Posts filed under “Venture Capital”

Dumb Article of the Day: Why Start Ups Don’t Go IPO

I have to call foul on a surprisingly foolish article in today’s NYT. Less than a month into 2010, it is already a leading candidate for the dumbest article of the year. It reads like it was written by the PR firm for a group of VCs and Palo Alto law firms.

There were numerous ignorant comments in the article, but this is the one that actually made me laugh out loud:

“Newer restrictions, like those on executive compensation, have made I.P.O.’s even less attractive to some entrepreneurs, said Doug Collom, a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a Silicon Valley law firm. “Lawyers now have a profound significance in the boardroom,” he said.”

WTF is this idiot talking about? Last I checked, none of the Silicon Valley tech firms had received TARP money during the bailouts.  The exec comp restrictions this dimwitted Wilson Sonsini lawyer mentioned came with the nearly trillion dollar taxpayer bailout/subsidy for insolvent banks and the incompetent execs who ran them into the ground — not dot com start ups.

What a tool.

I cannot figure out who is more responsible for this brain dead exercise in ignorance and spin  — the writer who (re)typed it from a press release, or the editor who let this nonsense slide by.

Here’s some more stupidity:

“In the last two years, only 18 tech start-ups have gone public, compared with 143 in the two years prior. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which tightened corporate governance and accounting rules, has taken a lot of the blame.”

Astonishingly, the article fails to note the massive decrease in IPOs across all sectors due to the recent turmoil. Even more amazingly, the author somehow fails to deploy so much as one single word regarding the total collapse in the markets, or the simple fact that investors have seen precisely zero gains over the past 11 years.

Quite bluntly, I am embarrassed that this is what passes for Journalism today.


UPDATE: January 18, 2010 3:02pm

Here is a chart of IPOs going back about 3 decades. Note after the 1987 and 2000 and 2008 crashes, the IPO numbers plummeted. I do not know what the actual impact of Sarbanes Oxeley was on IPOs, but the data shows that after SARBOX passed, the number of new IPOs actually went up.

I am NOT suggesting there is a correlation between SARBOX and any subsequent increase in IPOs; I am merely pointing out that blatherings of those mentioned above is factually incorrect, and belied by actual data.

Have a look at these two charts, courtesy of Jim Bianco. They show the number, and the dollar amount raised in IPOs; There appears to be no correlation with SARBOX, but a huge correlation with market crashes.


IPOs by Deal Volume 1991-2010

click for larger chart

IPOs by Dollars (billions) 1991-2010

click for larger chart


More charts after the jump.


For Many Start-Ups, a Spot on the Nasdaq Is No Longer the Goal
NYT, January 17, 2010

Excel Spreadsheet for IPOs anbd secondaries, Bianco Research
Equity IPO And Secondary

Some Factoids about the 2009 IPO Market
Jay R. Ritter, Cordell Professor of Finance
University of Florida, Jan. 14, 2010

Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Venture Capital

Microsoft the Innovator to Open Retail Store

How much more can anyone say about this? Microsoft Retail Stores They ARE innovators! > Previously: Microsoft the Innovator (part II) (November 2005)

Category: Retail, Technology, Venture Capital

Marc Andreessen Interview

Nice interview by Henry Blodget:

Andreessen, The Early Days
click for video

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Category: Venture Capital, Video, Web/Tech

Via‘s blog, comes this brilliantly insightful look into social media: > > Hat tip Recro

Category: Psychology, Venture Capital, Web/Tech

Entrepreneur and Software Engineer Marc Andreessen

A conversation with Marc Andreessen, co-founder and chairman of Ning and an investor in several startups including Digg, Plazes, and Twitter. Best known as co-author of Mosaic, and founder of Netscape. He is on the Board of Directors of Facebook and eBay


Charlie Rose, February 19, 2009

Category: Technology, Venture Capital, Video

Top 30 Innovations of the Last 30 Years

Nightly Business Report is celebrating their 30th year on television. NBR viewers suggested the advances they admired during the 1979 to 2009 time frame. Professors at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania selected and ranked the top thirty. The Top 30 Innovations of the Last 30 Years 30. Anti retroviral treatment for AIDS…Read More

Category: Digital Media, Technology, Venture Capital, Web/Tech

MIT: Rebuilding Wall Street in a Down Market

I am presenting at this MIT enterprise forum in NYC tonight. The panel will focus on successful financial technology companies in NYC.  The audience will be MIT alumni, current and aspiring entrepreneurs and former Wall St. employees.  The event begins at 6:00 (networking and registration) and the panel runs from 6:30 to 7:30.  There is…Read More

Category: Media, Venture Capital

Microsoft Zune: Down 54%

My pal JP notes that the iPod wannabe had an utterly disasterous quarter: Overlooked in the carnage of Microsoft’s second quarter was the performance of the company’s Zune platform. Which was, quite simply, atrocious. Seems that $10 to $20 holiday discount didn’t do much good at all. According to Microsoft’s latest 10-Q, “Zune platform revenue…Read More

Category: Legal, Markets, Music, Technology, Venture Capital

Is Silicon Valley Losing Its Magic?

In search of big ideas in the Valley

click for (pop up) video: Is Silicon Valley Losing Its Magic?

BusinessWeek’s John A. Byrne and Steve Hamm discuss whether Silicon Valley still has its mojo, or will risk aversion and myopia kill the golden goose?

Category: Markets, Technology, Venture Capital, Video, Web/Tech

Tesla Motors Bailout ?

Guess who is the latest firm seeking to jump on the Bailout gravy train? Electric car start up Tesla Motors. “THE Tesla Roadster is an electric car that goes fast, looks sensational and excites envy. The seductive appearance, however, obscures some inconvenient truths: its all-electric technology remains woefully immature and don’t-even-ask expensive. If enough billionaires…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Technology, Venture Capital