Today in Tech: Why Amazon’s Jeff Bezos cares about his stock

February 4, 2013, 9:30 AM UTC

Also: A look at Samsung’s $15 million Super Bowl commercial. 

Actors Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen in Samsung’s Super Bowl commercial.

Samsung’s $15 million Super Bowl commercial arrives early [THE VERGE]

The Wall Street Journal estimates that a single 30-second Super Bowl spot sells for about $3.8 million, up from $3.5 million last year. That makes this commercial worth about $15.2 million to CBS Corp’s CBS network. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the ad is for the Samsung Galaxy brand — the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy Note 10.1 do make cameo appearances but come off as mere product placements in a humorous Rogen-Rudd production.

Why Jeff Bezos cares about his share price [REUTERS]

That said, while “rising” is always good, in terms of the share price, “stratospheric” is less so. If you’re Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, handing out RSUs, it’s pretty hard to make the case that you have a huge amount of upside — just because the share price is already so expensive, and your company is already so fully valued. At Apple, by contrast, the upside is still enormous, and if the team continues to deliver amazing growth figures, then the share price will eventually rise a very great deal.

Once BlackBerry focused, a campus widens its view [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

Increasingly, graduates are following the lead of Mike Lazaridis, who nearly 30 years ago helped found BlackBerry, and creating start-ups of their own like Pebble, the smartwatch company founded by a University of Waterloo grad, and BufferBox, a parcel delivery system recently acquired by Google.

Because of that, the consequences of the recent layoffs of 5,000 employees at BlackBerry are nearly invisible here in the company’s home city or its immediate neighbor, Kitchener.

If in doubt, innovate [THE ECONOMIST]

As a result, Finland has become much more market- and entrepreneur-friendly. It has produced an impressive number of start-ups, including 300 founded by former Nokia employees. Microtask outsources office work. Zen Robotics specialises in automating recycling. Valkee makes a device that lifts wintry dark moods by shooting bright light into the ear canal. The country has also acquired the paraphernalia of a tech cluster, such as a celebratory blog (Arctic Startup) and a valley-related name (Arctic Valley). The fashionable argument now is that Nokia’s decline is “the best thing that ever happened to this country”.

The big money behind hit game Minecraft [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

This has proved very good business for Mojang, located on a side street in Stockholm. Last year the company made about $90 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization on revenue of $235 million, according to people familiar with the matter and since confirmed by the company.

By comparison, Zynga is expected to bring in Ebitda in the range of $152 million to $162 million on revenue of $1.09 billion to $1.1 billion, according to its last earnings release. Minecraft started under the guidance of 33-year-old Markus Persson, who as a single developer began selling the game on the Internet.

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