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Data Sheet—Friday, December 11, 2015

December 11, 2015, 1:33 PM UTC

In 2011, I wrote an article in Fortune called “Inside Apple” that explained the business processes of the iconic company. John Korpics, then Fortune’s art director, got it in his head that we should publish an organizational chart of Apple’s management, a tough task because Apple itself didn’t produce one. The org chart became one of the most talked about features of my article. Without Korpics, I never would have created the chart on my own. He was one of several people who made invaluable contributions to an article with my name on it.

I thought of this happy episode while pondering the successful IPO of Atlassian, the Australian collaboration software company. It raised $437 million Wednesday (after paying its bankers) by offering shares to the public at $21. The stock, whose ticker is TEAM, jumped another 33% to almost $28 on its first day of trading.

Atlassian is all about teamwork. Its IPO prospectus waxes eloquent on why. “We believe human advancement has always been driven by teamwork—from the great explorations of earth and space to innovations in industry, medicine, music and technology,” the company writes. “And while it’s common to celebrate the individual genius behind a breakthrough idea, in nearly every case there is a team of unsung heroes that actually get the work done.”

Atlassian, whose revenues are growing rapidly and profitably, is benefiting from the software-changes-everything movement. It believes its special sauce is that software developers can use Atlassian’s products to communicate with non-developers on their team. The company has five slogans that illustrate its corporate culture. I’ll leave you with them as you think today about how much your team means to you:

* Open Company, No Bullsh*t

* Build with Heart and Balance

* Don’t #@!% the Customer

* Play, as a Team

* Be the Change You Seek

Adam Lashinsky


Facebook joins tech giants in sharing artificial intelligence technology. The social network is contributing the design for Big Sur, the computer server that runs its powerful image recognition software, to the Open Compute Foundation so others can emulate it. Big Sur runs twice as fast as Facebook's other servers, necessary for processing these sorts of applications. Google, IBM, and Microsoft have all shared portions of their AI technology with the open source community over the past two months. (Fortune, MIT Technology Review)

While we're on the subject of smart machines. Researchers are touting an alternate way of teaching computers to act on their own. Most machine learning systems use neural networks, a system by which computers are "trained" to recognize patterns by being shown lots of examples. An alternative approach, called Bayesian Programming Language, doesn't require as much prompting, which helps machines "learn" concepts more quickly. (New York Times)

Could this cloud service be a breakthrough for diabetes treatment? IBM's Watson Health division is teaming up with global healthcare company Novo Nordisk for a "virtual doctor" service that would advise patients about insulin dosages based on data they submit about blood sugar levels. IBM's platform has been used for cancer research since 2012. However, this new partnership could reach a far larger number of people. (Wall Street Journal)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer delivers twin daughters. The birth came just one day after she disclosed Yahoo's decision not to spin off its massive stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. She intends to take only a small portion of the eight-week maternity leave to which she is entitled. (New York Times)

Adobe beats expectations. The $1.3 billion design software company signed up more subscribers for its Creative Cloud service than anticipated during its fourth quarter. More than half of them use the highest-price version, which translated into a big year-over-year boost for Adobe's net income. (Reuters)

Twitter talks up ads for “logged out” users. Twitter officially has 320 million active monthly users but estimates another 500 million people regularly view videos and commentary posted on the social network without actually logging in. Now, it’s testing new ways to help advertisers reach that audience. (Wall Street Journal)


How Coupa helps Fortune 500 companies control spending. Does your company pay the best possible price for business supplies or corporate travel? Or could it negotiate a better deal?

Most procurement teams can’t answer that question quickly. That’s something that nine-year-old Coupa wants to help with, although it must unseat two much larger software companies to succeed.

So far, the e-procurement specialist has helped customers slash spending by more than $1 billion. Some of Coupa’s users, typically finance teams, are replacing old software that hasn’t been updated for years. Others are embracing it as an alternative to homegrown systems. Fortune contributor Heather Clancy reports on why Coupa is winning against online platforms SAP and Oracle. (Fortune)



Atlassian sizzles in year's last tech IPO by Heather Clancy

Ford adds another $4.5 billion to its electric car ambitions
by Kirsten Korosec

Why Fitbit is still winning wearables by Sarah Silbert

Will you pay for 'TV' in 2018? This study says 1 in 5 will not
by Jeff John Roberts

Why software engineers shouldn't move to San Francisco by Claire Groden

How IBM is going to help pregnant women by Laura Lorenzetti

How Stanford plans to prevent drones from colliding by Jonathan Vanian

Electric car startup plans a $1 billion factory in Tesla's backyard
by Kirsten Korosec

Why this new VC is focused solely on VR and AR by John Gaudiosi





Google moves to the head of the class. Chromebooks accounted for 78% of the personal computers sold into American classrooms last quarter. That peeves Apple CEO Tim Cook, who wants a bigger piece. (Fortune)


CES: The big show for consumer technology. (Jan. 6 - 9; Las Vegas)

Google Ubiquitous Computing Summit: Platforms and protocols for wearables, home automation, and the Internet of things. (Jan. 11 - 12; San Francisco area)

Connect: IBM's social business and digital experience event. (Jan. 31 - Feb. 3; Orlando, Florida)

IBM InterConnect: Cloud and mobile issues. (Feb. 21 - 25; Las Vegas)

Enterprise Connect: Communications and collaboration trends. (March 7 - 10; Orlando, Florida)

Microsoft Build: Microsoft's premier developer conference. (March 30 - April 1; San Francisco)

Microsoft Convergence: Where business meets possibility. (April 4 - 7; New Orleans)

EMC World: What's next for digital business. (May 2 - 5; Las Vegas)

Fortune Brainstorm E: The intersection of technology, energy, and sustainable business. (May 16 - 17; Carlsbad, California)

SAPPHIRE Now: SAP's annual conference. (May 17 - 19; Orlando, Florida)

Fortune Brainstorm Tech: The world's top tech and media thinkers, operators, entrepreneurs, innovators, and influencers. (July 11 - 13; Aspen, Colorado)

Microsoft Ignite: Product roadmaps and innovation. (Sept. 26 - 30; Atlanta)

OracleWorld. The future of the cloud is now. (Sept. 18 - 22, San Francisco)

Dreamforce: The Salesforce ecosystem gathers. (Oct. 4 - 7; San Francisco)


This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy: