Above the Crowd

Archive for 2010

Silicon Valley’s IPO Anxiety

November 15, 2010:

[Follow Me on Twitter] “Living in the limelight The universal dream For those who wish to seem. Those who wish to be Must put aside the alienation, Get on with the fascination…” — Limelight from Moving Pictures, Rush If you could travel back in time to the early 1990’s and ask Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs and private company executives about their long-term career ambitions, you would hear a constant theme – they all wanted to be part of an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Back then, taking a company public, either as a CEO, CFO, or founder, held an allure similar to that of a […]

Read More

On Google, Growth, Pricing Power, and Valuation Multiples

July 15, 2010:

Last night, Google reported financial results for the second quarter of 2010. While revenue growth was up 24% year over year, revenue was fairly flat compared with Q1 of 2010. Moreover, earnings fell short of average street estimates sending Google down $20 per share (4%) in the aftermarket. Based on current estimates (which might change tomorrow), Google currently trades at 18 times the street average for 2010 earnings, and 15.5 times the same number for 2011. These represent price/revenue multiples of 7.5 and 6.5 for 2010 and 2011 respectively. For a long-term tech investor, these valuation multiples seem surprisingly low for a proven market […]

Read More

Google’s Acquires ITA: Will Deeper Vertical Integration Lead to Higher Revenues?

July 8, 2010:

“It’s funny how fallin feels like flyin, for a little while…” – Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart Soundtrack On July 1st, Google announced its intention to acquire ITA Software . ITA owns a primarily B2B airfare search and pricing system called QPX. Several of the leading online travel sites, like Orbitz, Kayak, and Bing Travel, use information from QPX to power their airfare search. Many in the industry view this move as a seminal event in Google’s history, as the company makes a decisive step from being a general search engine, into more structured vertical search. Certainly, Google already offers vertical search in Images, Videos, Maps, News, and several other categories. Despite […]

Read More

When It Comes to Television Content, Affiliate Fees Make the World Go ‘Round

April 28, 2010:

“The clock on the wall’s moving slower My heart it sinks to the ground And the storm that I thought would blow over Clouds the light of the love that I found” – Fool in the Rain, Led Zeppelin More often than not, we here in Silicon Valley are prone to idealism. We see a scenario the way we want to see it, and make predictions that fit our view of how we think the world should work, or perhaps even how we would like the world to be. This is especially true when it comes to technology. Outsider “luddites” […]

Read More

Virtual Goods, Accounting, and the Power of the “Rental” Model

February 8, 2010:

American journalists and corporate executives have been slow to appreciate the beauty, brilliance, and consumer allure of the virtual goods business model.It’s not that they did not have data points – China is chock full of multi-US$billion market capitalization companies that are based on this business model. That said, many luddites predicted it was an “Eastern” fascination that would never spread to the West. They never fully understood it. As a result of this headstrong denial, I have often wondered what data point would finally convince me that the West had fully accepted the reality of the virtual goods business […]

Read More