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." —

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." — 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 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


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." —

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, 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" —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." —

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 Unfortunately, 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


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