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Numbers, Volume 39

EAST Side Artists Studio Tour

While “we don’t do numbers” here at RedMonk, I come across many interesting numbers each week. Here are some:

The Obama Brand

Indeed everything Obama and his family touches turns to branding gold. J Crew saw its stock price increase 200% in the first six months of Obama’s presidency, thanks in part to Michelle’s well known fondness for the brand. Obama’s much-discussed attachment to his BlackBerry has been similarly good news for Research In Motion. The surest way to sell magazines and newspapers in these difficult times is to have an Obama on the cover, and you only need to call three ounces of vodka and some fruit juice an Obamapolitan or a Barackatini and you can get $15 for it, easy. In February 2009, Portfolio magazine put the size of “the Obama economy” – the tourism he generates and the swag he inspires – at $2.5bn. Not at all bad in an economic crisis. Rogers got into trouble with some of her colleagues when she spoke too frankly with The Wall Street Journal. “We have the best brand on earth: the Obama brand,” she said. “Our possibilities are endless.”

Email in the Cloud

Panasonic will abandon Microsoft Exchange and other on-premise technology in favor of IBM’s cloud-based LotusLive email and collaboration systems across worldwide operations. About 100,000 employees will be included in the initial migration, eventually expanding to more than 300,000 workers, partners, and suppliers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

You may remember that I’d gotten impressed with Lotus back at the IBM Software analyst shindig. This was one of the embargoed cases they shared with us that helped form that impression. Also, see Dave Rosenberg on the announcement.

Personal Life Interfering with Work

The survey of 1,800 American workers finds work interferes with family, social or leisure life at least sometimes for almost 50 percent of the participants

“People who are well-educated, professionals and those with job-related resources report that their work interferes with their personal lives more frequently, reflecting what we refer to as ‘the stress of higher status,'” said lead researcher Scott Schieman, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto. “While many benefits undoubtedly accrue to those in higher status positions and conditions, a downside is the greater likelihood of work interfering with personal life.”

Via @jay_hallberg who asked “What do the other half do?!?”

Central Texas Angel Investing

Uptown Sports

CTAN reported investing $3.5 million in 12 ventures — 10 in Austin — versus $1 million in nine deals during 2008. The largest sector of investment, life sciences, attracted 20 percent of the capital in 2009 compared with 12 percent the previous year….

Meanwhile, a lack of local competition among VCs has resulted in a more conservative approach to investing and increased the number of later-stage deals, leaving a void to be filled by angel investors and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

For example, during the first six months of 2009, the amount of venture capital raised by Central Texas companies declined nearly 60 percent to $172 million compared with $419.4 million by midyear 2008. Investments in local VC-backed companies declined 33 percent during the second quarter compared with the same period last year, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.

There seems to be this creeping sentiment in the Austin scene that we need a couple new VCs in the area. Often when talking with a tech-scenester, they seem to be nudge towards the idea that the current VC community isn’t doing it for them. I’m curious what other people are thinking and what the facts are: its easy to blame the gold-holders and there’s the continuing debate about Austin’s current ability to generate returns for VCs.

Private Money

Last year was just miserable for private equity fund-raising in the United States. Hitting its lowest point since 2003, private equity (including venture capital) fell 68 percent to $95.8 billion across 331 funds, down from $300 billion across 508 funds in 2008, according to Dow Jones LP Source.

Early 2010 Conference Attendee Numbers: CES

The 2010 Consumer Electronics Show appears to have bounced back some from a lackluster 2009 turnout, with a preliminary tally of more than 120,000 attendees in Las Vegas last week — up at least 6% from 113,085 a year earlier.

Forrester says “tech downturn of 2008 to 2009 is unofficially over”

The US IT market will grow by 6.6% in 2010 (twice the 3.1% growth in nominal GDP), following a drop of 8.2% in 2009. The global IT market will rise in 2010 by 8.1% in US dollars, and by 5.6% in local currencies. Growth will start slowly in 2010 but pick up steam later in the year, with computer equipment (especially PCs and storage) and software leading the way, and IT consulting services following.

Others thinking there’ll be a spending up-tick too, and check out the Q409 PC sales uptick. Intel says “consumer demand” is back.

And, check out Howard Rubin for some more nuance on context on IT spending this year.

Skinny Jeans Drive Mobile Sales

Trailer Katie

It’s not all about selling loaves of bread at Tesco. Oh no. They know exactly what they’re doing. Just take a look at the research they’ve been doing on their target audience. For instance, they found recently that 8 out of 10 women find it annoying to carry a handbag on a night out. (I find it annoying for those women — it’s hugely inefficient arsing around with a handbag, right?)

Further, as skinny jeans are becoming more and more fashionable, 69% of Brits — apparently — find it uncomfortable to squeeze a stupidly large mobile phone in their pocket.

Disclosure: IBM and Spiceworks are clients. See the RedMonk client list for other related clients.

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