This is the best info-graphic I have seen on the historical evolution of venture capital, from the early days of Arthur Rock to the current trend of “platform” investors offering the “everything in a box” approach to entrepreneurial investment. The evolving venture capital models are overlayed onto a trend graph of the cost of startups contrasted with the number of startups. At first glance one might accept the now common refrain that traditional “venture capital is dead.” When I began my career in Silicon Valley, the typical entrepreneurial growth company needed $5 to $10 Million dollars to launch itself. Today, the argument is that a promising company can be started on $5000 or less, and competitors eager to serve this new market have mushroomed. But is this really the future?
Microsoft Missed Key Strategic Inflection Points. Much has been written this week about the announcement from Steve Ballmer that he will resign from Microsoft within a year. Microsoft shares bounced upward on the news, giving an indication of investor sentiment, which might have been expected to drive the stock down. Some bloggers have commented with praise on his 13 years as President of Microsoft. But no less than Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, who also writes for All Things D, quietly tweeted an endorsement of the blog post below by Lauren Goode at “All Things D.” Goode chronicles the major product and strategic events over Ballmer’s helmsmanship of Microsoft. Perhaps the most glaring blunder has to be also the most recent: Windows 8.
If properly managed and matched to local economic need, resources and capabilities, local accelerators can be a significant local economic asset. However, the problem with so many of these “everywhere else” accelerators, is highly unrealistic expectations to be “the next Silicon Valley”, failure to connect with local economic needs, excessive focus on any and every new Web app, and most importantly, poor management. It is also apparent to me that many of these more remote smaller communities are so distant from the mainstream economy, that many of the “great ideas” that come out of them, are embarrassingly late.
One would think that this should have happened sooner….but, well, there is a human tradition here…Wikipedia currently lists 342 social media apps, emphasizing up front that their list is not exhaustive. I can think of at least two more local social media startups, one of which has just announced significant new investments. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds, the now legendary book by Charles Mackay, first published in 1841, remains a classic text revered for its insights into social psychology and economic bubbles.
This is not the Letterman Show. But it is very funny.. Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystem’s keynote address at an enterprise computing conference held in Pacific Grove a month or so ago. Scott is not particularly well known for his humor and perhaps better known informally for his appreciation of ice hockey. Someone must have helped him with this Top Ten list list of “reasons you ( or your Chief Information Officer) is not ready for today’s new online world.”
The history of mid-day dining in Silicon Valley has been through some very tough years, but has recently experienced a revolution. Food trucks.
I will be on my home turf in Silicon Valley this month of August, to see how things have developed with the food trucks, and I will report back here.