a free version that lets you install and work with around 30 open source products on five different cloud service providers. It’s the first step in a series of releases over the next two quarters that Standing Cloud has planned as they work create an environment where it is trivial to deploy and manage open source applications in the cloud. Alan played around with Standing Cloud’s Trial Edition, totally understood what they are doing, and explained why the Trial Edition is interesting and where Standing Cloud is heading when they release their Community Edition at the end of April.
Alan’s also written several other articles about companies in our portfolio recently, including the open source work Gist has been doing with Twitter and a great review of the Pogoplug and how it uses open source.
I believe I’m one of the people that inspired Alan to start blogging a number of years ago. Through his personal blog Ashimmy, the blog he writes for Network World titled Open Source Face and Fiction, and the blogging he does on security.exe (his company CISO Group’s blog), Alan is one of my must read technology bloggers. And he’s often funny as hell, especially when he gets riled up. Keep it up Alan!
I’ve always loved computer games. My Apple II screen had burn marks in it from Olympic Decathlon, Choplifter, Castle Wolfenstein, and Ultima. Recently, I’ve become addicted to several of Zynga’s games online, especially Mafia Wars (I’m level 52 – friend me on Facebook and join my Mafia) and Scramble (I think I’m better than I actually am so it’s endlessly frustrating.)
Zynga’s been cranking on their iPhone apps so most of my Scramble action is now on the iPhone. However, last night Zynga released Mafia Wars on the iPhone and it has immediately moved to third place on my “things to do on my iPhone other than email and call Amy.”
I got a note from Fred Wilson this morning that he’d beat me to the punch on posting about Mafia Wars on the iPhone. Yeah Fred – whatever – you are on the east coast and I’m on the west coast today so time was on your side. Help me neutralize the threat of Fred’s dominance in Mafia Wars by joining my iPhone Mafia – my player ID is 1901 3272 26 – recruit me for your Mafia (I’m level 5 on the iPhone already.)