Flynn's real crime?

Tom Paine

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Now some media people are saying the Flynn case has been totally separated from Russia and focuses only on Turkey. But I wonder:

Turkey indicts 28 people, including cleric Gulen, for 2016 assassination of Russian envoy (November 23, 2018)

Do't know if there's any truth to these charges, but maybe Putin wants him as much as Erdogan does.


On Sunday, I tweeted this:


Today, this appeared:

If I recall correctly, Flynn's involvement in this is what the Feds considered his real crime. In transition staff meetings, Flynn reportedly suggested how Gulen might be removed from the US without due process (extradition).

Getting the plea from Flynn on the minor perjury charge may have gotten him off the hook on Turkey-related charges in return.

I don't know enough about Turkish politics and religious schisms to be able to judge whether Gulen is good or bad, but I certainly wouldn't hand him over to Erdogan unless there is verifiable overwhelming evidence against him. It could cost him his life.

And as for Flynn, this demonstrates his lack of judgement and ethics.

Philly EnterpriseTech Highlights 12/9-12/13: Why is Philly passed over by Big Tech?

I authored the below tweet in a pique of sarcasm, knowing Philadelphia never really had a chance at Apple. Also Amazon, though it might have garnered the 3rd slot given to Nashville.

The New York Times noted a dramatic new trend of west coast tech firms looking to set up east coast operations and find east coast people to fill them. True, but this seems to pass Philly by for the most part.

Among the Big 5 or Big 6 tech companies, Philly barely exists. Amazon is here only because of's assumption of assets and people from the company formerly known as Zonoff. And even in that instance they airlifted a large number of people to California.

Boston is facing somewhat similar problems, but looks at them differently . And Boston is said to be getting several hundred new Apple jobs over the next few years. Philly and Boston generally compete for biotech money and jobs, but Boston is gaining more ground.

You might say Pennsylvania is the problem, and that's somewhat true, but Pittsburgh is booming in the high value R&D area, having developed specific talent pools at Carnegie-Mellon and UPMC. And Google just gave its top healthcare job to a guy working in the middle of the state.

So I'm suggesting that people do a deep self-analysis of what the real problem is. Is it the onerous taxes, particularly Philadelphia's, that scare people off? Or some radicalized City Council members who want Philadelphia to become the next Oakland, and don't understand economics? Or is it the presence of Comcast, sucking up much of the best talent.

Or is it the trash? Or the persistent culture of political corruption that nobody internally seems to be ale to challenge? (true in some suburban counties as well). Or the crime, to me the most serious problem due to its very randomness.

Is it, as Kamala Harris once said, a problem of perception, surviving old adages about Philly now largely abated in fact? I'm sure that's been studied by the City, the Chamber of Commerce, and other regional and state organizations.

But regardless of these factors, Philly is doing pretty well in the venture racket, and has developed a small but successful class of repeat entrepreneurs, and some of that is spreading. And it may just have to grow from its own bootstraps rather than relying on corporate natural selection. Which may be the best way to a point.

Tom Paine's Iron Bridge / BUILDING A UNITED STATE


Tom Paine's Iron Bridge
Edward G. Gray (Author)

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The little-known story of the architectural project that lay at the heart of Tom Paine’s political blueprint for the United States.

In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams judged the author of Common Sense as having “a better hand at pulling down than building.” Adams’s dismissive remark has helped shape the prevailing view of Tom Paine ever since. But, as Edward G. Gray shows in this fresh, illuminating work, Paine was a builder. He had a clear vision of success for his adopted country. It was embodied in an architectural project that he spent a decade planning: an iron bridge to span the Schuylkill River at Philadelphia.

When Paine arrived in Philadelphia from England in 1774, the city was thriving as America’s largest port. But the seasonal dangers of the rivers dividing the region were becoming an obstacle to the city’s continued growth. Philadelphia needed a practical connection between the rich grain of Pennsylvania’s backcountry farms and its port on the Delaware. The iron bridge was Paine’s solution.

The bridge was part of Paine’s answer to the central political challenge of the new nation: how to sustain a republic as large and as geographically fragmented as the United States. The iron construction was Paine’s brilliant response to the age-old challenge of bridge technology: how to build a structure strong enough to withstand the constant battering of water, ice, and wind.

The convergence of political and technological design in Paine’s plan was Enlightenment genius. And Paine drew other giants of the period as patrons: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and for a time his great ideological opponent, Edmund Burke. Paine’s dream ultimately was a casualty of the vicious political crosscurrents of revolution and the American penchant for bridges of cheap, plentiful wood. But his innovative iron design became the model for bridge construction in Britain as it led the world into the industrial revolution.

Daily Tweet Highlights 12/9 - 12/13

New: Guru Secures $25M Series B Funding to Empower Teams with Real-Time Knowledge (Press Release) ­
Guru Secures $25M Series B Funding to Empower Teams with Real-Time Knowledge
December 12, 2018 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Guru, the world’s first Revenue Empowerment Network, today announced it has secured $25 million in a Series B funding round led by Thrive Capital, with participation from existing investors Emergence Capital, FirstMark Capital, Slack Fund, and Michael Dell’s MSD Capital. With this new funding, Guru will invest in further growth and innovation to transform how knowledge workers access the knowledge they need to do their jobs.

“By empowering employees with knowledge in real-time, Guru has become the rare enterprise solution that people use several times every day because they want to. We are excited to invest in Rick, Mitchell, and the Guru team as they empower knowledge workers around the world.”
“Every employee in every company is more effective when they can leverage the collective intelligence of their organization,” said Ryan Shmeizer of Thrive Capital, who will join Guru’s board of directors. “By empowering employees with knowledge in real-time, Guru has become the rare enterprise solution that people use several times every day because they want to. We are excited to invest in Rick, Mitchell, and the Guru team as they empower knowledge workers around the world.”

Founded in 2013 by enterprise software veterans Rick Nucci and Mitchell Stewart, Guru today serves hundreds of leading modern enterprises such as Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), Square (NYSE:SQ), Spotify (NYSE:SPOT), and Yext (NYSE:YEXT), as well as rapidly growing private companies such as BuzzFeed, Glossier, Intercom, and Thumbtack. For every customer, Guru first unifies the knowledge that today lives in so many different places within an organization. It then verifies the accuracy of every piece of knowledge regularly to ensure that knowledge stays up to date and accurate. Finally, it empowers users with the knowledge they need to do their jobs, right where they work - no need to open another app or browser window.

“We started Guru in 2013 because we believe that the knowledge you need to do your job should find you when you need it,” said Rick Nucci, co-founder and CEO of Guru. “While we’re delighted to empower hundreds of leading companies around the world today, we believe that we are just getting started, and we invite every organization in the world to learn how Guru can transform how they work. We are thrilled to partner with Ryan and Thrive Capital on this journey.”

“Guru has changed the way we work - plain and simple,” said Eraj Siddiqui, Director Customer Success Practice at Autodesk. “Guru gives our team what they need, when and where they need it. It has been instrumental in being able to deliver consistent and top-notch experiences across our customer success teams at Autodesk. We look forward to seeing where the Guru team goes from here, and are thrilled to be customers.”

Today’s news caps a year of tremendous growth for Guru:

In December 2018, Guru was named the “Most Integrated Knowledge Management Solution” by CIO Review in its December 2018 issue, which focused on knowledge management. Guru was also recognized as one of CIO Review’s “10 Most Promising Knowledge Management Solution Providers” for 2018.
In the second half of 2018, Guru launched both AI Suggest Text and AI Suggest Voice. These AI-driven features deliver the right knowledge in real-time to revenue teams, eliminating the need to search altogether.
In September 2018, Guru announced an integration with Front, the single inbox that consolidates email, chat, and SMS conversations for customer-facing teams.
In September 2018, Guru was named One of Forbes' 20 Rising Stars in Cloud Computing. The Rising Stars list is an extension of the Forbes Cloud 100 list, which ranks the best private cloud software companies in the world.
In May 2018, Guru introduced its support of Slack Actions, which empowers customers to create and share knowledge using Guru natively in Slack, the world’s leading collaboration hub.
In January 2018, Guru opened its San Francisco office to build out its West Coast go-to-market presence. Today, Guru has more than 90 employees across its two offices in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
About Guru

Guru is the AI-powered Revenue Empowerment Network behind the next generation of knowledge workers in customer support, customer success, sales, and other revenue functions. With hundreds of customers including leading enterprises such as Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), Square (NYSE:SQ), and Yext (NYSE:YEXT), Guru is reshaping the way teams create, find, and share institutional knowledge to deliver delightful customer experiences. Founded by enterprise software veterans Rick Nucci and Mitchell Stewart, Guru has offices in Philadelphia, PA, and San Francisco, CA, and is backed by leading venture capital firms Thrive Capital, Emergence Capital, and FirstMark Capital, with additional funding from the Slack Fund and Michael Dell’s MSD Capital. Learn more at or follow @Guru_HQ on Twitter.

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Dell Boomi developing blueprint for the future of iPaaS

Tom Paine

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Dell Boomi today released its annual Fall update to the Boomi platform. The 2018 upgrade further reinforces Boomi's strategic emphasis on ease of use.

Some key points about the upgrade:

  • Blockchain Integration: Boomi's solution provides support for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

  • Enterprise Grade Security: New two-factor authentication login support, stricter concurrent session controls and virus scans for file uploads.

  • Enhanced Usability: Additional dashboard filters, visualizations and the ability to export Boomi Flow data.. Organizations engaged in workflow automation and low code application development using Boomi Flow can now obtain a 360-degree view of their workflows.

  • Expanded Platform Capabilities: As part of this new update, Boomi has developed broader open features so users can seamlessly work with some of the biggest technology companies in the space, including Google, Salesforce and Workday. In fact, with Workday’s Prism Analytics, users can bring together their data from any source to prepare, analyze and securely share it throughout their organization.

  • New, Free On-Demand Training and Professional Certification

Boomi probably represents <1/2% of Dell Technologies revenues, but its strategic importance is much greater than that. If Dell completes its just announced plans to buy out the rest of VMware and do a public offering, Boomi may get increased visibility.

           Gartner Magic Quadrant 2018 iPaaS market

Way back in March when MuleSoft had a post- IPO valuation of $2.9 billion, I estimated that Boomi, as a standalone company, would be worth at least half as much. Then MuleSoft was bought by Salesforce for $6.5 billion. Boomi and MuleSoft are by no means identical, but the relative positioning of the two on the 2018 Garter Magic Quadrant is stunning. That is by no means a quantitive or financial measure, but it shows Boomi to be far ahead on execution..

But the Salesforce-MuleSoft-Boomi triangle relationship has been interesting to watch recently. Since the MuleSoft acquisition, Boomi has been seemingly more focused than ever on Salesforce and Salesforce has reciprocated. One almost wonders that if Boomi had been available, Salesforce would have preferred it over MuleSoft as an acquisition target.

Boomi has also enhanced its connectors and business relationships with companies like Workday and Host Analytics, which tend to play in larger enterprises. Boomi in the past has been known as more of a line of business solution, while MuleSoft was considered more of an enterprise-wide solution. SAP is largely a free agent without many proprietary integration tools; Boomi has always been strong with SuccessFactors. Within Oracle, NetSuite has long been a strong Boomi user.

ZDNet's Larry Dignan summarized  Dell Boomi's new initiatives as follows: "The rollout equates to a vision of integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) that takes a broader view to connect enterprises, partners, applications, people, things and customers. With the move, Dell Boomi is putting an iPaaS spin that rhymes with what Salesforce is trying to do with its Mulesoft purchase".

Within Dell Boomi itself, one important change has been the growing role of Steve Wood, co-founder of 2017 Boomi acquisition ManyWho, who is now Boomi's chief product officer. He seems to bring a different thought channel to the company. The acquisition also planted Boomi in the workflow management spaee.

LinkedIn shows 780 people now working for Boomi,and 250 of those based in Berwyn. The sales/maketing and technology split between the Bay Area and Pemnsylvania still largely holds true,. with most development in Berwyn.

The dynamic iPaaS space and how it is maturing is a fascinating thing to watch. Growth is still red-hot, but planning must also look at marketshare and longer-term consolidation. I think the time will come when most major players will define a niche rather than being generalists.

First Round Capital's Kopelman will be around "for many funds to come"

Tom Paine

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With Rob Hayes joining Chris Fralic in stepping back from active roles as First Round Capital partners, it represents a generational change, except for one exception, co-founder Josh Kopelman.

Kopelman told Axios Pro Rata's Dan Primack recently:

"I don't see myself slowing down or stepping back for many funds to come. I've had amazing partners, and also think that I now have a group of amazing partners... Ultimately, I'd rather be known as a better picker of partners than a picker of companies."

That's the most I've heard him say about future plans for quite a while.

Philly EnterpriseTech Roundup 12/8: DuckDuckGo v Google; Lyft / Uber IPO filings (in confidence)

Tom Paine

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DuckDuckGo performed a study that it says shows that Google hasn't kept its promise to stop bubble-wrapping users , in other words giving users search results biased to an individual's personal preferences. This drew a response from Google via Danny Sullivan .

Yesterday afternoon, the news came out that Lyft had filed confidentially for an IPO. Later that night, it was disclosed that Uber had also filed confidentially .

IBM sells a software portfolio, including Notes and Domino , to an Indian company, HCL, for $1.8 billion. Notes was not created by IBM, but by Lotus Development Corp, Mitch Kapor's company that began with Lotus 1-2-3, which was eviscerated by Microsoft Excel in the spreadsheet market. Notes was perhaps the first true collaboration software. Lotus was later acquired by IBM in 1995.

Cambridge-based Moderna Therapeutics watched its share price slip within hours of pulling off the biggest initial public offering in biotech history, falling 19% from the IPO price by the end of Friday. The IPO raised about $600 million.

It seems that either Google, Amazon or Microsoft touch every subject I write about now.

Elemica is one of the Philly area's best-kept tech secrets

Tom Paine

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Elemica is one of the Philly area's best-kept tech secrets. From its Wayne headquarters, Elemica manages real-time supply chain and market data for some of the World's leading companies.

Founded in 2000, Elemica refers to itself as "the leading Digital Supply Network for Chemical and other Process Manufacturers." It originally was a consortium, and the partners were owners as well as customers. Original partners included Dow, DuPont, BASF, Shell Chemicals, Bayer, Atofina, BP and Rohm and Haas. The initial funding was $100 million, provided by the consortium members themselves.

Its location near SAP's North American headquarters was likely no coincidence, as most of its members were large SAP ERP customers. Elemica customer applications exchange data at various points with SAP ERP, may be integrated with SAP Ariba, or generate output which can be analyzed more deeply with BI tools on SAP HANA. Elemica does not view SAP Ariba as a competitor, but as a complementary provider.

Elemica's original location was in Center City before moving to Wayne. It has a satellite office in Atlanta where some of its tech leadership is located.

Elemica is what is called a "networked" supply chain system, meaning that each customer is not isolated within the system, but can interact with others on the network to share information and do transactions. This is important because Elemica customers frequently buy from each other at different levels of the supply chain.

The original business model was effective to the point that the format worked, but with limitations. Since the principal customers were also owners, Elemica was managed more like a shared cost center rather than a market-driven business. In addition, Elemica needed new capital to modernize and expand, find new customers and new ways to use the data it its customers generate.

So in 2016, Elemica was sold to the highly respected (by most) enterprise tech oriented PE firm Thoma Bravo . Terms were not disclosed.

“The goal remains to grow Elemica’s business network into a multi-trillion-dollar commerce engine annually,” said John Blyzinskyj, CEO of Elemica, at the time of the Thoma Bravo deal. "This acquisition will accelerate the time to market for solutions that automate and orchestrate mission critical supply chain processes across a global community of buyers, suppliers and logistics providers. Thoma Bravo’s exceptional track record and proven expertise in our industry will enable Elemica to further capitalize on its growth and leadership."

With the original ownership structure removed, Elemica could now concentrate more on broadly on the market it serves and price and allocate resources in a way that better reflected market needs. It also presumably gained the funds needed to become more state-of-the-art technologically.

Under Thoma Bravo ownership, Elemica has worked on improving its external communication, improving the depth of supply chain visibility, and completing an overall digital.transformation, Elemica Director of Product Marketing David Cahn told me in an interview. (Dave, a Villanova grad, has been in every corner of the enterprise software world.) Another use case for Elemica to explore is the value of its customers aggregate data. For example, since it has such a strong position in the chemical industry, the aggregate of its customers' supply chain data might paint a more complete picture of what's happening in that market.

Also, Elemica is conducting a blockchain pilot with a major customer and a third-party software firm.

Elemica hosts its cloud on Amazon Web Services, with in-memory capabilities.

A recent challenge has been adjusting to changes resulting from the Dow / DuPont merger.

Supply Chain networks have changed with new technology. Supply chain planning in the past was typically based on semi-static or out of date information, and scenario testing took up considerable compute time and thus was difficult to modify. Now, with in-memory processing and other technological advances, supply chain planning is a nearly real time exercise and the market for supply chain software has been reinvigorated.

Dave discussed the difficulties of moving a business from a service bureau mentality to a digital mode.

Elemica now has revenue in the $50 million range (though I don't know what it sees as its addressable market) and is growing at 10% annually. It has around 200 employees.

Anaplan CEO on using blockchain technology for enterprise planning efficiency

Philly EnterpriseTech Roundup 12/5: Bear repellent spill in NJ Amazon warehouse; FS Investments trying to close merger later this month

Tom Paine

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One was left in critical condition, and 54 Amazon worker were treated after a discharge of bear repellant occurred in a Robbinsville (Mercer County) NJ Amazon warehouse. A can was punctured by an automated machine Wednesday morning inside the building, causing the spill. In total, 25 workers were hospitalized.

The critical patient has improved and all patients are expected to be released from the hospital within 24 hours.
Local bears, presumably, have been thoroughly repelled. But this incident may add to the current labor tensions over Amazon's warehouses.


Shop Bear Repellent on Amazon | Low Prices for Bear Repellent‎

As it works to pull off a merger, FS (formerly Franklin Square) Investments admits to having some shortcomings . In a recent call with analysts and in a meeting with advisers, FS Investments' senior management publicly acknowledged its various shortcomings, including the eroding valuation of its flagship fund, the publicly traded FS Investment Corp. FS currently manages $24 billion. As executives acknowledge, the net asset value and share price of FS Investment Corp. are both eroding.

FSIC is seeking shareholder approval to merge with another listed BDC, Corporate Capital Trust (CCT). The shareholders of FS Investment Corp. (NYSE:FSIC) and Corporate Capital Trust (NYSE:CCT) approved proposals related to the merger of FSIC and CCT at their respective annual meetings, and the merger is expected to occur around December 19.