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Private Equity Funcast

The PE Funcast is a weekly show featuring Devin Mathews and Jim Milbery -- partners at ParkerGale Capital. We discuss all things related to privately-owned middle market technology companies -- the kind of great businesses that are outside the sphere of venture capital.
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Now displaying: Category: Technology
Sep 6, 2016

Jim and Alan spend an hour arguing about whether you should consider bolting an
application programming interface onto older applications as a path to modernizing them. The conversation meanders into a brief history of application-programming-interfaces without getting too nitty-gritty -- suitable listening for Founders, CEOs and technologists.

Aug 1, 2016

We recently had to find a home for a legacy client/server accounting application, running in a location that was far, far away.  The software came to us through an acquisition of another company.   Our ultimate goal is to migrate the parent and child to a single, unified cloud-based application.  In the near term, however, we needed to allow the remote team to access the software as per usual, right alongside the finance team back at headquarters. And, we needed to insure that the software was backed up properly and secure.   The solution turned out to be Amazon's WorkSpaces product.

Jul 26, 2016

Jim and Alan talk in detail about the Valley of Anguish and how to survive it.   All large projects (ERP implementations, software re-writes, data center moves) start out with heady expectations and hardy enthusiasm.   Inevitably, as your teams start tackling the stickier issues they slide down into the Valley of Anguish -- all willing to abandon the project and go back to doing things the old way.   As operating partners, we've had tons of experience in the valley -- and can help you and your teams survive and thrive -- and come out the other end of the project with smiles on their faces.   Also, we talk about Alan's really bad hat.

Jun 3, 2016

Alan and Jim discuss DevOps -- the intersection of software development and managing the deployment and operations of software.  We provide a simple layman's definition of DevOps and then address common misconceptions and fears.   It's not fatal if you are not doing state-of-the-art DevOps or you haven't completed automated the build and deploy process.   Instead, we given you a simple set of suggestions for getting simplified DevOps in place in order to limit system downtime and speed up re-starts.

Apr 15, 2016

Alan and Jim spend some time talking about tracking events and errors in application software logs.   Most  companies are at least monitoring their web logs and database error logs these days -- but we'd argue that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  With easy access to cloud platforms, cheap computer cycles and disk storage the time is right to up the ante.   Capturing user traffic and events at all layers of your application stack can pay big dividends in customer satisfaction, software performance and system reliability. 

Mar 24, 2016

Jim and Alan spend some quality time talking about the most common technology challenges that we uncover when we acquire a founder owned technology company. This is not a criticism of how these companies are run, but rather a testimony to how much a small team is able to accomplish when they put their minds to it. Given that we buy smaller companies that we end up selling to larger companies -- these are the most technology issues that we need to address during our ownership period. We both have a pragmatic view of how difficult it is to keep all of these systems/processes up to date -- we don't let good become the enemy of great.

Mar 11, 2016

Alan and Jim spend some quality time talking about the Shiny New Toy problem (SNTS) in software development.   The tendency for software teams to pin their hopes and dreams on leading edge technology that will solve all of their problems -- easier, faster better.  We discuss the problem in detail and offer non-technical founders strategies for dealing with SNTS.

Mar 4, 2016

Jim and Alan spend a fast hour talking about technical debt.   It's everything that a CEO/CFO/COO or Founder needs to know about technical debt -- and how to start paying it down.   What causes technical debt?  Is technical debt the result of a bad development team?  Is it possible to develop a software platform without incurring technical debt?  Is the solution to technical debt a complete platform rewrite or can you pay it down without "dry docking the boat"?  These are just a few of the questions that we answer on today's show.

Feb 23, 2016

Jim and Alan talk about the Cloud.   Private clouds versus public clouds.  Should you ditch your own server room and move everything to the Cloud?  Start small and build ... or go "all in" on the Cloud.   Can you control performance and scaling in the Cloud?  Relational databases or NoSQL in the Cloud.  In case that's not clear at this point, we'll be talking about the Cloud on this week's podcast.  Plus, West Wing, NYPD Blue, Kelly's Heroes.  Kiefer and Donald Sutherland in Foresaken.   Take a pass on "Assassin".   Spoiler alert: We're both passing on the trifecta of remakes; Point Break, Roadhouse and Ghostbusters.

Feb 12, 2016

Jim and Alan discuss the history and details of exchanging data between companies and applications.  Email might be the easiest and quickest technique, but find out what it's not very secure or reliable.  Learn about the differences between FTP (not very secure) and SFTP (pretty darn secure) and whether DropBox, Box or Amazon's S3 is a reasonable option.   Finally, we end up chatting about Web Services as the modern developer's tool for exchanging data securely, reliably and in Goldilocks sizes (hint: Just Right).  Shout outs to Dropbox, Box, Amazon and HighJump.  Plus Jim goes one for three in Alan's movie quiz.

Jan 29, 2016

Jim talks with Alan, Simon and Tiago about the myth of the full stack developer.   Alan plays the role of the database and webservices architect. Simon is the user interface and client-side maven and Tiago is our resident network, security and back-end guru.  We ask the key questions -- can any single developer master EVERY layer of the software stack?  Should a CEO or Engineering manager expect his/her developers to be knowledgeable about every piece of software?  We also learn that Alan hates art and white wine, but likes red wine. Plus shout outs to the Back to the Future trilogy, Poland, La Sardine in the West Loop and Ocean's Eleven.

Jan 21, 2016

Jim and Alan talk about the technology trends for 2016.   What's on the rise?  What technology is falling out of favor?  What will be the most hyped technology in 2016?  Jim asks the questions and Alan answers them on this latest episode of America's favorite technology-oriented, private-equity-themed, weekly podcast.  It's IoT, Elastic Search, MongoDB, RavenDB, Java, Cassandra, Hadoop, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, PostgreSQL, jQuery, Angular, Amazon RDS and even the Apple Watch! Plus, shout out for Carson McCullers "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter"

Jan 14, 2016

Jim spends a fast hour talking with the Developertown crew about all things mobile.  Should you develop native iOS and Android applications?   Is it better to standardize on responsive HTML5 solutions?   PhoneGap vs. Xamarin?   These are just a few of the questions that we discuss, plus, shout-outs to Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks and Angela Lansbury.   Also, we talk about the Roomba (spoiler alert ... it's awesome).

Oct 23, 2015

Jim spends an hour with Developertown's Michael Kelly and Aaron Lerch talking about Ruby on Rails -- why Jim hates it and why they love it.

Sep 11, 2015

Alan and Jim talk about the ins and outs of making applications run faster and scale to handle lots of users.  We compare the two choices for scaling applications: Vertical scaling (adding more resources to existing machines), versus Horizontal scaling (spreading the load across multiple machines).  We also discuss Amazon's AWS and EC2 platforms versus Microsoft Azure.

Aug 31, 2015

Devin and Jim catalog all of the software that the ParkerGale team has been using on a daily basis over the past year.  We discuss the pros and cons of each, and tell you which apps have been moved to the trash bin.

Jul 24, 2015

Jim talks in detail with Grant Hunter about the Product Manager role in middle market companies.

Jul 16, 2015

A gentle introduction to product management with Grant Hunter.

Jun 22, 2015

Jim talks with Evan Delaney about his trip to Apple's World Wide Developer Conference in SF.

Jun 12, 2015

Devin and Jim talk about the role of leveraging microservices development in middle market companies, mixing classic development with microservices -- with proper shout outs to Martin Fowler, Conway's Law and a small sidebar into Game of Thrones.

May 29, 2015

Jim talks about the role of the outside board member with Syapse CEO/Co-Founder and Emerson Street Partners founder Glenn Winokur.

May 15, 2015

Jim and Devin talk about Agile, SCRUM and our experiences with various engineering project management schemes.

Apr 28, 2015

Jim chats with Evan Delaney about the out-of-the-box experience with the Apple Watch as the first batch gets delivered.

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