The Verizon Guy returns

Tom Paine

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Somewhere a while back I had a conversation with a reasonably informed person about Flo, the Progressive spokesperson.

The question was what would happen when Progressive was through with Flo, since (A) her marketability as an ad personality for other brands might be limited in the future and (B) Progressive might want to keep her out of other ads, particularly a competetitor's.

And that other person suggested that Verizon might have given the Verizon Guy some type of long-term buyout with a non-compete to keep him off the airwaves (or fiber or coax or whatever).

Apparently NOT.

The Verizon Guy, Paul Marcarelli, has returned with a vengeance, only this time he's employed by ....Sprint.

Sunday Highlights: Analytical Graphics, Birchbox

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Salesforce's data centre team 'fought' AWS cloud outsourcing (The Register)

Google's Nest may become a different kind of IoT company after CEO Fadell leaves (PCWorld)

Planetary Resources Raises $21.1 Million In Series A Funding; Unveils Advanced Earth Observation Capability (SpaceRef)
Analytical Graphics of Exton is one of several partners to this startup which seeks to identify and eventually mine valuable mineral-laden asteriods in space.

Update: Planetary Resources is now focused on using satellites equipped with its thermal infrared and hyperspectral sensors to record images of crop formations on earth, containing enough detail to improve crop productivity. Some big names in addition to AGI are partners.

Analytical Graphics has over 900 employees on LinkedIn (doesn't necessarily mean it has that many), of which about 170 are based in the Philly area.

Retail analytics: Big and Getting Bigger (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Birchbox Finds Cute Boxes Filled With Makeup Aren't Enough (Bloomberg)
Birchbox, backed early by First Round Capital, has been a big trendsetting hit, but still hasn't reached profitabiliy. So one of the things its trying is the old retail concept of brick and mortar.

Birchbox, which has raised more than $70 million to date, laid off 15% of its staff in January.

First Round Capital made Birchbox cofounder and former co-CEO Hayley Barna a venture partner early this year.

For all things and all seasons, a subscription box (CNBC)
BirchBox started the trend.

The rise of SDDC and the future of enterprise IT (ZDNet)