Above the Crowd

Archive for 2008

Do VCs Help in Building a Technology Platform; Part 2

December 5, 2008:

Over three years ago, I wrote a post titled, “ Do VCs Help in Building a Technology Platform? “.  The premise (as you can go see), was that VCs who once primarily invested in companies built on Microsoft’s platform, had almost universal switched to the open source LAMP stack as their technology platform of choice.  This activity obviously helps reinforce the chosen platform, as the more apps built on top of it, the more universal solutions that are then available for that platform.   I wanted to offer two updates that relate to this theory/proposition.     First, Microsoft recently announced that startups can get three years of free software and service .  From my point of view, this thoroughly supports the theory that where startups are ...

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Benchmark Capital: Open For Business

December 1, 2008:

“People see you having fun Just a-lying in the sun Tell them that you like it this way”      – BTO, Takin’ Care of Business The seemingly chronic state of our economy, combined with the thundering sound of dire financial news has left many in a state of shock.  This unprecedented moment in time has resulted in unprecedented questions, such as, “Do you think California Municipal bonds are safe investments?”  Hard to imagine in the past, but with the country’s richest state begging for a federal bail-out, who knows?  There have been similar questions raised about the VC industry, and ...

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BAILOUT what?

July 22, 2008:

I wish someone could help me understand why Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock prices are not hovering near zero. Is our governement really going to bail out equity investors in a failed business enterpriose? I totally get keeeping America afloat, but it is critical that failed businesses FAIL. They must FAIL. You can’t provide band-aids to equity failure. The whole system will come to a halt. Risk that pans out must result in failure. it is a crucial part of the system.

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Bleak VC Quarter? Why?

June 30, 2008:

Matt Richtel over at the New York Times wrote an interesting article last week titled, “Venture Investors Wrap Up an Unusually Bleak Quarter.” The main data point that spurred the article is that this is the first quarter since 1978 that not one venture backed company went public.  I don’t aim to dispute the facts.  This is indeed true.  However, the article goes on to imply that the buyside doesn’t want the companies being backed by VCs.  This perspective is most strongly suggested by Paul Kedrosky, investor and the author of Infectious Greed, “There is nothing that the industry is producing that investors want…The stuff they’re investing in ...

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Back to Blogging (maybe)…

June 19, 2008:

I haven’t written a public post in over two years, and many people ask me when I might write again. The bottom line is I have been really busy. Busy with our investments here at Benchmark, and busy with three growing kids at home.  But in the end, I am quite fond of writing, and I have been inspired by some of the great writing of others. That being the case, i thought I would start with an overview of some of the blogs that I visit daily, with a brief overview explaining why. My first two stops each day ...

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