RentJuice, Facebook-Skype, and Lean Startups: The 1-Minute Version of Last Week’s Bay Area BizTech News

Time for a few highlights from Xconomy San Francisco’s infotech and energy coverage during the short post-holiday week:

—If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Lean Startup,” you’ve probably also heard of Eric Ries, who invented much of the customer-focused rapid iteration model while he was IMVU’s chief technology officer. Last week I sat down with Ries for a long conversation about the origins and ramifications of the lean startup theory; we published both the full 11,500-word transcript of the interview and an edited summary that’s about one-third as long.

—Facebook announced that it will integrate Skype video calling features into its social networking site. Turns out that much of the integration work was performed from Facebook’s burgeoning Seattle office, as my colleague Curt Woodward reported.

—We profiled RentJuice, a San Francisco startup trying to bring real estate brokers and landlords into the 21st century. The startup offers a Web-based “virtual rental office” designed to help real estate brokers and landlords manage inventory, advertising, appointments, leasing paperwork, and the like.

—My Friday column focused on iCloud, the cloud-based synchronization system that Apple says it will introduce this fall. I expressed my hope that iCloud will finally kill off (or at least drastically reduce the role of) iTunes, the crufty, clunky program that owners of Apple devices must currently use to keep their gadgets in sync.

—In acquisitions news, eBay bought ZongTwitter bought BackType, FashionStake bought Moxsie.

—In funding news, Summit Microelectronics raised $3.3 million, Nvelo raised $6.6 million, Solar City raised $20 million, Tapjoy raised $30 million, Piazza raised $1.5 million, Motif Investing raised $6 million, and Amazon invested an undisclosed sum in ParAccel.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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