The Skinny

The Skinny

WRAL TechWire Publisher and Editor Rick Smith dishes out tidbits from the local technology sector. Read the latest articles…

Updated May 1

Premium Lock Monica Doss, first lady of entrepreneurship in NC

No one knows entrepreneurs better than fellow entrepreneurs, so the compliment paid Monica Doss by Doug Speight, a CODEO2040 entrepreneur-in-residence in Durham, after she was named to WRAL TechWire's Hall of Fame last week bears repeating: "Monica Doss is mentor to a whole generation of founders and entrepreneurial support organizations. The Hall of Fame is a well-deserved honor." In the first of a two-part Q&A, Doss talks entrepreneurship, the CED and much, much more.

Monica Doss Monica Doss

May 1

Remembering Mark Binker, a true insider whose insight made WTW better

Mark Binker's primary beat for was politics but to WRAL TechWire readers he was someone who helped make the issues such as crowdfunding and economic development much more understandable. To The Skinny, he also was someone who always made time to help.

Mark Binker at the U.S. Supreme Court Mark Binker at the U.S. Supreme Court

Updated April 28

Premium Lock Venessa Harrison: The journey from operator to president AT&T North Carolina

Born in Raleigh to a family that included 10 children, Venessa Harrison rose through the corporate ranks at AT&T to become president of the communication giant's operations in North Carolina. A champion for her native state, she pushed for early deployment of AT&T fiber, helped land the North Carolina Next Generation Network, and now is pushing broadband access for all communities in the firm's service area. For her efforts, Harrison is one of the first five people named to WRAL TechWire's Hall of Fame. Here's an in-depth Q&A about her life, career, memories and challenges.

Updated April 28

Score one for RTP: CEO explains why he bolted Silicon Valley for Triangle

Cindy Whitehead, the CEO who sold Sprout Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion, is now an unofficial ambassador for the Triangle. She tells people: "Move here!" citing many reasons (quality of life, talent, cost of living.) The Skinny and Whitehead were discussing why RTP is such a hot spot for tech startups and we happened to discuss "Map My Customers," which recently bolted the Valley for RTP. And guess what - Matthew Sniff has posted at LinkedIn why he came to Carolina, citing many reasons Whitehead stresses in her pitches. Here's more.

The Triangle attraction The Triangle attraction

Updated April 27

Premium Lock Dr. James Goodnight, part 2: Advice on overcoming adversity, his proudest SAS memories, and the Triangle's bright future

For all the success Dr. James Goodnight has had in building SAS into a global $3B-plus company, he's also had to overcome adversity (Midway Airlines, a video game startup). So how should people deal with their own setbacks? In the second part of our Q&A, he also offers advice to entrepreneurs about startups, his proudest achievements, and his recommendations on how to keep the Triangle great.

Updated April 27

NC Biz Wire, PACES team, Google Fiber advocate land WRAL TechWire Editor's Choice Awards

A UNC-Chapel Hill team of aspiring business journalists led by a veteran reporter and editor, three of the people who are among the major reasons why crowdfunding is now the law in North Carolina, and a pointman for Google Fiber's efforts to bring broadband to underserved communities are the recipients of WRAL TechWire's Editor Choice Awards.

Snapping Editor's Choice Awards winners Snapping Editor's Choice Awards winners

Updated April 27

TechWire Awards go to six individual, six corporate Triangle tech, life science leaders

Startups, entrepreneurs, executives, investors and several of the Triangle's top tech and life science companies share the spotlight, taking home 12 awards at the fifth WRAL TechWire Awards. Plus, the first five members of TechWire's Hall of Fame are honored as are several Editor's Choice Award recipients.

Republic's Chris Chuang is a happy winner Republic's Chris Chuang is a happy winner

Updated April 27

Premium Lock Dr. James Goodnight: From moment of inspiration to building SAS, a global software powerhouse

In the second of our interviews featuring WRAL TechWire's first five Hall of Fame selections, Dr. James Goodnight, co-founder and CEO of Cary-based SAS, talks about the inspiration to create a company, what factors enabled the company's success, and much more.

Updated April 25

With all tickets gone, TechWire Awards to be streamed live at

All the tickets are gone for WRAL TechWire's fifth awards program on Tuesday night, so the event is going to be streamed live by our sister web site However, if you want to attend you can sign up on our waiting list.

WRAL TechWire Awards 2017 WRAL TechWire Awards 2017

Updated April 25

Premium Lock As Scot Wingo's new gig Spiffy lands extra $2.5M, he 'loves' being back with a startup

After launching ecommerce services provider ChannelAdivosr (one of the first) in 2001 to becoming an angel investor and much more, Scot Wingo recently returned full-time to the startup world as chair and CEO of fast-growing startup Spiffy. Wingo wasn't sure about the idea but now says he "loves" the venture - and he's got an extra $2.5 million to invest. Plus: Bull City Ventures explains why it's in on the Spiffy play.

Scot Wingo speaks out  Scot Wingo speaks out

Updated April 24

Premium Lock Dr. Charles Hamner: A creator of NC's life science industry

He's been called the "biofather" of North Carolina's growing life science industry, and Dr. Charles Hamner is among the first five people selected for WRAL TechWire's Hall of Fame. The former head of the N.C. Biotechnology Center and long a champion of North Carolina, Hamner talks about his distinguished career, achievements and disappointments in an exclusive Q&A.

Dr. Charles Hamnerwon with oen of his WTW engineer caps Dr. Charles Hamnerwon with oen of his WTW engineer caps

Updated April 27

Premium Lock First WRAL TechWire Hall of Famers: Five pillars of NC's tech success

The first five recipients of WRAL TechWire's Hall of Fame honors for lifetime achievement are well-known contributors to the growing, evolving success of North Carolina's high tech, life science and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

April 21

Premium Lock Why Red Hat's new CFO left IBM - and what he likes better

Eric Shander enjoyed working at IBM where he was following in his father's footsteps. But having lived in Raleigh since 1998, he was ready to become a Hatter after reading a book by Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst. In the second part of our Q&A, Shander talks about his feelings for both companies, as well as Lenovo.

Red Hat's tower in Raleigh Red Hat's tower in Raleigh

Tags: Red Hat, IBM
Updated April 21

Premium Lock Eric Shander's journey: From IBM to Red Hat, chief accounting officer to CFO

Eric Shander is getting a boatload of new responsibilities and a much higher profile as well as a $65,000 pay bump as he moves to Red Hat's chief financial officer from chief accounting officer. In an in-depth Q&A, Shander talks about his new job and the road tour with CEO Jim Whitehurst that helped lead to his promotion - as well as opened his eyes to the new world of investor relations. Plus: Read his full bio.

Eric Shander  Eric Shander

Tags: Red Hat, IBM
Updated April 20

Premium Lock Datathon at Duke offers big talent recruiting opportunity, says former Red Hat exec

A datathon taking place at Duke on Friday offers a significant recruiting opportunity for Citadel, a $26 billion hedge fund, and Citadel Securities, says the former Red Hat executive L.J. Brock who is chief people officer at Citadel. He explains the event and what the firms are looking for in an exclusive interview. (Plus, Brock discusses his favorite Red Hat memories.)

L.J. Brock L.J. Brock

April 20

Premium Lock 'Life is more than self'- The driver for 2017 WRAL TechWire awards

WRAL TechWire Awards 2017 In picking the first five members of WRAL TechWire's virtual Hall of Fame and the recipients of this year's Editor's Choice Awards, one theme dominated the selections: "Life is more than self."

Updated April 18

Premium Lock SEC's big 'fake news' crackdown shows a major threat to readers, investors

Bullish     The SEC broke major ground last week in a crackdown on "fake news," taking action against 27 web sites and individuals for publishing stories "touting company stocks" that were produced by writers "secretly compensated" to boost the shares. This is "fake news" with real consequences, and you as a reader need to be wary.

Updated April 12

Premium Lock Falling US sales help tumble Lenovo from No. 1 PC sales ranking

Lenovo has lost its four-year-hold on the world's top PC seller mantle, according to a new report. And a significant slowdown in U.S. sales, which have been a bright spot for the tech giant, is a major reason. Overall, PC sales show their first increase in five years.

HP takes No. 1 spot from Lenovo HP takes No. 1 spot from Lenovo

Updated April 11

Premium Lock Lenovo topples Apple as No. 1 in Laptop Magazine rankings

Lenovo is the top brand for laptops in the annual rankings from Laptop Magazine, replacing Apple which has held the top spot since the tech news publication began rating portable computers in 2010. Lenovo's machines received a perfect "10" for innovation.

Laptop Magazine ranks Lenovo. No. 1 Laptop Magazine ranks Lenovo. No. 1

Updated April 11

Premium Lock Pray Facebook's new AI Messenger (M) is better than auto correct

The gremlins that infect "auto correct" are one royal pain for people who text in a hurry. Now Facebook is promising a smarter messaging app with an update to Messenger. Called "M," it's an artificial intelligence powered solution. Let's pray it's truly smart.

Facebook's M Facebook's M