That’s All Folks…

After more than 3,000 posts (and more than 2,000 daily email blasts), this is my final item for peHUB.

As you might imagine, leaving this brand behind was a very difficult decision. Inertia is a powerful magnet. So too was the thought of going solo, rather than marrying another corporate overlord. But I honestly feel that this is the right decision for me, and my gut is right 50.1% of the time.

You, dear readers, are the best part of my job (no matter my employer), so I hope we can stay in touch. My email address going forward is danielprimack@gmail.com. Or you can follow me on Twitter @danprimack. Don’t worry, this site will soldier on.

Finally, I owe lots of debts of gratitude for enabling me to have this extraordinary platform. But there are a few people, in particular, I’d like to thank:

peHUB First Read

* How to pronounce “potash”

* Jonathan Tower: The seed/micro-VC trend is a boom, not a bubble

* Ryan Singel: Google’s plan to allow phone calls via Gmail isn’t an attack on Skype. It’s an attack on Facebook.

* Morning Call: U.S. futures point higher, London rises early, European shares rebound and the Nikkei climbs.

* Chris Douvos: Party like it’s 1998

* The definitive Y Combinator Day debrief

* Will Michael Eisner become CEO of Tribune Co?

* David Barboza: Why TPG has joined the rush into yuan funds

* Is Barney Frank after Elizabeth Warren’s job? (even before she has it)

Deal or No Deal for DataDirect Networks

Last week there was an FTC filing that implied a pending transaction between Technology Crossover Ventures and DataDirect Networks, a Chatsworth, Calif.-based provider data storage solutions. These documents usually suggest that the transaction is virtually a done deal, with just a few I’s to dot and T’s to cross. But in might not be so this time.

What follows is part of a statement by DataDirect CEO Alex Bouzari, in reply to my request for comment on the prospective TCV investment:

In order to better serve our customers, DDN is evaluating several strategic initiatives, including potentially partnering with a financial institution. However, in light of the recent developments with 3Par, Dell and HP, we are carefully rethinking our options.

Bouzari added that DataDirect is profitable, and is “on track” to exceed $200 million in annual revenue.

Getting any statement from a “target” CEO is unusual, and this particular one goes out of its way to suggest that conditions have changed since DataDomain DataDirect first entered negotiations with TCV (which declined any comment). (Note: The previous sentence was corrected because the company was referred to by the wrong name. -Ed.)

Chip Off The Old Block? Jake Anderson Joins Sequoia

Jake Anderson has quietly joined Sequoia Capital, as a Silicon Valley partner associate focused on growth-stage investments in the healthcare sector. He previously spent two years as a senior manager with Cord Blood Registry, and before that was an associate with Pequot Capital.

Jake also has some serious VC lineage: His father is Howard Anderson, co-founder of Battery Ventures and current senior lecturer at MIT…

Andreessen Horowitz Seeks $650 Million for New Fund

When Andreessen Horowitz raised $300 million for its debut fund last year, I suggested that it was too much money. Actually, I said the original $250 million target was too large – particularly for a two-partner firm that said initial investment sizes would average around $500k.

And my argument still makes sense to me. At least in theory.

The reality, however, is that AH has already invested most of its stash — including a giant check for the Skype carve-out — and added staff. Moreover, Marc Andreessen has become even more influential in Silicon Valley, while Ben Horowitz has emerged from his famous partner’s shadow by penning one of the smartest VC blogs around. All of this adds up to AH becoming the hottest VC firm this side of Sequoia.

peHUB First Read

* The top ten zip codes for startups

* Beth Kowitt: Inside the secret world of Trader Joe’s

* How Steve Schwarzman passed (some of) the reins to Tony James

* Morning Call: U.S. futures point higher, London rises early, European shares fall and the Nikkei hits a 16-month low.

* Digital Chocolate files suit against Zynga

* Why General Catalyst invested in Rue La La

* Mark Cuban: The stock market is for suckers

* Daniel Alpert: Gleaning the bond market’s message

* The top three hottest new majors for a career in tech

* A recent secondary market trade valued Facebook at $33.7 billion

Data Point of the Day: Q3 Venture Investments

Venture capitalists have invested nearly $2.44 billion into 263 U.S.-based companies so far this quarter, according to Thomson Reuters. This compares to $2.56 billion raised by 365 U.S.-based companies during the same time period in 2009.

So fewer companies, but larger rounds. Seems at odds with the seed-stage boom we keep hearing about. Maybe that’s because TR doesn’t record angel deals. Or maybe it’s because the bulk of VC investment is in sectors other than consumer Internet, even though Foursquare, etc. suck up all the blog oxygen…

peHUB First Read

* How big companies can stop the brain drain

* Richard Florida: Where the next decade’s service jobs will be

* SVNGR founder Seth Priebatsch, after the lunch of Facebook Places: “I’m the only person in location who’s happy today.”

* Morning Call: U.S. futures point lower, London falls early, European shares retreat and the Nikkei hits a 15-month low.

* As the GOME turns…

* EA under fire, as new war game lets you play as The Taliban

* Lena Komileva: LIBOR volatility is the price of disrupted credit

* Josh Barrow: New Jersey’s pension misdeeds are real, but not unusual

CalPERS “Travelgate” — That’s Not The Ticket

For the past year, CalPERS has been dogged by scandals related to its private equity investments. And most of it has been deserved, as the pension giant allegedly became a revolving door for ex-staffers seeking to make millions off their past service.

Unfortunately, there can be a downside to the exposition of public corruption: Well-intentioned journalists sometimes confuse the appearance of impropriety with actual impropriety.

Such was the case last week, when the Los Angeles Times published a story about how “CalPERS investment staff receive luxury travel, gifts from financial firms.” At issue were between 10 and 12 private jet trips taken by Joncarlo Mark, a CalPERS senior investment officer for alternatives, prior to 2008. He also was accused of failing to disclose several gifts in excess of $50, including two meals, some candy and assorted tschotchkes.

peHUB First Read

* How Wall Streeters beat drug tests

* Tony Jackson: GM is just a hedge fund in disguise

* Fred Wilson is worried about the expanding birthrate of web startups. This may be an argument for the creation of more firms focused on “B” rounds.

* Morning Call: U.S. futures point higher, London rises early, European shares climb and the Nikkei edges lower.

* Bob Metcalfe’s original ethernet sketch (circa 1972)

* Junk bond volume keeps rising while yields keep falling

* Andrew Rice: “Are Barnes & Noble founder Len Riggio and his nemesis Ron Burkle the only people in America who still want to own a mega-bookstore?”

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