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Phil Soran and Compellent in the News

Its not surprising, given all of the media attention in the bidding war between HP and Dell over 3Par, that interest would heat up in Compellent. Phil Soran is a two-time home run hitter, starting with Xiotech, which he and his partners Larry Aszmann and John Guider grew and eventually sold to Seagate.  Not many entrepreneurs can duplicate phenomenal results. After a $425 million exit to Seagate, Phil and company launch Compellent and took it public at just the right time on the NYSE.

I hope he has the chance to keep growing Compellent – while entrepreneurs always and usually seek great exits, Phil and team are more like watching Steve Jobs, and nobody wants to see Steve Jobs turn in the keys and go home. We want to keep on being dazzled.

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Glen Tullman on CNBC

Congrats to Glen Tullman and team from Allscripts. They rang the opening bell at the Nasdaq a couple days ago. The event marked the completion of Allscripts merger with Eclipsys. Following the opening Bell, Glen was interviewed on CNBC’s Squawk Box. If we didn’t have a HTDI Portfolio tracking public companies mentioned in How They Did It, well, I would still buy MDRX.

Glen is simply a superb CEO and he represents a perfect matching of skills and competence to the company and job at hand at Allscripts (MDRX). I was sold after interviewing Glen.

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Precise Path Robotics Inc. Secures Private Funding

When I interviewed Scott Jones at his home in Indiana for How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America, I had the pleasure of seeing first-hand the simulated Mojave Desert that had been built in his back yard to test the robotic car that the Indiana team (Purdue University, Rose-Hulman, Indiana University) designed for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency competition. That robotic car research eventually led to Precise Path Robotics Inc. – an Indiana based maker of robotic lawn mowers. Last week it was announced that Precise Path Robotics Inc. has secured $4.5 million in private funding. Congratulations Scott, we wish you continued success!

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Scott Jones and ChaCha Featured in the Washington Post

Nice to see ChaCha in the 8/13/10 Washington Post article: “ChaCha, KGB see text messages as alternative to search engines on cellphones”on 8/13/10:

The article explains how services like ChaCha view text messages as an alternative to cellphone search engines like Google.  ChaCha allows you to ask a question by text or voice message and a human provides you with an answer.  Before interviewing Scott Jones for How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America, I had already heard about ChaCha and had successfully used it. My family and I were driving on I-65 from Chicago to Louisville and I called to find out where the nearest Wallgreens was. I asked my question and hung up. A couple seconds later we got a text message confirming the question, and they got the question right. Another minute passed and another text came in, right on the money.

When I had the chance to ask Scott about ChaCha during the interview, he said the combination of human plus artificial intelligence is the key thing. And that asking questions beyond basic location queries like mine, would make things very interesting. Say you’re in a rental car, a Toyota Camry, and for the life of you you can’t find the gas tank door release. What do you do? With ChaCha you can call and ask the question, “I’m in a 2009 Toyota Camry. Where is the gas tank release switch?” And get an answer! How cool is that? Scott makes the point that the world is mostly mobile with many parts of the globe having bypassed all land-based computers, so that mobile search becomes the de facto standard.

Any other ChaCha users? What have you asked?

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Jim Dolan Shows Link Between Entrepreneurial Success and Air Miles…

I don’t know if there’s a correlation, maybe in the modern world it is possible to score big and not have to fly much.  But in Jim Dolan’s case there is a link!

Nice recognition for Jim in the Twin Cities Business article “Jim Dolan on Living Up in the Air”.  In the article Jim was compared to George Clooney from Up In The Air. I was disappointed to learn 10 million miles is not that big a deal. I suppose I can add ammunition to this story, because in fact I did see Jim one time completely unexpectedly …at the airport!

Jim, can I see your Concierge Key? Please.

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