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Geeks take over...

"The short-lived dot-coms were just marketing plans lashed to the Internet. They had no technology edge; they were run by marketers and M.B.A.'s. But most of the young companies that survived the crash - and the start-ups that have risen since - are based on innovation and are run by people with deep technical skills."

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I think John Templeton, the legendary investor put it most succintly.....

The four most expensive words in the English language are "This time it's different."

Let the investors beware.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The article is talking about companies that SURVIVED the dot-com fallout.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I didn't read the article.  However, I can't say that I agree with the author's opinion (if that is what it is). 

IMO, most of the early dot-com start-up businesses failed because they were destined to fail.

1) Most start-up businesses fail within the first five years.

2) "Build it and they will come" is not a good business plan.  Granted the World Wide Web was pretty much an unknown frontier in the 1990s, however, I seriously doubt many of those so-called Marketing gurus or MBAs did their homework (i.e. market research, etc.) before they started doing business.

3) WallStreet firms offered these type of companies to the public (IPOs) way too early.

Unrelealistic expectations and greed is how I will remember the early dot-com years.  An era that hasn't ended yet btw.

One Programmer's Opinion
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Please read the article before commenting.

The guy is stating that of the majority of the companies that made it through the bust are headed by people with strong tech backgrounds.

how 'bout that?
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

"I didn't read the article.  However, I can't say that I agree with the author's opinion (if that is what it is).  "


Oh wait, he's serious.........


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

> When Diane Greene, chief executive of VMware, was
> making the rounds of venture capitalists in Silicon Valley
> in the late 1990's, she found few takers. "We would
> have taken V.C. money," Ms. Greene said. "But it was
> the bubble, and we were an old-fashioned software
> company."

Wow.  To think I had a mutual fund that probably made equally similar bone-headed decisions.

Johnny Simmson
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

While English is not my first language I think I did get the gist of the article. I hate ad hominem attacks but when " " suggests that I did not read the article, I get a bit peeved, and the temptation to begin calling names is almost too much to resist.

The author's main conclusion is that while tech giants like Intel are thriving, and while startups like Tellme networks are thriving, this is not the beginning of a bubble. He calls it a reboot, and suggests that there won't be a crash because this THIS TIME IT'S DIFFERENT; the geeks are in control.

Indeed, the article's final paragraph concludes that there is no manic boom, and that THIS TIME IT'S DIFFERENT because the valley has simply gone back to doing what it has always done best - innovating, investing and bringing new technology to the market.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


You write and probably speak english better than most native english speakers do.  :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The article makes perfect sense (especially in hindsight).

Keep in mind that VC's are in the game for a short period. They want quick returns on their investments. They don't care about the long term prospects of a business.

A great deal of the bubble was a consequence of being largely interested in selling stocks to rubes. For what was intended, many of the failed businesses were successful: they transfered money from people who bought the stocks to people (VC's and brokerage companies) who made money from selling them.

I suspect that a fair number of the failed dotcoms were run by geeks who got seduced by VC's and the market and changed their businesses to become more attractive as an IPO but destroyed the long term viability of the company.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

"Keep in mind that VC's are in the game for a short period. They want quick returns on their investments. They don't care about the long term prospects of a business."

While that may have been true of a vast majority of the VCs in the late 1990s, I doubt that it was true for all of them, and I doubt it's nearly as true today as it was then.

The major problem in the 1990s wasn't VCs specifically, but an unwise coalition between Wall Street, investors, and entrepeneurs that said that brand and position was more important than a solid business plan. The companies that survived the bust were the ones who, wonder of wonders, had a business plan. Except Amazon, of course. Still not sure why nobody's jumped ship on that thing. :-p

Brad Wilson (
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Yes, each member of the "coalition" (including VC's) were responsible. And all of them were interested in short term gains. And the current climate does not support the "bubble tactics", so the coalition members have to change their game (somewhat. The key characteristics of all bubbles is that they provide a limited window to make money. The last bubble was, in a major part, due to a desire for short term gains.

While there are exceptions (to everything), the VC business typically does not hold a company for 10 or 20 years. The VC's sell off then move their money to new companies.

The "brand" thing (basically selling the sizzle without the steak) is an important part of what went on.  The general trend of marketing for many years has been to focus on brand and less on substance. Years ago, the value of the brand arose out of the quality of the product. Now, the substance is often concidered irrelevent (yes, there are exceptions). Focusing on selling a brand is a short term strategy because building substance and quality (therefor, a real reputation) takes time. (Yes, there are some exceptions.)

IPO's are interesting because the shares are allocated "privately" the shares are sold off during the often temporary spike in stock price that occurs just after the IPO (flipping the stocks appears to be very common). Brokerage houses love IPO's because it is a fairly reliable (was, at least) way to make short term money.

I worked at a company that stuck a ".com" after their name so the company could be sold as a IPO.

Again, there are exceptions (to everything). Indeed, without the exceptions, the "scamming" could not have succeeded.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The dotcom companies always reminded me of the underpants gnomes from South Park. There was always a foolproff  three-step plan:

Step 1: Collect lots of users by giving stuff away for free
Step 2:
Step 3: Profit!

Andrew Reid
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

foolproff ????

Note to self: have morning coffee, _then_ post.

Andrew Reid
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Andrew, just remember: "You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!"

Stewart Smalley
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

> The major problem in the 1990s wasn't VCs specifically, but an unwise coalition between Wall Street, investors, and entrepeneurs ...

That's the point of the article, surely? The fact that it wasn't VC's specifically doesn't change their key involvement.

The description in the article is the most accurate - the dot com boom was not really a "technology" boom, it was a NON technology boom.

It was MBA's, graphics artists, business guys and so on capitalising on an expectation that technology would be very profitable. The software companies did just fine. Fog Creek is even something of a leitmotif for this theme, being a desktop application rather than a server application.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The article is just one in a series of articles you'll be seeing in the next few months leading up to the google ipo. "This time it's different, since google is headed by tech experts." Propaganda pure and simple. Hold onto your wallets. There's a lot more of it to come. You'll see! I've seen this before and know how it works. THe VC's propaganda machine is clever in this way -- they'll have you so hyped up and gung ho over the 'sure tihng' that is the google ipo, that you'll pay any price they ask you.

And they'll be laughing all the way to the bank!

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Dennis, my point exactly.

Your are right on the money.

I think a few people need to read some books that chronicle financial manias over since the Tulip craze.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

and after every bubble, there's a group of people that claim that every movement in the market is just another bubble.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Blank is right! I am selling my hous and investing it all in the google ipo -- it's a sure thing!

soon to be richer than my wildest dreams
Wednesday, October 29, 2003

What a piss poor troll 'soon'.  Nowhere did I say that google was a sure thing. 

Really, try to do better.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

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