Stories by John Brandon

Tips from a day in the life of 4 CIOs

The role of a modern CIO is as misunderstood as it is important. So we asked a few of them to take us through a typical day. Here, four IT leaders share their tips, tricks and daily routines.

Written by John Brandon25 Aug. 15 15:08

What CIOs can learn about security threats from 4 recent hacks

The media and the public are finally waking up to the fact that almost all organizations are at risk of getting hacked. Analyzing a few recent high-profile breaches might just help you prevent the same thing from happening at your company.

Written by John Brandon18 Aug. 15 14:17

Traction Watch: Opinit grows user counts 1,066 percent with no acquisition costs

You can always buy more users, however for the social media app Opinit, which uses emoji icons as a way to leave feedback on posts and images, there's a better way, build something people really want. That strategy has led to user growth of 1066 percent in two weeks since launching on the Apple Store and racking up about 1M "content views" (which are the views one user makes to another) and 100,000 "vibes" (one user rating another) since June. Co-founders Paolo Fidanza and Q. Ladraa told the app started out as a project for friends and family about a year ago and spent the last year in development in beta testing with a small group of users.

Written by John Brandon14 Aug. 15 03:30

Traction Watch: Forward thinking and a growing market helps Puppet Labs enjoy impressive growth

By pouncing on the opportunity, the Portland startup is racking up the sales and new customer acquisitions. In a comparison between April of 2015 and the same month last year, Puppet Labs grew by 325%. And now more than 25,000 companies including Twitter, RedHat, Salesforce, and Bank of America use their service to automate infrastructure tasks. According to the Deloitte Fast 500, they are experiencing a three-year revenue growth rate of 3,832 percent and rank at number 42 on the list. New bookings based on this massive growth, also known as a run rate, are right around $75M.

Written by John Brandon06 Aug. 15 00:40

How Terapeak grew from 0 to 300,000 customers in 18 months

Since it's inception in 1995, eBay has always attracted a flurry of activity. Just recently, the company has seen an uptick in user counts and their stock price. For the analytics company Terapeak, which provides the official sales-tracking dashboard, that rise in popularity could have been a challenge as more and more seller tools joined the fray. Fortunately, they figured out how to ride the wave of success, make smart business decisions, and almost single-handedly prove the freemium model does work by attracting 300,000 non-paying customers in 18 months.

Written by John Brandon02 July 15 23:51

Traction Watch: When I Work sees 3X customer growth in 3 Years

Something is working at When I Work. The scheduling app for use with hourly employees has tripled its customer counts in just three years. Chad Halvorson was a grocery store clerk when, at just age 15, he realized how many employees came in on Sunday to check their schedules. By 16, he bought the domain. Flash forward to 2010, and he built the app and launched the company that year.

Written by John Brandon26 June 15 05:16

Traction Watch: How NightSwapping uses Facebook to grow customers

Enough about AirBnB already! A competing service in France called NightSwapping has a different twist on sharing rooms with strangers, and it is beginning to fire on all cylinders. The company uses a different business model from AirBnB -- it's all about hosting other travelers for free as a way to earn free accommodations all over the world. There's a social aspect, since you "meet" online first and discuss arrangements.

Written by John Brandon23 June 15 00:00

How to collect and analyze data from 100,000 weather stations

If you want to understand what it takes to collect, track and analyze reams of data, just check the weather. There are constant fluctuations, scores of data points and intense interest from all over the planet. Analyze the data correctly and someone in the state of Washington knows whether or not to wear a raincoat. Do it poorly and there might be a massive traffic pileup from people driving too fast on slick roads.

Written by John Brandon16 June 15 23:14

5 ways to handle comment trolls on social media

Social media has become a new way to find new customers, provide support, market products, share news and even develop customer relationships. Because of the free-form nature of services like Twitter and Facebook, large companies can enjoy the benefits of frequent personal interaction. Dell can "like" a comment from a happy laptop owner on Facebook, Bristol-Myers can share corporate news directly with their 67,000 followers on Twitter.

Written by John Brandon15 June 15 23:16

Traction Watch: Okta grows by embracing its frenemies

Editor's note: Traction Watch is a new column focused obsessively on growth, and is a companion to the DEMO Traction conference series, which brings together high-growth startups with high-potential customers. The next DEMO Traction will take place in Boston on September 16, 2015. Growth companies can apply to present, or those similarly obsessed can register here to attend.

Written by John Brandon13 June 15 05:22

Slack in the wild: Is the collaboration app a hit or a myth?

Slack is one of those rare business tools that comes along once in a while that shifts the technology landscape. In a nutshell, Slack is a team collaboration app that essentially turns email into a group effort, allowing users to create channels where discussions take place in public so everyone can participate. While Slack has some serious competition from apps like Convo and Circuit, it seems to be gaining the most momentum.

Written by John Brandon09 June 15 01:16