Friday, September 30, 2005

Location, Location, Location: "I'm beginning to suspect that another casualty of the dotcom bubble, location-based services, are about to make a big comeback. This is another topic I wrote about five years ago in Release 1.0, but the market was clearly ahead of itself back then. Now, though, things are different." —Kevin Werbach

Futurists are never wrong, they're just early.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

WebMD Stock Rises Rapidly After IPO: "WebMD, the health information spinoff from the original WebMD (the other company is now called Emdeon) debuted its IPO today and its stock rose as much as 71 percent in its first day of trading. It opened for trading at $19.80, up from its $17.50 IPO price, then rose rapidly, hitting a high of $30 a share. WebMD drew strong investor interest despite its poor financials. The company has been profitable in just one year—2004—since 2001, and its losses have been mounting recently, with expenses outpacing rising revenue." —
Google: "We are going to explore space.": "No. I am not making this up.   A company which to this date has made 99.99% of all its revenue by selling advertising is now planning to branch out into nanotechnology and spaceflight.  Because as we all know, running a business selling tiny classified ads on people's blogs translates perfectly into orbital mechanics and life sciences. WHAT. THE. F.? Methinks some people did a few too many drugs at Burning Man this year.." —F---edGoogle

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Quest For The World Record In Conference Attendance: "It was the first conference I can recall in which entrepreneurs were asking questions for the sole purpose of publicly touting their new companies in hopes of attracting venture money. And there were certainly enough VCs in the room to oblige." —VentureBlog

OK, this one's almost three months old, but it certainly fits with the Bubble 2.0 theme.
Venture-backed execs pay up 15% since 2003: "Top executives of U.S. venture-backed companies are receiving compensation packages about 4 percent higher than last year and more than 15 percent more than two years ago, a new report said on Wednesday." —Silicon Valley Business Journal

Apparently they didn't figure Larry and Sergey into their calculations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Exuberance leads to asset drops-Greenspan: "Asset bubbles fueled by 'market exuberance' invariably burst and policy-makers cannot safely pierce them, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Tuesday in what some economists took as a warning to bond market and housing speculators." —Yahoo! News: Business
Podcasting Goldrush Is On: "There's money in them thar audio files! Not much, yet, and obstacles abound, but podcasters are mining everything from commercial sponsors to paid guest appearances in the quest for profitability." —Wired News
Internet Revenue Hits New High: "Internet advertising revenue for the first six months of 2005 hit a record new high, according to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, released at the Mixx Conference and Expo yesterday." —

Monetize those eyeballs!

Friday, September 23, 2005

SaveMyAss: "From the guys who brought you Evite and HotorNot comes SaveMyAss. If you're a successful professional whose career demands the bulk of your time, you know the problem. You want her to be happy, but you're busy and it's hard to be on top of flowers when you have deals closing, decks to finish, or code to debug. Sign up for this service once, and we'll take care of the rest. She'll be happy, you'll be happy. This sounds vaguely familiar. Hasn't this been done before?..." —SiliconBeat

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Whitefish, Montana: the "new" Aspen: "I was talking with someone who expressed some frustration about the recent popularity of Montana, she said rather sarcastically that you spend all that effort building a home there and you end up with 15 of your neighbors from Woodside." —Jeff Nolan (SAP Ventures)

Venture capitalists blogging about the travails of centimillionaires. The revolution will be syndicated.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bubble or return to pre-bubble? Sequoia raises more money: "Acquisition fever and venture capitalist interest in tech companies is driving up the value of private companies, especially the more mature ones. And we're wondering if Sequoia Capital might be barometer of sorts." —SiliconBeat

I promise I don't just search for the word "bubble". It just seems to come up a lot when people write about VC's investing in tech startups these days. Which is a great indicator to this contrarian that we're doing just fine.
"Even a chimpanzee could raise $100M": "There's been a lot of news lately about new venture capital firms getting off the ground. Primack has a summary here, of the various players, and some of them based in Silicon Valley. There's Menlo Park's Formative Ventures. There's Panorama Capital, the name chosen by the VC team from JP Morgan Partners. And there's the 'Brooks/Levine Fund,' raised by former Mayfield general partners Todd Brooks and Peter Levine, who Primack says are looking to raise $200 million for their first fund as a duo (story here). We don't at all imply that Michael Moritz, partner at Silicon Valley firm Sequoia Capital, meant to target these firms, when he reportedly said the following: 'I believe today even a chimpanzee could raise $100M for a venture capital fund.'" —SiliconBeat
EBay and Skype: "In the end, I worry that high multiples produce dysfunctional behavior, as we saw in the Internet bubble at the end of the 1990s. Two big warning signs of dysfunctional behavior have emerged in the discussion surrounding this acquisition." —Edge Perspectives with John Hagel
Fighting to Get in on the Next Little Thing: "'It's a really good time to be an entrepreneur,' said Peter Thiel, who helped found PayPal, which eBay bought for $1.5 billion in 2002. 'If you have a halfway decent idea, you can get it completely funded.'" —The New York Times

Friday, September 16, 2005

Shorts find ways to bet against US housing bubble: "Late last month Bank of America lowered its rating on Countrywide to 'sell' from 'neutral,' citing concerns about declining credit quality among borrowers. It also cut ratings on IndyMac Bancorp Inc. and Golden West Financial Corp to 'neutral' from 'buy.'" —Reuters

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Startups More Valuable, or Just More Expensive?: "Most analysis of recent data showing that startup valuations are up 16% year-over-year draw a dubious conclusion. They persist in saying that the companies are more valuable, as opposed to saying that they are more expensive. There is a difference folks." —Paul Kedrosky (UCSD)

C'mon, Paul. Value is in the eye of the investor.
AllAbout IPO Soars 727%: "Japan’s answer to U.S. information portal makes a splash in its first day of trading in Tokyo." —Red Herring

Keywords: portal, IPO, soars, Red Herring.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Startup Valuations Rise in Q2: "Acquisitions and more later-stage funding are driving up startup valuations." —Red Herring

Yeah, baby!
Baidu sinks on valuation concerns: "Shares of Inc. plunged more than 20% Wednesday morning as analysts at Goldman Sachs and Piper Jaffray began coverage of the Chinese search firm with 'underperform' ratings due to concerns about its valuation." —MarketWatch

Q: How do you say, "Pop!" in Chinese? A: "Baidu!" I think this justifies a new addition to the Bubble 2.0 Index: BIDU!
WebMD Health Files $90M IPO: The New York City-based company also admitted other risks, including competition from other health web sites, such as" —Red Herring

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Murdoch Grabs IGN for $650M: "Going forward, Mr. Flanagan said Fox’s acquisitions may look a little different. 'I would be surprised if News Corp added any more online sites with similar content, like games or social networking,' he said. 'Likely the company is rather looking to acquire an e-commerce site or an online search site.'" —Red Herring

So we're back to buying eyeballs, are we? Bubble on!
Time for another bubble?: "Like Silicon Valley, back are frothy forecasts and risky investments. More than $15 million in three download MP3 file start-ups - what do you call that? We already have seen a type deal - eBay-Skype you know! Henry Blodgett is back to being a reporter, and any day you can expect him to get a job offer from some VC fund. George Gilder came out of hiding at the Always On Conference. And now the news the Queen of the Net, Mary Meeker, is starting coverage of China Internet Stocks, in addition to her regular pounding the table of stocks like Google. This is as good a time for another bubble…. not that there is anything wrong with it." —Om Malik

Damn right it's time for another bubble!
So, You Wanna Fund a Startup?: "Tired of waiting for the next blockbuster IPO? Hoping to get in on the next Google before the herd? Pre-tycoons with a strong stomach for risk have a few options for investing in promising startups." —Wired News

Two startup stories in a row from Wired. Makes me all giddy inside.
Stars Rise at Startup Summer Camp: "An innovative corporate incubator keeps student hackers stocked with ramen and Coke over the summer in exchange for a stake in their fledgling ventures." —Wired News

Wasn't this the IdeaLab! model?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Did Sequoia Invest in SimpleFeed?: "RSS is the new HTTP it seems, and the high and mighty of Silicon Valley are lining up to invest in RSS related companies. Never mind clear RSS models are yet to evolve! " —Om Malik on Broadband

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Online Gambling Running Out of Steam: "After a meteoric rise, online gambling companies appear to be taking a beating now with the loss of 33% in PartyGaming stock. Apparently the novelty is wearing off and no new players can be found. Why have you stopped playing?" —Slashdot
Now It's eBay That's Supposedly Ridiculously Overpaying For Skype: "No, please. Make it stop. Seriously. We thought that Skype's hype bubble might be deflating a bit after people began to realize that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft were all in a position to offer a nearly identical offering. However, the Skhype continues." —Techdirt

It's ICQ all over again, but this time with another 0 on the valuation.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Billion-Dollar Baby Dot-Coms? Uh-Oh, Not Again: "Valuations are hardly at 2000 levels, but, Mr. Zachary said, 'we're seeing the same dynamic as then.'" —The New York Times