Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jargon 2.0: "Whether you like the terminology or not, things are changing on the Internet, which is increasingly embedded in people's lives. It's not hard to see how changes in the online environment will affect your business sooner or later (and my money's on sooner)." —The Net-Savvy Executive

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Global equity meltdown costs investors $2 trillion: "The month-long slide in global stocks has wiped out at least $2 trillion in wealth, leaving investors few alternatives to preserve their holdings aside from bonds and money markets." —Yahoo! News

Yahoo! indeed.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Implosion

Implosion: "When even Robert Toll's Toll Brothers, the high-end builder, suffers cancellations, you know the real estate boom is over." —Forbes.com News

Whoa, been a while since my last post! Miss me? You did short TOL, right? Don't worry, yet more losses remain to be had.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Google is Yahoo 2.0

Google is Yahoo 2.0: "I have to agree with Mike Torres, 2006 is really 1998 in disguise. With the release of Google Page Creator, Google Finance, Google Calendar and the upcoming GDrive (aka Yahoo! GeoCities, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Calendar and Yahoo! Briefcase knockoffs) it is now clear to me that Google's master plan is to become Yahoo! 2.0." — Dare Obasanjo

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Move Along Folks -- No Domains Here

Move Along Folks -- No Domains Here: "The last thing the domain business needs is oodles of VC-come-lately Sand Hill capital. " — Paul Kedrosky (UCSD)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Shed no tears for the housing speculator

Shed no tears for the housing speculator: "Florida real estate market down, housing flipper haters up." — How the World Works

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Today marks the peak of social networking: "Painful reminders of March 2000 when the last people to show up were still pitching ecommerce it ideas." — Mark Pincus

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Poster for all new start ups: "If ever there was a poster that will sum up the current fun and game of' ‘Web 2.0’, this is it."

gapingvoid.com

Rick Seagal (JLA Ventures)

What if we run out of fools?: "The Indian stockmarket is going berserk. There's a Sergei-Bubka-type phenomenon of setting new records & breaking the same the very next day. While I broadly think India's going places and all that, the stockmarkets have gotten way ahead of fundamentals" — Anand Sridharan (Bessemer)

If you run out, just wait few years. They seem to multiply.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Nasdaq hits 5-year high: "U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite rising to its highest since February 2001, as positive comments by a brokerage about wireless technology makers helped boost tech shares, including Qualcomm Inc." —Reuters

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Facebook for Sale; But $2 Billion?: "So says our Steve Rosenbush in a story today. Apparently, the social-networking site turned down an offer for $750 million. Even that's way more than the $580 million News Corp. paid for the much larger MySpace last year." —The Tech Beat

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

It's a great time to start a business: "I say it's never been a better time to start a business. You know, the kind that develops a product or service and asks money for it.
  1. You don't need VC diesel to get your motor running.
  2. You can actually charge money for valuable services.
  3. You don't need mainstream tech to make a dent.
  4. You don't need to live in San Francisco to make it big.
  5. You don't need a swarm of worker bees to take off.
"Thus, I believe it has never been easier to build a great business for the web, if your intentions are to simply be profitable and please a constituency of passionate users." — Signal vs. Noise

Nicely put.

What Me No Company: "It is back to feeling these days that if you don't have a startup you're somehow not au courant" —Paul Kedrosky (UCSD)

It's a bad time to start a company: "t's a terrible time to start a company, especially here in the middle of it all, in the Bay Area. Why?
  1. Everybody else is starting a company.
  2. Your competition just got funded too.
  3. Talent is scarce again.
  4. You can't operate in obscurity anymore.
  5. Web 2.0 isn't all that.
  6. There's too much going on.
"I had this same stay-out-of-the-water-there's-sharks feeling circa 1998. Maybe my hype antibodies are just kicking in." —Caterina.net

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Return of Rakesh Mathur: "Mathur’s co-founder in this business is Brad Husick who worked at Vignette and had co-founded NetGravity, an online advertising company that merged with Double Click." —Om Malik

I haven't seen Brad since the last bubble. Welcome back, Inspector Gadget!

Monday, March 20, 2006

It's Not Web 2.0, It's The Next Net: "One particular quote that resonated well with everyone and has already started making its way around the Next Net world (in fact, it was just used by Adam Gross in a presentation he gave at the O'Reilly Etech Conference) was Bill Burnham's triple 'A' business model:

It's the triple 'A' business model: AJAX, Adsense and Arrogance.
"Despite the fact that essentially everyone in the room had embraced AJAX and many of the folks in the room had also incorporated Adsense in some way or other, everyone went out of their way to make clear that their businesses were in no way defined by the Double 'A,' let alone the Triple 'A.'" —VentureBlog

Friday, March 17, 2006

Amidzad: The rug merchants turned venture capitalists: "Peter Thiel, who is now an investor, running a firm called Founders Fund told us that early-state, first-round venture capital valuations 'are close to where they were in 1999 and 2000.'" —SiliconBeat

Cramer on Today Show: "I was towelling off my head, so I may have misheard this at 7am, but:Did I hear Jim Cramer on the Today Show declaring this to be the start of a new Bull Market? Mark today's date: 3/17/06" —The Big Picture

Again, for posterity.

Google's Billionaires Go Buying: "Page and Brin's company shelled out $130.5M on acquisitions in 2005." —Forbes.com News

I'm just noting this so one day we can look back and reminisce. Whether it's "Remember when Google only spent $130M in a whole year?" or "Remember when Google could afford to buy things willy-nilly?" remains to be seen.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Washington Post: 35 percent of Google's pay-per-click revenue is FRAUD: "A firm called Radiator.com got sick and tired of what appeared to be totally bogus clicks on their ads, then they hired an outside auditing firm to help them figure out what was going on.  Because of course, Google completely ignored their requests- everyone knows that's their standard business operating procedure. The findings?  Around 35 percent of all clicks from their Google ads were complete fraud, and about 17 percent of the clicks from their Yahoo ads were complete fraud" —F'edGoogle

This is going to end badly.

Six Apart confirms $12M in venture capital—may launch anti-spam legislation initiative: "San Francisco blogging software company, Six Apart, has confirmed it has raised $12M in venture capital from Intel, Focus Ventures and existing investor August Capital." —SiliconBeat

It wasn't so long ago that Six Apart was charging their customers 38 cents for their product. At that rate, they would have needed 31,578,947 customers to raise $12M. I assume their VC round was easier than that.

Podtech raises $5.5 million to create the "NPR" of podcasting: "Gee, this we weren't expecting... venture capital flowing to podcast creation." —SiliconBeat

Does this mean that every other podcast will be four hours of hosts begging for money?

Money Money Money: "Apparently, it is raining cash in Silicon Valley." —Om Malik

It does, after all, make the world go 'round.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

U.S. home builders' index falls to three-year low: "U.S. home builders were less confident about future demand in March, the National Association of Home Builders said Wednesday." —MarketWatch

Do two stories make a trend?

iTulip Returns!: "Run, don't walk, to iTulip. In case you missed it the first time around, iTulip predicted and then chronicled the dot-com bust with acumen and wit. Now it's back, skewering hedge funds and other current excesses." —BusinessWeek Deal Flow

Uh-oh.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Bubble Begins: "Sports Illustrated has a well-known reputation for its 'cover story jinx'.  History shows that those that appear on the cover of the magazine are doomed to lose the upcoming big game or suffer a terrible injury. I wonder if this Sunday’s NY Times cover story in the business section heralds the same 'jinx' for the world of Web 2.0" —Jeff Bussang (IDG)

I don't get it when VC's bemoan bubbles. Dude, bubbles are where you make the real money. Just watch that timing.

Google deal highlights Web 2.0 boom: "Is Google's acquisition of Web word processor Writely a harbinger of more acquisitions? Dozens of Web 2.0-style start-ups certainly hope so." —News.com

The smart money is on AJAXian spell check and mail merge utilities, recipe management systems, and Solitaire.

Hungry Media Companies Find a Meager Menu of Web Sites to Buy: "NBC Universal's $600 million acquisition of iVillage, an early Internet company catering to women, highlights the continuing interest by media companies in adding new Web sites to reach and connect with consumers, hobbyists, parents, investors, car buyers, Scrabble players and virtually every other niche audience." —The New York Times

Dude, scrabbleplayer.com is totally available!

Coming Soon: Mortgage Payment Resets : "You may have missed this over the weekend: The Saturday WSJ reports that More than $2 trillion of U.S. mortgage debt, or about a quarter of all mortgage loans outstanding, comes up for interest-rate resets in 2006 and 2007, estimates Moody's Economy.com..." —The Big Picture

Ever since I drank the Kool-Aid last year at the Web 2.0 conference I haven't posted much about the downside of the housing bubble, but this is important. I have nothing clever to add.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Irrational Exuberance Defined: "In memory of the tech wreck that occurred 6 years ago today when the NASDAQ closed at 5048 (intraday high of 5132), I would like to nominate JDS Uniphase as the poster boy of the era. Consider the following idiotic justification for writing off $40 billion of goodwill that was part of the footnotes of the 6/30/2001 10K:
The goodwill resulted from our acquiring strategic companies when valuations were high.'However, while we purchased highly valued shares, we were also in effect exchanging our highly valued shares at the same time so that none of the transactions resulting in the creation of large goodwill amounts resulted from a corresponding outlay of our cash. Had these transactions been done at different times when valuations were lower with exactly the same share exchange ratios, the goodwill amounts would have been considerably smaller. However, waiting for lower valuations may have reduced their strategic value or otherwise have allowed competitors to buy these companies thereby, eliminating an opportunity to strengthen JDS Uniphase.

"JDSU was $138 on 3/10/00 (adjusted for stock splits) and closed at $3.80 yesterday, almost triple its 52 week low of $1.32." —footnoted.org

We won't have achieved true bubbleness until a company once again spends $40 billion on acquisitions. Which will later be written off as "goodwill". (Thanks again to Valerie Thompson for the pointer.)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Jamis McNiven, of Bucks Restaurant fame, enters Web 2.0 travel fray with "LandFrog": "You know things are hot in the Web 2.0 world when Jamis MacNiven, the colorful owner of Bucks Restaurant in Woodside, starts hitting the pavement along Sand Hill Road pitching a social-networking travel site." —SiliconBeat

Another Winner!: "Alright! We've got ourselves another winner! Congratulations to Writely—the latest winner in the Web 2.0 Acquisition Lottery! Sorry to all the other web-WYSIWYG editors out there for losing out on this time. Don't fret, however, another round for deals with AOL, MSN or Yahoo! will have begun today, I'm sure. Step right this way folks, you too can play! Don't delay!" —

Maybe I should code up an AJAX mailmerge.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Poor Web 2.0 fools: "Mike Arrington has been away talking about some of the latest developments at Salesforce.com. Unfortunately, Salesforce.com doesn't tend to qualify as being 'cool' in Web 2.0 circles probably because they don't have tags and they're making too much money. That's so old school." —Phil Sim

I'd rather be cool like Warren Buffett than cool like Tim O'Reilly.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006

NBC Universal to Buy iVillage for $600 Mln: "NBC Universal has struck a deal to acquire the iVillage network of Web sites aimed at women for $600 million." —Designtechnica Articles

Wow.

Friday, March 03, 2006

How to Deflate a Housing Bubble: "I have no doubt that this strategy—of homebuilders seeking to make up in volume what they are losing in price—will have the most salutary and beneficial impact on the current housing situation in the United States, which, in the New, Always-Upbeat World of Free Speech, I should describe as not a bubble but more a nice warm bath." —Jeff Matthews

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"A little too frothy": "If you're in the paid search business, there's good news and bad news here. The good news is that there appears to be a lot of irrational bidding going on for ads. In the short run, frothiness is great for the ad sellers. The bad news is that frothiness naturally corrects itself. " —Rough Type (Nicholas Carr)

Social Networking and Blogging: Who Cares?: "It was fun in '95, '96, and the next few years. Then it wasn't fun and now it's fun again. Life, as we all know, is a combination of fun and hard work. But for 2001, 2002, 3, 4, it was really just not fun; it was just all this hard work." —Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM VP of technical strategy and innovation

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bubble watch: "Not with a bang, but a slow hiss: The housing market deflates." —How the World Works

WTF 2.0: "What part of 'Version 2' don't these people get? Doesn't anyone remember the web bubble and bust from the v1.0 days? Remember what happened when Alan Greenspan finally looked around and said, essentially, 'WTF is going on here?' Are they really that eager to duplicate that experience?" — Russell Beattie Notebook

I'd give $100,000 for a picture of Alan Greenspan wearing a WTF t-shirt.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ri.dic.u.lous: "Alright, I know you really really need to know this so I just have to oblige. Presenting - tada - social bookmark manager #4,523: Scuttle. OK, now how many of these sites do we need? This is getting ri.dic.u.lous." —Steve Rubel

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy days are here again?: "Economic indicators are perky now, but the day of reckoning still awaits." —How the World Works

Happy days are here again!
The skies above are clear again!
So let's sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Rebirth Of Enterprise Focused Chat?: "It really does seem, these days, that all those old internet ideas that failed are suddenly coming back—sometimes making the same mistakes they did the first time around." —Techdirt

This makes me all sentimental thinking about my days at ichat. How much did AOL pay for Mirabilis again?

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Strange Case of the Blind Investor at Market Top: "Remember a brief six years ago? 'The Mysterious Case of the Irrationally Exuberant Dot.com Investor' by an astute Yale economist. The market lost $8 trillion, still hasn't recovered it's peak, while investors sink into amnesia." —MarketWatch

Boom Times: "I experienced the dotcom bubble from pretty close up. This isn't like that... at least, not yet. But the fun is back in Silicon Valley. People are willing to dream crazy dreams, and dare to think they can change the world." —Kevin Werbach

I'm going to start calling him Kevin "We're Back".

YouTube is not a real business: "I could set this ...


YouTube is not a real business: "I could set this up in a weekend with two kids in high-school and a couple of cases of Red Bull." —Jason Calacanis (Weblogs, Inc.)

Reminds me of a Dave Barry quote that showed up in the Fortune Feed this morning:
"I played lead guitar in a band called The Federal Duck, which is the kind of name that was popular in the '60s as a result of controlled substances being in widespread use. Back then, there were no restrictions, in terms of talent, on who could make an album, so we made one, and it sounds like a group of people who have been given powerful but unfamiliar instruments as a therapy for a degenerative nerve disease." —Dave Barry, "The Snake"

In Japan, Day-Trading Like It's 1999: "'This is a real turning point for Japan,' said Yoshiyuki Sayama, a researcher at the Kinzai Research Institute who has studied online trading. 'Japanese are learning how to take care of themselves financially. They are finally getting a real taste of capitalism.'" —The New York Times

Sometimes capitalism tastes really great. Sometimes, no so great. Bon appetit!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Another $12 million for Six Apart: "Six Apart, the San Francisco-based start-up behind TypePad, MoveableType and Live Journal has raised another $12 million in Series C financing." —Om Malik

Feeeel the dilution.

Friday, February 17, 2006

How The IPO Market Got Its Buzz Back: "Investors' appetite for IPOs isn't limited to Chipotle. With 32 offerings priced since Jan. 1, up 14% from the same time last year, 2006 is shaping up to be the busiest year for new issues since before the tech crash." —Yahoo! News

Yeah! Fast-food Tex-Mex! Yeah! Okay, so it's not exactly VA Linux. But at least you were able to get some shares of CMG, right? Right?

Office building boom picks up: "Three Austin office projects are poised to break ground as the office market sees the biggest surge of development since the tech bust began in 2000." —Austin American-Statesman

Overbuilding means cheap office space for startups. And other companies too, I suppose.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

wankr beta: "If you're an idiot VC who is willing to throw money at any website that features the words 'collaborative', 'social', 'tagging' or 'AJAX', then please get in touch with us at: wankr@flat3.org. Please set the subject to 'I have more money than sense'." —wankr

Nice. Thanks to Tony D'souza, among others, for the pointer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

iVillage Feeding Frenzy: Bids Could Come Lower, Says Report: "A $700 million price would imply an enterprise value of 24 to 29 times iVillage's EBITDA for 2006..." —PaidContent.org

The fact that iVillage actually has earnings (at least BITDA) blows me away. In fact, the fact that they're still a going concern blows me away. I mean, seriously, "content, commerce, and community"? How Bubble 1.0!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Boom town: "Is Dubai, in fact, the fulcrum of the future global trading and financial system? Is it, in embryo, what London was to the 19th century and Manhattan to the 20th? Not the modern centre of the Arab world but, more than that, the Arab centre of the modern world." —Guardian Unlimited

Not since William Gibson's Disneyland with the Death Penalty have so many geeks been so enthralled by totalitarianism. [Holy cow! Has it really been thirteen years since that article came out? Oh man, I feel old. -ed.]

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Silicon Valley's brat pack is back: "Venture capitalists, panicking after the bubble burst, did their typical herd-mentality thing. They funded only mature, experienced teams. Now, it's difficult to find a recent company backed here in Silicon Valley not run by a 20-something." —SiliconBeat

Sadly, today's 20-somethings were teenagers during Bubble 1.0, and probably couldn't tell you who Jim Barksdale is. Youth is wasted on the young.

When You Make the Cover of Time: "The shark has been jumped." —John Battelle

Friday, February 10, 2006

Vonage—An IPO filing like it's 1999: "Critics say profit-challenged Vonage is going to have a tough time convincing Wall Street it's a good investment." —News.com

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Vonage IPO: "Vonage has been raising and spending money like a drunken sailor, hell-bent on growing its customer base. It's a classic Web 1.0 land-grab play. There is no doubt that Vonage has a real business; the question is whether it's a really big business." —Kevin Werbach

Are the sustainable differentiation is...?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Real Estate Dot Com Bubble?: "Just as it's become clear that the housing bubble of the last couple of years may finally be in decline, has anyone noticed a glut of real estate related dot coms? The latest to hit the scene is Zillow, which tries to accurately predict the value of your home." —Techdirt

"You got your real estate bubble in my dot-com bubble!" Two great tastes that taste great together.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Newroo the latest start-up to help bring order to news; the Web 2.0 peak is nigh: "We must now be nearing the peak of this Web 2.0 boom. Remember how many pet food dot-coms there were in 1999? Remember how many diskdrive companies there were a decade or so before, and how many PC companies there were as investors scrambled to fund them—as part of a mad land-grab and before people figured out which one was best? It is the same now with all these cool, jazzed Web 2.0 companies, whether you are talking online news aggregrators, RSS plays, online advertising, blog search, customize e-commerce, online classifieds—you name it." —SiliconBeat

As Steve Perry once said, "Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’... I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow."

"I No Longer Fear Hell for I work in Venture Capital" —Sand Hill Slave

Truly inspired. Most highly recommended. Subscribe now.

NextNY = Bratpack 2.0^NYC: "Oddly enough, I did the math and there have been more launch parties than actual startups.  Alright... fess up!  Who launched twice?" —Charlie O'Donnell (Union Square Ventures)

This may be Web 2.0's first true innovation: the all-launch-party startup (cf. The Onion's all-foyer mansion).

An Idea So Bad It Got Shut Down... Now Gets $50 Million: "There's still no clear reason why MovieBeam makes any sense at all. It didn't make any sense at all when it was announced two and a half years ago, and there's been little improvement. We actually assumed that it had been taken out back and shot last year when Disney shut down all the tests—so it's a bit surprising to see it spring back to life with so much cash." —Techdirt

Maybe Disney and Cisco just iterating quickly on Allen Morgan's used dot-com investment thesis.

First Tuesday resurrected in London Archives: "Now the First Tuesday event is making a comeback under new management and a new name, Second Chance Tuesday. Its website crassly invites Londoners to come and 'party like it's 1999'. The pull of nostalgia is irresistible , it seems." —alarm:clock euro

That's not crassness, that's the indomitable British spirit!

Monday, February 06, 2006

"Binomial Marketing Experiment" and Other Euphemisms: "Sounded like Overstock, but I still didn’t quite believe that a web retailer with negative operating margins had bothered spending money on a Super Bowl ad." —Jeff Matthews

The Jeff Matthews vs Overstock bout is entering its 39th round and the action shows no signs of letting up. Riveting.

Friday, February 03, 2006

IPO Silly Season Returning?: "Company is less than a year old? Check. Company has almost no revenue? Check. Company is in a highly competitive space with little to no differentiation? Check. Company has huge losses over its short life span? Check. Company is almost totally dependent on one supplier who could cut off its revenue supply easily? Check." —Techdirt

Underwriters made off with millions? Check. Buyers on the open market all consisted of underwriters' clients? Check.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Silicon Valley Shrugs Off Google Hiccup: "David Hornik of August Capital sent a very succinct message that sums it up nicely. ‘I suspect that every one of my startups would be thrilled to miss their earnings by only making $1.92 Billion in the quarter,’ he says. ‘Google’s performance remains spectacular, so I can’t imagine that it will negatively impact the startup climate.’" —Om Malik

"Sure, we're a public company, we missed our numbers, and our stock took a 10% hit, but who cares? We're worth so much it doesn't even matter!" Bubble on, Hornik!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Google misses Street targets, shares tumble: "The slide, which at one stage wiped out more than $20 billion of Google's market value, illustrated the big risks investors have taken by buying the shares after a meteoric rise their initial public offering in August 2004." —Yahoo! News

Why is the rise called 'meteoric'? Aren't meteors actually falling stars?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sling Media raises $46.6M: "The product enables people to watch TV shows on the go, by tapping into programs they record on TiVo or other places." —SiliconBeat

So with $46M in venture money you can either develop drugs to treat blood clots, acute coronary syndrome, and atherosclerosis or let people watch TV on their phones. Weird.

The Resurgence of E-Cards: "American Greetings will not release figures for its e-commerce division, but Ms. Babcock said its profits were 'incredibly strong,' and growing." —The New York Times

I hope those profits are 'incredibly stronger' than in the first nine months of 1999, when Egreetings.com (now owned by American Greetings) recorded $22M in losses on $1.5M in revenue.


Davos 2006: Partying Like It's 1999: "Hands down, the best event at Davos was the Google party on Friday night. Never mind the glittering guest list, which included the likes of Michael Douglas and Shimon Peres (who gave an off-the-record talk). Let's talk about the wines..." —Fast Company Now

Among the favorites? Click Fraud 2004, Stupid Price Targets 2005, and Shaoxing [redacted] 2006.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

IPO Watch: On the Fast Track : "The road map to the initial public offering market has always been found in its calendar. Since the beginning of January, the calendar has been telling us the 2006 IPO traffic is moving from Wall Street's back alley to its superhighway." —Red Herring

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dog.com buys Fish.com for $1 million: "Online shopping for your pets is big business again but this time the company is focused on selling smaller items such as dog treats instead of 50 pound bags of dog food. Is the fish food market worth a $1 million domain name?" —Niall Kennedy

This is a joke, right? Right?
Don't Fear the New Boom: "Silicon Valley is buzzing again, as startups mint millionaires and web dreams start to soar. But, no, this is not another bubble. Here's why. By Chris Anderson from Wired magazine." —Wired News

I hope the new boom will be longer than The Long Boom was.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

ABIA passenger traffic breaks a record: "Austin-Bergstrom International Airport last year saw its greatest number of passengers, breaking a record set in 2000." —Austin Business Journal

This is either a good sign the economy is picking up or a side-effect of the fact that ABIA has better food than any other airport in the country.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Never Profitable Dot Com Goes Public: "Remember the days when dot coms with no history of ever earning a profit could go public? Oh wait. That's today." —Techdirt

Albeit in a WR Hambrect dutch auction IPO. Still...

WisdomArk to provide you insights on your life: "WisdomArk, a new start-up in Los Altos, has raised $6.3 million in a first round of funding for yet another social networking site." —SiliconBeat

You really don't want your first press mention to describe you as "yet another" anything.

Million dollar home sales up 47% in California: "A record number of million dollar homes were sold in California in 2005, according to a report released Tuesday." —Silicon Valley Business Journal
Boo.com dusts down website for June relaunch: "Boo.com—the high profile fashion flop that blew megabucks before going titsup within months of launching—could be about to make a dotcom comeback." —The Register

To quote They Might Be Giants, "Everything right is wrong again."

1999 Is Calling. It Wants Its Hype Back: "Once the money starts flowing (and, if you hadn't noticed, it's flowing), it seems that 'lessons learned' get tossed out in favor of doing anything possible to jump on the gravy train. The only problem is that we've seen how this train ride ends, and it's a train wreck that we'd all probably be better off avoiding." —Techdirt

Best. Headline. Evar.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Google co-founders cash in: "Google's triumvirate have made billions off stock sales since company went public, but there's still a lot more where that came from." —News.com

Sunday, January 22, 2006

IPO Watch: Back in Full Swing: "Seven initial public offerings are on tap for this week including two Internet companies." —Red Herring

To quote M. Night Shyamalan, "Swing away!"

Friday, January 20, 2006

Amp’d To Close Another $100 Million Funding: "The MVNO, which recently raised $50 million from MTV Networks, will announce another $100 million raise soon. He writes that the deal was oversubscribed and the company opened its pockets a bit wider." —MocoNews.net

Thanks again to Seth Levine for the pointer.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New MBAs finding education pays off big time: "Salaries and signing bonuses of fresh graduates took a double-digit jump in 2005 to a record average $106,000 and signaled an end to the 'perfect storm' of sour news this decade that included the dot-com bust, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a subsequent recession" —USA Today

Web 3.0: "But how to persuade the other sharks in the tank that this blood feast was different from the previous boom-and-bust? Easy: Dismiss everything that came before as 'Web 1.0.'" —A List Apart

Name this town: "During the week of the company's first product launch, a CEO of an angel funded mobile start-up is sitting on the floor at 8:30 at night putting together Ikea desks, not for his company, but for a venture funded wiki start-up, in exchange for free office space, when ..." —Silicon Valley Himalayan Expedition

I love reading the phrases "angel funded mobile start-up" and "venture funded wiki startup" in the same sentence. Thanks to Seth Levine for the pointer.

Domain Name Sold for Millions: "The infamous and controversial domain Sex.com has officially been sold to Boston-based Escom LLC for a reported $14 million. " —Slashdot

Naked Conversations Party at TechCrunch: "This will be our most extravagant event so far, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors: Eurekster, Flock, Kaboodle, Pandora, Pluck, Rojo, and Zazzle." —Mike Arrington (TechCrunch)

That list of startups sounds like an incantation. Maybe if you say it while waving a magic wand, it will turn a business plan into a pile of cash.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Navigating the annual earnings onslaught: "Yahoo missed its earnings estimate by a penny after Tuesday's close. Wednesday's reaction says more about the market than about Yahoo's stock." —MarketWatch

Miss The Number by a penny, lose $7B in market cap. Bubbles are not for the squeamish.

“Vince, It Looks Like Jim and Larry are Going All In! Incredible!”: "But the last headline-splashing, high-stakes takeover-poker-match I recall was RJR. And after the initial thrill of walking away from the table with all the chips, KKR spent years living it down." —Jeff Matthews

Let's hope this drama results in a book as good as Barbarians at the Gate.

August Capital Bets on VideoEgg: "There are a bevy of other financing announcements for various startups being announced over the next couple of weeks." —Michael Arrington (TechCrunch)

And so, after the long nuclear winter, it's once again springtime in the Valley.
Has the Web 2.0 Crash Arrived?: "Steve Rubel thinks so, based on the severe reaction to Yahoo's earnings miss on Tuesday." —BusinessWeek Tech Beat

When Steve Rubel talks about a crash it reminds me of a high school kid who, having taken his first sip of beer, starts talking about a hangover. Don't get ahead of yourself, Steve. We've got a whole lot more partying to do tonight if we're going to be hating life tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

VCs Invest $127M in Startups: "Some 15 startups report funding Tuesday as venture capitalists disburse some of the money raised last year." —Red Herring

Not bad for a Tuesday. Not great, but not bad.

Now Hiring: Silicon Valley: "Jobs rise in the tech-centric area for the first time in five years." —Red Herring

But is anyone yet offering BMW Z3's to all new engineering hires?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Blogger site Gather.com gets $6 mln in venture funding: "If the site continues to grow, the company could position itself for a possible IPO or other kind of transaction, Gerace said." —MarketWatch IPO Report

I know, this is the third post in a row about Gather.com, but I couldn't let pass the fact that MarketWatch is simultaneously reporting the company's seed funding and speculating about the timing of its IPO.

Gather Blather: "If Gather doesn't stumble over all the VCs on its board (c.f., the Martini Rule), it could one day blunder into selling this silly site for a high enough price to make money." —Paul Kedrosky

That's the spirit!

Gather Them Eyeballs!: "The eyeballs are back and with a vengeance. And they are being chased by VC money." —Om Malik

Oy.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Energy Trading, Post-Enron: "The industry that Enron made infamous—energy trading—is springing to life again. 'The whole market is hot right now,' said Justin Pearson, managing director of Human Capital, a search firm based in London for energy traders. 'Everybody is talking about expansion.'" —The New York Times

I bet Sun Microsystems can't wait to do another $500 million deal with another energy trading company.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blogging Community Site Gather.com Gets $6 Million Funding: "Gather.com, the Boston-based online networking/community site, will announced a $6 million (yes!) funding round next week. The new venture is a social networking website devoted to creating an online community of public-radio listeners." —PaidContent.org

The company's website describes Gather.com as, and I'm not making this up, a place to, "connect around a Supreme Court nominee, an Umbrian chicken recipe, a new album by Aimee Mann, or your child's soccer game."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Yahoo! Acquires Unnamed Company: "Ah, satire. If you ever wonder whether you company is getting a reputation, just wait for the blogosphere to make fun of you. Case in point: Yahoo! Announces Acquisition of Company Before Its Foundation." —Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoo)

It wouldn't be funny if it weren't almost true. (That being said, once it's actually true, it won't be funny any more. But it will be immensely profitable—for those who fail to miss the cynicism.)

1. When is the IPO? 2. Can I get some founder's stock?: "Crunch becomes the name of a network, with the launch of MobileCrunch. I had the same two questions about this as I did when I heard that Toni Schneider was joining Matt Mullenweg's new company. 1. When is the IPO? and 2. Can I get some founder's stock?" —Scripting News

These are among the axiomatic questions of The Bubble. Now just relax... surrender... give yourself up to the Flow... You're soaking in it.

Report: Austin office market improving: "The Austin office market is quickly approaching rent and occupancy levels not seen since the late 1990s, according to a new report." —Austin Business Journal

Yahoo Exec Exits For Automattic CEO Gig: "As I said in the story, build it, flip it, repeat." —Om Malik

The exec in question is Toni Schneider, former CEO of OddPost. Congratulations to Matt!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Sell Out: "Friendster has been looking for a buyer for some time, while its selling price keeps dropping and dropping. About this time last year, $200 million was being tossed around as Friendster's buyout price. Now PaidContent reports it's been offered to Viacom for just $5 million—but the media giant's even balked at that, about a month after offering $20 million for the one-time social-networking supersite." —Techdirt

Thus did Jonathan Abrams join Chris Hasset in the Crushing Regret Hall of Fame.

Video search engine company, Truveo, sold—for $50 million!: "Wow, you can launch a start-up these days, and two years sell it for a pretty nifty sum." —SiliconBeat

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

It's Not 1999 Anymore: "Skittish investors leave tech IPOs high and dry, which may not be such a bad thing." —Forbes.com

IPO, M&A, whatever. It's all about the liquidity.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Dow Crosses 11,000 for 1st Time Since 2001: "Wall Street's best-known stock indicator rose as high as 11,020.15 by midafternoon, the first time since June 13, 2001, that the index of 30 blue chip stocks traded above 11,000. It last closed above that milestone on June 7, 2001, when it stood at 11,090.74." —Yahoo! News

We're back, baby! Now let's see what we can do about that pesky NASDAQ.

Price Targets: "Ah, price targets are back in fashion. And stupid investors will fall for them again. It's what we do on Wall Street while we wait for real news." —Andy Kessler

And real money will be made.

The Times, Blodget, Safa: "The big question, again, on Big Media's mind is 'Are we in a bubble, and is Google the Soap?' I thought we settled this (OK, all I really did was toss in my two cents), but apparently not. Honestly, I think the media is terrified of screwing this story up again—of believing in it too much, or perhaps worse, of missing the boat if this time it turns out the Web really is a Super Big Deal." —John Battelle

Here's a hint. Yes, it's a Super Big Deal. Get over it.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

All primed for revival in tech stocks: "Great prospects for technology stocks—sound familiar? What makes this groundswell of support so compelling is that its adherents are confirmed value investors who scour the stock market for bargains; they are far from the cheerleading perma-bulls who talked the public into shockingly poor decisions in the past." —News.com

CA Acquires Wily Technologies for $375 Million: "Once again, the entrepreneurial mantra of ‘step back up to the plate and keep trying’ plays out nicely." —Brad Feld (Mobius)

There were three kinds of survivors from the last bubble: the winners, who sold at the top, cashed out, and retired to Aspen; the carpetbaggers, who were only in tech because they thought they could get rich quick, who are now trying to flip houses; and the rest of us, who keep stepping up to the plate and swinging for the fences. Swing, batter!

$500. $600. $2,000. Do I Hear $10,000? $0?: "Yesterday's INSANE price objective might seem quite reasonable tomorrow.  An analyst who slapped a $500 target on Google 18 months ago at the IPO would have been branded a crackpot.  Same for an analyst who in 1982 said that the Dow would rise from 1,000 to 10,000 (or, in 2000, drop from 11,000 to 7,700).  So let's not rush to dismiss as lunatics those who are calling for Dow 2,000 (down 80%), Dow 20,000 (up 80ish%), or Google $600." —Henry Blodgett

If anyone even mentions Dow 2,000 in my presence, they're going to get hit. Dow 20,000 on the other hand will get you a round of drinks.

Guy Kawasaki's New Blog: "Relentless persistence is the name of the game in my view UNLESS you happen to have a business in a 'white hot' sector that has already caught the attention of the hopelessly lemming like VC community." —Craig Barnes (Attensa)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Nope—We're Too Gloomy: "Sure, investors were irrationally exuberant during the bubble years. And that's exactly why the shrewd market players today should be feeling confident. Look at it this way, says [Citigroup's chief U.S. equity strategist Tobias] Levkovich: 'Six years ago we could do no wrong, and everything was possible in the world. Today everything seems exceedingly challenging. We were wrong six years ago. And I think we could very well be wrong today.'" —Fortune

Friday, January 06, 2006

Do I Hear GOOG $4,000?: "Mark Stahlman has really shown people what-for with his $2,000 GOOG target today. The Caris & Co. analyst is making a real bid for attention, not too different from driving around town with cans tied to the back of your car, and the effort has been rewarded by Bloomberg and others." —Paul Kedrosky

I have nothing to add, except maybe, "Yeeee-haw!"

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Louie, fresh from CIA, joins with Alsop in new fund: "[Gilman Louie] is joining with former journalist and investor Stewart Alsop in raising a new venture capital fund." —SiliconBeat

Stewart Alsop is a journalist! He's a VC! He's both a floor wax and a desert topping! (Yes, an SNL twofer. Thank you, thank you very much.)


Browster Picks Up $5.8M: "Browster, which makes a free plug-in for web browsers, said Thursday it had secured $5.8 million in first-round funding." —Red Herring

"All the time, our customers ask us, 'How do you make money doing this?' The answer is simple: Volume. That's what we do." — First Citiwide Change Bank
Bubble Time: Tiny Company, Barely Any Revenue, Expects To IPO: "According to its latest filing it brought in about $235,000 in the third quarter (and lost well over a million dollars)—but thinks it deserves a $270 million valuation. Yes, this is a company that has barely earned over $500,000 in its entire lifetime and thinks it's fairly valued at $270 million dollars." —Techdirt

I've earned way over $500,000 in my lifetime, but the last time I checked my net worth was somewhat short of $270 million.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Analyzing Safa's $600 Google Target: "Ah, memories... So Safa Rashtchy of Piper Jaffray upped his Google price target from $445 to $600.  Is he INSANE? No." —Henry Blodgett

Safa Rashtchy is Henry Blodgett 2.0. You heard it here first.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

We're Still Too Exuberant: "It's almost irresistible to believe that after all we investors have endured—the hellish bear market, the recession, the scandals—we've emerged from the crucible sadder but wiser, finally willing to face the truth about stock values. But it isn't so. The amazing reality is that we haven't learned our lesson even yet." —CNNMoney.com

Call me Ramses, King of d'Nile.

Google gets $600 price target: "A new year, a new price target for Google." —MarketWatch

Go, go GOOG!

Fasten Your Seat Belts in '06: "Housing prices look like tech stocks at the height of the dot-com boom, so expect a nasty slump. Meanwhile, bet on tech to soar." —BusinessWeek

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Heady Job Market for MBAs: "After some lackluster years, 2005 B-school grads are fielding multiple offers&mdas;and the outlook remains upbeat, recruitment experts say." —BusinessWeek Online

All hail the return of the MBA's!