Meltwater Group is 10 years old, and has been almost entirely self-funded. Lyseggen started the company in Oslo with $15,000 of his own money and has been growing it through revenues ever since. The company now employs 900 people, is headquartered in San Francisco and will post $114 million in revenues in 2011, Lyseggen told me recently.
Lyseggen himself is a bit of an unusual character: A Korean-born adoptee with a ready smile, he grew up on a farm in Norway and speaks with a Norwegian accent. He enjoys salmon fishing in his hometown fjords and reading Viking sagas, according to his company’s website, but he also knows how to work a crowd and has obviously inspired his workforce with a charismatic vision of what Meltwater’s culture is all about.
Meltwater has never taken venture capital. That makes it an anomaly among tech firms in Silicon Valley. If Lyseggen succeeds in reaching a billion dollars in revenues, he’ll have done something very few have accomplished. SAS Institute, HP and Best Buy appear to be the only modern tech companies to have reached this milestone unaided by VC investments.
It probably hates you, too.
The breaking point came today when I tried to use my phone to Google the word “Edsel.” Instead of delivering the answer, my phone — a cheap LG model from Virgin Mobile — spontaneously rebooted itself.
I wasn’t exactly surprised, since my phone has a tendency to reboot without warning at least once a day. The irony didn’t escape me, however.
This column starts with the $3.4 billion acquisition of SuccessFactors by SAP, ties together “the cloud” with mobile computing, throws in a dash of futurism and somehow winds up with a reference to Glee.
Want to give your CEO an iPad? You probably also need web-based applications so she can do something with the tablet besides play Infinity Blade II. And that’s where the cloud comes in.
Of course, it helps that our mobile devices have unheard-of amounts of computing power. As Michio Kaku wrote in his book, Physics of the Future, a musical greeting card has more computational power in its tiny, disposable chip than all of the Allied forces commanded in 1945. A cellphone has more processing power than NASA had in 1969, and the PlayStation 3, which costs $300, has computing power comparable to a multi-million-dollar military supercomputer in 1997.
Kaku’s book came out in March, so those analogies are probably already obsolete by now.
“The old paradigm (a single chip inside a desktop computer or laptop connected to a computer) is being replaced by a new paradigm (thousands of chips scattered inside every artifact, such as furniture, appliances, pictures, walls, cars and clothes, all talking to one another and connected to the Internet,” Kaku wrote. “The destiny of computers is to become invisible.”
Read the whole thing: Dylan’s Desk: Pick up the phone now! Supercomputers are standing by | VentureBeat.