Summer’s all but over, but it’s no less important to stay hydrated. According to the CDC 43 percent of Americans drink fewer than four glasses of water a day, and while the actual amount you should drink varies from person to person, four glasses probably doesn’t cut it.
That’s where Caktus, a neat Finnish hardware startup that presented at TechLaunch’s second New Jersey demo day, comes into play. Their mission? To fix that dearth of drinking with an app and a curious sensor that straps onto your water bottle.
The sensor (called, adorably enough, the Hug) is a foam-lined gizmo that wraps itself around a water bottle and quietly tracks its motion. It’s not just a pint-sized koozie though — the Hug quietly monitors the bottle’s movements so it can provide its user with a rough idea how much fluid they’ve imbibed so far. Think of it as a giant Jawbone Up that straps onto your water receptacle and you’re on the right track.
As always though, the hardware is only part of the equation. A companion app (iOS only for now) uses an algorithm to suss out which of those motions actually correspond to the user lifting the bottle to drink and which are just noise caused by random movements. The app also tracks ambient temperature and keeps tabs on what sorts of exercise you’re doing (you still have to punch that in yourself) so it can update your hydration goal in real time.
To hear founder Panu Keski-Pukkila tell it, the Hug (and the rest of Caktus) was born out of pure necessity. An avid extreme athlete, he grew used to his girlfriend reminding him to drink more water while he was out carving up slopes in the Alps. When she moved to New York, though, that useful feedback mechanism disappeared and Keski-Pukkila set out to create something that could fill that particular hydro-centric void.
And you know what? As downright kooky as the whole thing sounds, the combo of the Hug sensor and the app actually worked really well. In a brief demo, the sensor was accurately able to determine that roughly two ounces of water were squeezed out of the bottle, and the partner app updated almost immediately. With the Hug, you’re not quantifying yourself so much as you’re quantifying the stuff that goes in your body. That said, the team is taking a proactive approach when it comes to all those fitness-tracking gizmos floating around out there. They’ve already managed to bake in Fitbit support so users won’t have to punch in how many glasses of water they’ve downed in a day.
For now the device is still strictly in its prototype phase, but the team is eagerly working to get the Hug, its partner app, and a dev-friendly API ready for prime time by early next year. So far they’ve locked up $25k in seed funding from the TechLaunch accelerator, and they plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign in early 2014 to lock up the cash necessary to start producing these things en masse.
This won’t come as a surprise if you’re familiar with the game’s genre, but playing Starcraft 2 might make you smarter. Starcraft 2 is a so-called “real-time strategy game,” a form of video game that involves resource management and military planning in parallel, while restricting the amount of information that each player has.
The result is a gaming experience that involves planning, strategic thinking on the fly, and rapid mental and physical coordination (this is why I’m terrible at Starcraft, if you were curious). According to a study published in August, brought to our attention by Red Bull’s gaming arm, “cognitive flexibility is a trainable skill.”
That conclusion was reached after running study participants through a controlled gaming environment, or Starcraft 1 and 2. Some participants played The Sims, while others played the Starcraft titles, racking up 40 hours of gameplay over a period of one-and-a-half to two months. All individuals that took part in the study were female, due to a “small number of non-gaming males” that might have been eligible. Those who played Starcraft instead of The Sims showed measurable improvements in certain mental functions following the period of gaming.
Playing Starcraft, according to the study, “stresses rapid and simultaneous maintenance, assessment, and coordination between multiple information and action sources was sufficient to affect change.” The result of playing real-time strategy games such as Starcraft is “an underlying dimension of cognitive flexibility” across several laboratory tests.
So, playing Starcraft 2 with its mental rigor helps keep your brain fit, and perhaps tunes it up a bit. Again, this is not a surprising conclusion, but is a fun data point all the same.
There has long been an interesting connection between Starcraft 2 and startups, something that I first wrote about in 2010. Since then, there have been startup Starcraft series, an entire league built to allow large tech companies to field their own teams, and discussion across the Internet about why tech workers seem to love the game.
It’s not surprising that digital types that stick to monitors and fast typing enjoy Starcraft, but it’s also possible that there is a bit of skill or interest overlap between working in a quickly growing tech company and playing the game.
And since Starcraft might help keep your mind fit, it doesn’t hurt to play a few games to stay sharp. At least that’s what you can tell your boss the next time you’re caught getting bunker-rushed before the end of the workday.
The Dow Jones-owned Wall Street Journal has confirmed today that it will part ways with All Things D. The media publication — and conference powerhouse — is still in talks with potential suitors but its relationship with the Journal is dead. The news was first reported by Fortune’s Dan Primack.
Negotiations have been going on for some time and sources tell us that this is largely due to the fact that Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, the founders and standard-holders of the ATD brand, have been looking for funding to expand the business, rather than simply selling out to a larger media publication. One of the potential acquirers, we’re hearing, was AOL, which owns TechCrunch, Engadget, Autoblog and other blog properties including Patch.
“We plan to embark on a major global expansion of our technology coverage, which will include adding 20 reviewers, bloggers, visual journalists, editors, and reporters covering digital,” said Gerard Baker, Editor in Chief of Dow Jones and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal. “As part of this global push, we will also be expanding our conference franchise to include an international technology conference and building a new digital home for our first-class technology news and product reviews on The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. “
At this point the ATD brand remains with the Wall Street Journal, which would likely continue to use it in some fashion. The fate of the conferences, from what we know, is still up in the air. Whether a deal is cut to have them continue to run the conferences — or to buy them out — while parting ways on other matters, is yet to be determined. It seems unlikely that Dow Jones will want to let the lucrative events, run by Mossberg and Swisher, out of their grasp, and it’s difficult to see how that relationship would work out. It seems doubtful that they would shutter them entirely, however, as they’ve become marquee events.
The Wall Street Journal says that part of its deal will be for a new conference that will focus on international markets.
As far as the team goes, they are contracted with a corporation owned by Swisher and Mossberg, so they will stick together wherever the team ends up. This will be a deal for the whole kit and kaboodle, even Mike Isaac.
Primack reports that ATD won’t share any content and ‘certain’ advertising functions with the Journal, but that Mossberg will also leave his column. The timeline for the shuttering, as we’ve been hearing for some time, is end-of-year. Potential funding sources that that are being discussed for Mossberg and Swisher’s new effort are Reuters, NBCUniversal, Bloomberg, Condé Nast, Cox and The Washington Post.
The iconic red chairs that grace the stage at D events will remain with Mossberg and Swisher.
The Wall Street Journal’s statement in full:
For years, Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal has enjoyed working with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to bring the best of tech coverage to readers around the world under the All Things Digital brand, however, after discussions, both parties have decided not to renew the agreement when the contract expires at the end of this year.
Technology is the central driver of economic growth and the Journal is committed to being the indispensable global source of news and information in this critical area. We plan to embark on a major global expansion of our technology coverage, which will include adding 20 reviewers, bloggers, visual journalists, editors, and reporters covering digital.
As part of this global push, we will also be expanding our conference franchise to include an international technology conference and building a new digital home for our first-class technology news and product reviews on The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. This new initiative will be an integral part of The Wall Street Journal and will be rooted in the Journal’s reputation for excellent, fair, objective, reliable and stimulating journalism. As part of the mutual separation, Walt Mossberg will be leaving the Journal at the end of this year. I want to offer heartfelt thanks for more than twenty years of Personal Technology columns as well as his very fine reporting on national and international affairs in the years before he turned his attention to technology coverage.”
Microsoft, like other public companies, doesn’t like to disclose more about its business than it has to, but in the middle of a reorganization and a very public CEO search, a little openness could go far to settling the nerves of jittery investors. Today at its analyst nerdmoot, the company showed three charts that strip down its business into its component parts.
Here’s the slide that Microsoft showed to analysts in Redmond and to the press via a slightly wonky livestream:
This is very interesting data. The first graph shows that Microsoft’s revenue is more than half enterprise-sourced. From that perspective, Microsoft could be viewed as an enterprise-facing company that dabbles in consumer technology.
And, given that the OEM business of Microsoft could be called “enterprise” revenue, Microsoft is all the more lopsided. Another take: If you count OEM incomes as enterprise-sourced, and discount small-business incomes, Microsoft is only slightly more than one-fifth consumer-derived from a revenue perspective. That’s a sliver.
Moving to the second graph, Windows is now the third-largest revenue driver for Microsoft. The growth of Server and Tools and the continued strength of the Office division make the changing guard unsurprising. But it’s also worth noting that the weakness of the PC market contributed to the slippage of Windows as the leading piece of Microsoft.
Just as small and medium business revenue is minor from a whole corporation perspective, so too does the Bing and Online revenue category remain essentially a rounding error. Microsoft is investing heavily in this area, but in terms of it becoming a primal component of the Microsoft revenue mix, it simply isn’t.
Finally, geographic share: 56 percent of Microsoft’s revenue comes from “Rest of The World,” which means every place that is not the United States or Canada. It seems likely that international revenue will grow its share of the Microsoft revenue mix. China, Microsoft’s Kevin Turner (COO) stated during his talk, is the company’s fastest-growing market.
What can take away from all this? That Microsoft’s enterprise business units are subsidizing its work to grow its consumer products, like Bing, Windows Phone, and the like. Also, the scale of the Office division is key for Microsoft’s aggregate size – challenges to its status as cash cow must be viewed as almost existential threats to its ability to invest in new products. So, what Box is up to and Google’s work to assault Office on mobile devices should be treated as extremely serious.
Microsoft’s analyst meeting is underway, and we’ll have more for you soon.
The sad truth is that, if everyone on the Forbes 400 list simultaneously (and tragically) got Cancer, or Parkinsons (or any given disease for that matter), the world would probably be well on its way to finding a cure for these illnesses, thanks to the enormous wealth that would be incentivized to back those efforts.
Finding a cure for an intractable disease requires time, enormous amounts of human and financial capital, cooperation and research — and at least a few public-private partnerships. It’s costly, and it’s messy. This is why Calico, Google’s newest mad science project, is potentially so exciting.
In fact, Calico could represent the company’s largest healthcare initiative since Google Health sprinted its way into obscurity. Of course, Google is a different company today than it was in 2008 (when it launched Google Health) and so are we. Our habits have have changed: Today, 20 percent of smartphone users have downloaded at least one health app and 60 percent of adults now look for health information online.
Led by former Genentech CEO and current Apple Chairman, Arthur D. Levinson, Calico has big plans in healthcare — at least over the long term. From what we’ve heard thus far, the new project will leverage Google’s massive cloud and data centers to help facilitate research on disease and aging, mine its trove of data for insight into their origins.
Apple Chairman, Arthur D. Levinson
Plus, thanks to its investment in 23andMe, Google already has access to a fast-growing genomic database, which could come in handy as it begins to focus on, in its words, “health and well-being — in particular the challenge of aging” and dive into the science, genetics and biochemistry behind longevity and disease.
In an interview with TIME Magazine, Google CEO Larry Page implied that dramatically extending human life is one of Calico’s main goals; not making people immortal per se, but, according to a source familiar with the project, increasing the lifespan of people born 20 years ago by as much as 100 years.
“Are people really focused on the right things?” Page muses in the interview. “One of the things I thought was amazing is that if you solve cancer, you’d add about three years to people’s average life expectancy. We think of solving cancer as this huge thing that’ll totally change the world, but when you really take a step back and look at it, yeah, there are many, many tragic cases of cancer, and it’s very, very sad, but in the aggregate, it’s not as big an advance as you might think.”
While his delivery is a bit confusing, Page’s thesis seems to be an optimistic one. While curing cancer has always seemed like an insurmountable obstacle, the goal is more within reach than many believe, if only someone would just put their mind to it — he seems to say. Yes, Larry Page is brilliant, but his message also seems to imply that diseases (and their cures) are reducible — that all of the world’s problems could be cured if we just had some snappier algorithms.
Really, it almost seems more of a reflection of how enormous many-headed-beast that is Google has become, and a testament to its resources and the type of talent it’s able to attract — rather than pure, unbridled hubris. It’s as if they’re saying: “Hi, welcome to Google! Today, we’re going to turn your eyeglasses into a computer, tomorrow we’ll develop self-driving cars, the day after that, we’ll cure cancer and increase the average human lifespan by 100 years. Oh, and by the way, we’re still trying to organize all of the world’s information and make it easily searchable!!” N.B.D., everybody, N.B.D.
Interestingly, Calico doesn’t seem to be a Google company per se, more of an investment in a new company that will be affiliated with Google and become an extension of the company’s mad science lab, Google X. “Don’t be surprised if we invest in projects that seem strange or speculative compared with our existing Internet businesses,” Page warned readers on Google+, Google’s social network. [Yes, let's not forget that Google also has a social network. It's like Facebook except no one uses it!] “Please remember that new investments like this are very small by comparison to our core business.” Of course, with a market cap approaching $300 billion, Google could make a $1 billion investment in Calico and it would still be a very small investment “by comparison to its core business.”
Not satisfied with self-driving cars and Google glass, Page says health is something the company needs to tackle, that he wants to “solve Cancer” the same way Google X has tried to experiment and innovate in wearable computing and transportation. “It takes 10 or 20 years to go from an idea to something being real. Health care is certainly one of those areas,” he told TIME’s Harry McKracken. “We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done.”
Sources tell us that us that Calico is still very much in the exploratory phases and is seeking neither near term profits nor have much of any idea about how to actually increase lifespans. So, there’s that. It’s one thing to say “we’re going to increase the human lifespan by 20 years!” and another entirely to actually do that. Fortunately, Page and Levinson, aren’t the first ones to attempt to longevity: Immortality has long been the ambition of kings, super villains and pretty much anyone who enjoys waking up each morning.
While Google Calico is still a work in progress, given what we’ve learned so far and heard from our sources, here are a couple of ways the company could push us towards that goal — or at the very least, extend our lifespans.
Immortal Worms, Telomeres & Cellular Clean Up
It may surprise you, but in the race to immortality, humans are in second place. But who is this agile and fleet-footed creature out-distancing we ever-powerful humans, you ask? Why that would be none other than the noble Planarian Worm. Yes, in 2012, scientists from the University of Nottingham found a species of Planarian worm that could perpetually heal itslef and divide.
“Usually when stem cells divide — to heal wounds, or during reproduction or for growth — they start to show signs of aging. This means that the stem cells are no longer able to divide and so become less able to replace exhausted specialized cells in the tissues of our bodies,” explained researcher Aziz Aboobaker. “Our aging skin is perhaps the most visible example of this effect. Planarian worms and their stem cells are somehow able to avoid the aging process and to keep their cells dividing.”
Cross-section of a Planarian Flatworm. Photo from The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Illinois
Essentially, one of the keys to immortality lies in Telomeres — which are essentially a region of nucleotide sequences that act as a protective cap, deterring the degradation of genes near the end of chromosomes by allowing their ends to shorten. Huh? In other words, as Science Daily points out, the Telomere is like the protective plastic cap at the end of your shoelace; each time a cell divides, the Telomere protects it from fraying or going on a 5-day bender. However, each time it does divide, your Telomere caps are reduced.
Theoretically, then, if someone can figure out a way to preserve or elongate these Telomeres, then we would be one step closer to a veritable genetic fountain of youth. Unfortunately, however, the science is still scant. Back in 1996, team of Nobel Prize-winning scientists explained that “telomere length is clearly not directly correlated with organismal aging” [PDF].
However, Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak won the Nobel Price for Physiology and Medicine in 2009 for their work, which found that telomere length could potentially be maintained by catalyzing the activity of an enzyme known as “telomerase.” However, as Science Daily points out, in most organisms, the enzyme is really only turned on during those early developmental years. Planarian worms have managed to outfox this, and by studying the mechanics of their division and how they protect against degradation, Google Calico and anyone else for that matter could be on the right track.
Human Chromosomes capped by telomeres. Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy’s Human Genome Program
Of course, again, real progress in longevity research requires time and money. Organizations and companies have been trying to tackle this problem for years, and many have been rebuffed. For example, in 2008, pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline shelled out $720 million for a promising drug, SRT501, a modified version of substance found in red wine that has been linked to anti-aging. Two years later, Glaxo gave up.
But that was five years ago, and this is the company that managed to map the entire planet in a few years. It’s hard to imagine Google will be pumping much money into Calico at first, but if it does, it could make a real difference. For now, sources tell us that Calico will primarily function as an R&D group, exploring the latest in longevity science. However, it won’t rule out the possibility of manufacturing their own products down the line.
At some level, Larry Page, the company — someone in Mountain View — has become convinced that Google needs to help figure out the aging problem. As Bette Davis and most 90-year-olds will tell you, “old age is no place for sissies.” It’s tough. After all, longevity isn’t any fun if one spends the last decade of life wheezing in a hospital bed.
Then again, it’s how life works. As the truisms say, aging is one of the few things in life you can count on. And furthermore, if
Hardware: Replacement Organs & Nano Repair Bots
Many people die because one of vital of their body stopped working. In recent decades, we’ve dramatically lengthened some lives by simply replacing the faulty part: A heart, kidney, lung, etc.
In the near future, we’ll be able to replace organs at scale with the magic of 3D printing. Scientists have already discovered how to transplant a manufactured kidney, so at some point in the future, heart failure may be just as inconvenient as having to take another trip to Kinkos.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Lawrence Bonassar, holds a working, artificial ear created from 3-D printers and injectable molds. Photo by Lindsay France/University Photography
With a colonoscopy costing $7K in New York today, and the average price of a hip replacement in the U.S. being $40K, printing up a new heart would be a welcome change for our wallets. Though until the cost of 3-D printing at scale is realized (it’s going to take awhile), these kind of procedures will likely remain on the more expensive side.
And the harsh truth is that fixing organs may not be enough to stave off the effects of old age in the first place. Repairing whole swaths of decrepit tissue and dying cells is likely where science will turn next. Interestingly enough, Google’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, believes that an army of nanorobots will eventually do all of our internal tuneups. The nanobots themselves could mimic the very structure of DNA that is the foundation of our cellular makeup. While the thought is exciting, today this remains in the theoretical realm, i.e. science fiction.
Despite Kurzweil being an authority on immortality, two sources close to the project say that he won’t be working for Calico; instead, he’ll continue focusing on building out his “cybernetic friend” project at Google HQ. That being said, it’s hard to imagine Kurzweil being able to stay away from the project for long, considering how much energy he’s dedicated to thinking about the problem.
While Page says that curing cancer won’t be the key to extending the average human lifespan, at some point, Calico and others will have to face it head on. “If a human could live long enough, it is inevitable that at least one of his or her cells would eventually accumulate a set of mutations sufficient for cancer to develop,” explains a team of authors in Molecular Biology of the Cell.
Thus, cancer is an inevitable part of the decay of our cells and, unfortunately, an omnipresent risk as we continue to live longer and longer. One source close to the project says that Google is exploring solutions in the area of genetically personalized medicine. Tailoring drug treatment to the unique biomarkers of the individual, such as the field of Proteomics, is a new path for improving cancer treatment.
BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?!?!
There’s a lot of exciting work going on at the intersection of healthcare and technology. The advancements in computing, mobile technology and data analysis have allowed startups like Neurotrack to help push research on diseases like Alzheimer’s forward, and even predict its onset years before it happens. Companies like Proteus Digital Health are leading the charge into personalized medicine with a pill that can text doctors and family members from inside your body, to paraphrase The Telegraph’s paraphrase.
Startups can change the conversation around innovation in digital health by experimenting, pushing the envelope and staying nimble. However, just having the name of a tech industry giant like Google enter the fray on the digital health front is huge, especially when it’s chief executives are resolved to help tackle these enormous problems — from diseases like cancer to those pesky, age-related wrinkles.
It’s still a bit too early to say how much Google plans to — or will — move the needle in the race for immortality and beautiful skin, but it’s an important step. Throwing its name in the ring will incentivize others to do the same.
Why? As Dr. Katherine Pollard of San Francisco’s Gladstone Institutes explained at TechCrunch Disrupt last week, there is still a significant gap between researchers and entrepreneurs — scientists and Silicon Valley. However, at the same time, there are now more opportunities than ever before for both sides to team up to make technological breakthroughs in healthcare, and, in turn, making those breakthroughs more accessible to the public.
This is important because it’s easy to get wrapped up in the exciting science and technology underlying these problems — and trying to solve the unsolvable — but extending longevity just for the sake of longevity’s sake (while arguably a core element of our survival instinct) is silly. There are seven billion people on this planet, and if Google and others are going to enable the majority of them to add 10 years to their lives, it will likely create even bigger problems — chiefly in the “resources” department.
Today, more than one billion people live without access to the most basic forms of healthcare. Not to criticize a beautiful thing before it even sets sail — only a cruel, heartless jerk would find fault with a project that deals, in part, with curing cancer, mind you — but this is worth pointing out. There may even be more urgent or salient problems in healthcare (at large) that a company like Google could help solve; one could argue that bringing basic healthcare to a billion people needs to come before we worry about extending one person’s life from 95 to 100.
Today at its analyst event, Microsoft announced a new milestone for its Office 365 Home Premium product: 2 million subscribers. That’s up 100 percent, or 1 million subscribers, since May 29. Office 365 Home Premium is the company’s cloud productivity suite for consumers that they pay for on a subscription basis.
Previously, Microsoft touted that it had signed up its first 1 million consumer subscribers for Office 365 Home Premium in 100 days. It has been 113 days since it announced the 1 million figure. So Microsoft, presuming that it reached the 2 million mark today, is adding subscribers at almost the same pace as it did around the launch period.
However, as the company is simply stating that it has “more than” 2 million Office 365 Home Premium subscribers, it would not surprise me if the product was either keeping pace with its former sales levels, or has accelerated slightly. At 2 million subscribers, Office 365 Home Premium is a $200 million yearly business.
Office 365, Microsoft said today, was (as a total product) the fastest Microsoft service to $1 billion in yearly revenue run rate in the history of the company. Here’s the slide that details the 2 million figure:
What’s quite interesting is that Microsoft forecasts that it will suffer from short-term revenue declines by switching to subscription revenue from licensing revenue. The bar graph on the lower right side of the chart indicates that revenue will be negatively impacted for several years, until fiscal 2017 and beyond.
This is admission that the company will suffer short-term from its decision to embrace a new business model. But, the company is wagering that the transition is worth the cost long-term, likely due to the fact that its formerly successful method of selling Software in a Box is rapidly fading.
Adobe, also in the period of transition from single-license sales of software to subscription-based services, is seeing its revenue decline year over year. I would wager that this will be a trend that we will see repeated across all large firms that move to a subscription model from their prior business practices.
Microsoft COO Kevin Turner claimed today that Microsoft has “made a very graceful transition from our traditional enterprise agreements and licensing agreements” as it shifts “those agreements and customers into the cloud.” That Microsoft forecasts revenue slippage during the period of transition even with self-described smooth hand-offs is interesting.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Microsoft has managed to move several customer categories to subscription-based Office products in parallel. This indicates that Microsoft might not have an impossible time in its soul-defining mission to sell services and not software.
Wrapping its analyst meetup, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed his largest regret regarding product choices: Missing out on phones, which he claims has harmed Windows itself.
According to the live transcript as provided by NASDAQ, Ballmer was blunt in his description of why the error was committed [Lightly edited by TechCrunch]:
“If there’s one thing I guess you would say I regret, I regret that there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do around Windows that we weren’t able to redeploy talent to the new device called the phone. That is the thing I regret the most. The time we missed is the time we were working on what became [Windows] Vista and I wish we had resources slightly differently [deployed]. It would have been better for Windows.”
If Gates was late to the Internet, Ballmer was late to phones. It’s oddly nice to hear him admit it out loud, taking responsibility for the mistake. That Vista was what cost Microsoft early aggression into phones is almost ironic.
It was not Ballmer’s only comment on Microsoft’s mobile market position; he stated earlier in the day that his company has “almost no share” in mobile devices. He also promised that he is a realist, and is not confused about Microsoft’s weak position in consumer hardware. Again, nothing surprising, but almost refreshing to hear a CEO plainly detail the state of their business sans the need to hedge.
Ballmer famously said early in Windows Phone’s history that the platform had gone from “very small to very small.” Today’s remarks are a continuance of that candor.
At his final analyst meeting, I’d rate Ballmer’s performance as honest and heartfelt. It was one of his final shows as frontman of the good band Microsoft, and he didn’t hold back, making jokes ranging from Amazon’s lack of profits to Korean accounting standards in his standard tone.
As a final note, here’s the Ballmer Business Metric: “The ultimate measure has to be what happens with profits. It’s got to be the ultimate measure of any company.” So, next CEO, you have your marching orders.