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A View From The Catbird Seat [Dec. 27, 2013]

Submitted on
Vrijdag, 27 december 2013
,
BostInno

By Jay Batson

This year I switched from an active operating role as founder of Acquia to being a mentor and angel investor in early-stage startups. Between helping companies via Techstars, MassChallenge, and random introductions, I’ve tried to lend a helping hand to many, many dozens of companies this year. Which means I’ve gained a rare place among those who can see the local tech ecosystem from a high perch, and I have a couple of thoughts about our tech culture.

The growth in the number of startups in Boston since I founded Acquia in 2007 has increased phenomenally, and I see no end in sight. Credit what you wish – the emergence of AWS, the "Lean Startup," or the growth in angel capital – the result is that Boston is no longer only the birthplace of old mini-computer or networking companies. Rather, it has re-energized into a full startup ecosystem. These startups have created thousands of jobs in the city, and I’m really happy with where our tech community is at.

It’s particularly exciting to see the vast bulk of these companies locating themselves within half a mile of the Red Line, stretching from Davis Square to the Broadway stop in South Boston. Notably, unless they are in the Cambridge Innovation Center, most startups are no longer in Kendall Square, which has become the home of Big Companies. It’s great; I can bike from company to company in 10 minutes, making it the most geographically concentrated tech center in the country. (Thanks to the City of Boston’s Nicole Freedman for making Boston so bikeable!)

This extended “Red Line Tech Corridor” is what I think Boston will become known for, eclipsing the “128 Corridor." I don’t see this stopping in 2014, and predict most startups will rent office space in the Leather District, Downtown Crossing, Chinatown, or the A St. end of South Boston. (Rents in the Innovation District have quickly gotten too high for startups!) But this concentration in the historic downtown area will only happen if the buildings are updated with credible, fiber-based high-speed Internet. Amazingly, a ton of startup-priced vacant office space in these areas simply does not have fast network access. If the new Mayor wants a meaty, high-impact problem to tackle early in his new administration, here it is. This state of connectivity is embarrassing for the city.

IT Charts 'Cloud First' Route to Success

When a company is considering a new venture, where does it turn to find exactly the right combination of cloud services to make the project happen efficiently and economically?

Mark Weinstein believes the call should go to the IT department.

Weinstein is a "fractional CIO" who after working for more than 30 years for a variety of large financial firms, now acts as an advisor to smaller companies, helping them optimize the management of technology.

Acquia Won't Rush IPO [Dec. 19, 2013]

Submitted on
maandag, 30 december 2013
,
Computerworld

By Rohan Pearce

Boston-based Web technology company Acquia is heading towards an IPO but it's in no rush to go public according to Dries Buytaert, Acquia's co-founder and the creator of the open source CMS Drupal.

"For us [an IPO] is something that we're working on but it's not front and centre right now," Buytaert, the CTO of the Drupal services firm, said.

"We think it's a key milestone, but it's only just that as well: It's a milestone in a much longer path to building a significant independent company. So that's the reason I say we're not obsessed with it."

Earlier this year, the company hired Dennis Morgan as CFO, which is "obviously a key component for being able to do an IPO," the CTO added.

"In general we want to be an IPO-ready company such that we have the luxury to file for an IPO if we were to choose to," Buytaert said.

IT Embraces Cloud Apps to Improve Workflow

One member of the team wants to write and edit the plan as a Google Doc. Another has an outline in an iPad app. A third has notes in Evernote. And the presentation event will be hosted on Eventbrite.

Not only is everyone bringing their own device -- BYOD -- but they are making their own deals with cloud-based services.

Multiple applications featuring their own cloud appear to be cutting IT staffs out of the loop, but in fact, analysts say, all this new free-agency has created opportunities for more efficient, and more economical work processes.

2013 Year in Review: The Acquia Blog

For Acquia, 2013 has been a great year. We were named as the "Fastest Growing Private Company in North America" by Deloitte and a leader in Forrester's Social Platforms Wave. Another mark of Acquia's growth and success in 2013 has been the growing participation in our blog.

5 Ways Drupal is Like Public Transportation

I love public transportation. I happily ride Washington D.C.’s Metro to and from work every day. I take the bus to yoga. I think transit maps are art. I share photos, via Twitter and Facebook, of the outrageous things transit riders do. I am a public transportation enthusiast.

Inside the Road to Acquia's Possible IPO [Dec. 11, 2013]

Submitted on
woensdag, 11 december 2013
,
CMSWire

By Scott Raynovich

The open-source model for software is shaking up the Web Content Management System (CMS) business. One company that has greatly benefited from this is Acquia, one of the Boston area's most successful startups. Co-founded by Drupal's creator in 2007, Acquia has doubled its revenues in each of the last two years and sparked chatter of a US initial public offering (IPO) in 2014.

The Burlington, Mass.-based startup's savvy move to pick Drupal, the open-source CMS development platform, takes a page out of the Red Hat Software book. That model leverages the speed and flexibility of an open-source community while providing the service and support infrastructure to reassure enterprise customers who want to make sure the software is mission-critical.

While in Boston last week, several sources in the startup and venture capital (VC) community identified Acquia as one of the leading IPO candidate for 2014. On the record, nobody affiliated with Acquia will confirm an IPO is in the works. Despite the chatter, VCs never want to talk about an IPO, but that's usually on an agenda — cash and liquidity for investors and insiders is always welcome when you can get it

Michael Skok, an Acquia investor and board member and a partner with North Bridge Venture Partners, wouldn't confirm any imminent IPO plans. But he did confirm the company's solid business model is linked hand-in-hand with Drupal's growth.

"We, as investors, Tom Erickson (the CEO of Acquia), and the team at Acquia are all committed to building an enduring business for the long-term," Skok wrote in an email in response to questions. "They continue to build a strong foundation for future growth fueled by massive digital disruption as organizations of all sizes scramble to keep up with the speed of the web."

5 Strategies to Close the Content, Commerce Gap

The secret is out: Great content drives commerce engagement.

However, creating an easy handoff between the content experience and the purchase experience remains a mystery for most. To fully integrate these two experiences, retailers and brands will need to look at technology and far beyond. I recently published an eBook that provides a path forward: 5 Strategies for Closing the Content and Commerce Gap.

Here’s a quick recap of the 5 Strategies:

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