YouTube will contribute to valley’s allure — Two years ago, Google’s buzz, even before its IPO, gave entrepreneurs like Tribe’s founder Mark Pincus inspiration to dream up the social networking revolution. YouTube’s grand sale will also inspire a new wave of entrepreneurs, no doubt. The WSJ has a timely piece — written before YouTube’s sale was announced — about the entrepreneurs still coming to Silicon Valley.
There’s Matt Sanchez, co-founder of video company VideoEgg, who found he was spending more time in Silicon Valley than his home in New Haven, so packed a 12-foot U-Haul van with his servers and other junk, and moved out here. It has paid off. His team of four have since landed venture money, hired 22 more people, and signed lots of deals with Web sites, most of them within an hour’s drive. “There’s a unique set of resources in Silicon Valley that don’t exist in other places,” Sanchez, 25, told the Journal. And then there’s Metacafe, the Israeli video site, which just opened a Palo Alto office, and plans to hire 12 people by the end of the year.
How things change. We still remember the NYT trying to compare Silicon Valley with Detroit, back when it was fashionable to bash this place — and th was as recent as early 2005!
MySpace cleared — The suit filed by Brad Greenspan, the former chief executive of MySpace, against the popular social networking site, has been dismissed.
MeeVee’s logo sign — Meevee, the personal TV and entertainment guide company, is going to some lengths to build branding, putting up a large logo on its building and filming it, reminding some of the bubble era. It has raised $20 million in venture capital.
Microsoft offers mobile ads too –Google and Yahoo offer sponsored ads besides search results on your mobile phone. Now Microsoft has joined them, but offering click-to-call technology too — which is where you see an ad, click on it, and your phone dials the advertiser.
Google and Zoho gunning for online office software leadership — We’ll be moderating a panel tomorrow at the Office 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. We recently wrote about Zoho’s impressive product release schedule, apparently an effort to steal the thunder from Google. Zoho has now incorporated its array of software, including a new calendar and a new email feature, under one roof called Zoho Virtual Office. Meanwhile, Google does its own integration, linking up Writely and Spreadsheets with Docs & Spreadsheets.
Tellme Networks making headway in voice recognition — Speaking of the competition in mobile search, Tellme has been around a long time as a private company, based in Mountain View, and is getting a second wind. Back during the Internet bubble days, it was laying off workers. Now that voice recognition has become hot, it has just signed a deal with Cingular Wireless to offer a 411 information service that will allow Internet searches too. It is now handling more than two billion directory calls a year, 74 percent of which are done without human intervention, according to the NYT.
Netflix’s recommendation technology beat within a week — Netflix, the popular DVD site, offered a prize to anyone who beat its recommendation algorithm. Within a week, a team from WXYZConsulting.com in Los Gatos beat Netflix. The team is led by data mining engineering professor named Yi Zhang, of UC Santa Cruz (pictured here).
Sequoia Capital is almost out of Google — We’ve mentioned venture firm Sequoia’s various conflicts and interests related to its backing of Google. But lately, the venture capital firm’s holdings in Google have dwindled to about 0.1%, according to a filing in April by the SEC. That leaves it with 412,823 shares, worth less than $200 million.