Chaos and Control

You’re probably familiar with Get Smart, the television series subsequently made into a movie. Its plot pitted the intelligence agency, CONTROL, against the terrorist forces of KAOS. It was set in a make-believe, make-me-laugh world that didn’t much resemble reality other than the contextual framing of good versus evil. Today, the challenge of trying to control chaos is very much at play – only this time without the slapstick. Where? The landscapes of many industries continue to get more complex. Whether it’s media or technology, science or health care, we’re witnessing a relentless...

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A Building

Name the tallest building in New York City? For the past 10½ years it was the iconic Empire State Building. No more. As of last week, that honor belongs to the new One World Trade Center, now more simply known as 1WTC and previously known as Freedom Tower. It was a big news story here in New York. Did you hear about it? For me 1WTC is less about what it is — a building — than what it stands for — the commitment to building something bigger, better and bolder. Think about it. A building is static. The act of building is active. A building is about what is. Building is...

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The Significance of Shanghai

I recently had the good fortune of spending time in Shanghai, China through the lens of a new, US-based venture. We were afforded an insightful peek into China at work, China at play, new China, old China. It was a fascinating experience that offered a variety of learnings. Shanghai is second chances. Shanghai embodies the potential of China perhaps more than any other Chinese city. Shanghai is at once contemporary, connected, in tune, aware, open, willing, engaged, and hungry. This new reality is all the more remarkable when you consider what China...

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Data is the new .com

Activation and action are key. By Roger Ehrenberg Roger Ehrenberg is the founder and Managing Partner of IA Ventures. Throughout my business career, I’ve observed that people love to label current fashions. “Web 2.0,” “Cloud” and “Social” are three which are currently in vogue. In my lifetime likely none was bigger than “.com,” describing a business and its recognition of the importance of the Internet. Remember when long-established businesses would change their names by adding a .com extension, only to receive a salutary stock market reaction? This was an equity market...

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Red Hat At $1 Billion

Congratulations to my former employer. Open source matters. Based on the run rates of the current quarter, Red Hat will likely reach $1 billion in annual revenue in 2011. Only a handful of companies, probably less than 20 software firms, have ever hit this milestone. Red Hat will be the first open source-focused company to break the billion dollar barrier. Certainly Richard Stallman did not envision this when he created the paradigm of Free Software. Such an event may be more in tune with what Eric Raymond, Tim O’Reilly, and others had in mind when they reframed Free Software as Open...

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