Is Big Tech Back?

If you told people Google’s stock price had risen 25% in the past quarter nobody would be that shocked. But if you told them pretty well all the major tech stocks had had equally good quarters it may take some believing. However, when I just checked, the facts are that the following stocks rose by the following percentages:

Dell 10% (yes Dell, the one that is said to be struggling to find new growth and with that annoying battery problem)
Microsoft 15% (the one that has been criticized for delays of Vista and whose Chairman retired)
IBM 20% (I can’t actually think of a reason why ITS stock would suffer – truly)
Intel 24% (the one that is being challenged by AMD)
Oracle 25% (the one that has run out of companies to buy)
HP 25% (the one with the dysfunctional board)
Apple 32% (hasn’t everyone bought an iPod by now?)
Cisco 34% (the company that was the dot com darling but pundits said had had its day – clearly wrong)

Indeed the NASDAQ Computer index is up 18% in the last quarter. That means if you’d invested in pretty well any tech stock you should have done pretty well in the last three months. Now I know, the tech industry has been producing some good numbers (Cisco certainly has) but in truth they’ve been producing good growth for a while. I wonder what made the markets wake up?

Blogs versus news

You may think I’m getting obsessed with Google News these days. I assure you I’m not but I did think it was quite revealing that when I searched on ‘Edelman Walmart blog’ I got twelve news responses. When I used the site to search for blogs with the same criteria I got 1,458 responses. That means for every news item there were over 120 blog mentions. Going back to my HP item the ratio was more like 1.5 blog mentions to each news item. I guess this shows how the blogging world works.

Has HP taken control?

It seems HP may finally have a handle on its pretexting crisis. A quick search on Google News shows there have only been twenty six news items in the last week. Given the pace that news was pouring out a few weeks ago (nine an hour) this is quite a change. It is worth noting that there hasn’t been another big tech story of similar importance, so one can only assume that either HP has managed to put a lid on things or the media (and public) has simply moved on.

Text 100 to tell the Truth

The inevitable truth that is. Today Text 100 is launching its Clean Tech Practice which will aim to help organizations in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable power. The team already has some good client experience with people like: PARC, Philips, GE Wind Energy, Altran, npower renewables, National Physical Laboratory (NPL), TOTAL, Envirowise and Whirlpool. I also note their release talks about how much VC spending is going into this scetor. There is no doubt that fear of global warming has put some heat (pardon the pun) into the sector…


So the Wall Street Journal piece today saying that Google is in talks to buy You Tube has understandably got quite a lot fo attention. A few things pop out here. First if You Tube does sell then Google really is the most logical buyer. Google’s cutlure and business model is ideal. The other potential suitors seem less of a fit andf have already put forward alternatives. I’m referring to the likes of Microsoft and Yahoo!. I guess the question is will they sell? If you were a founder would you cash in now? The same questions were clearly in the minds of the Skype guys. In their case eBay paid $2.3Bn for the business. At that price I think it was likely an easy decision. You Tube is apparently being offered $1.6Bn. This seems relatively cheap to me (the emphasis being on the word ‘relatively’). Truth is the numbers at this level are not tied to sales or profits they are tied to ‘how much can you justify to investors.’ It is very clear that You Tube is a high growth company in a high growth area. On that score if this deal were to open up a rapidly growing $10Bn market for Google then a price of between one and two billion dollars doesn’t sound that bad. Does it?