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Current Topic: Tech Industry

Sequoia Capital on startups and the economic downturn
Topic: Tech Industry 4:02 pm EDT, Oct 19, 2008

This is a presentation Sequoia Capital gave to all the CEOs of the companies it funds.

Sequoia Capital on startups and the economic downturn

MySpace Restrictions Upset Some Users - New York Times
Topic: Tech Industry 8:50 am EDT, Mar 22, 2007

MySpace, the Web’s largest social network, has gradually been imposing limits on the software tools that users can embed in their pages, like music and video players that also deliver advertising or enable transactions.

At stake is the ability of MySpace, which is owned by the News Corporation, to ensure that it alone can commercially capitalize on its 90 million visitors each month.

“The reason why I am so bummed out about MySpace now is because recently they have been cutting down our freedom and taking away our rights slowly,” wrote Tila Tequila, a singer who is one of MySpace’s most popular and visible users, in a blog posting over the weekend. “MySpace will now only allow you to use ‘MySpace’ things.”

Ms. Tequila, born Tila Nguyen, has attracted attention by linking to more than 1.7 million friends on her MySpace page. To promote her first album, she recently added to her MySpace page a new music player and music store, called the Hoooka, created by Indie911, a Los Angeles-based start-up company.

Yet another thing that we were predicting is coming about... 3rd party services are being squeezed out of MySpace.

MySpace Restrictions Upset Some Users - New York Times

Recruiting headaches at Microsoft | CNET Blog
Topic: Tech Industry 5:18 pm EDT, Jun  7, 2005

Hiring troubles at Microsoft.

The post is a self-described tirade about the trials of working with Microsoft managers who ultimately make employment offers. A chief problem is the way these managers are self-absorbed, suggests Gretchen Ledgard, a senior technical recruiter at Microsoft. "(T)hey can't seem to get it through their heads that 1) Microsoft isn't the only place hiring, 2) Working at a big company isn't everyone's dream, and 3) Redmond is not the first place people say they want to move when they wake up in the morning."

Ledgard doesn't pull any punches in the rant, and admits the situation makes her wonder if her job is worth it.

"So I guess I've just been really tired of (pardon my bluntness) the entitled, spoiled whiners lately," she said. "So much that it's made me question my desire to continue working in a recruiting function for this company."

Recruiting headaches at Microsoft | CNET Blog

If You Can Make It in Silicon Valley, You Can Make It . . . in Silicon Valley Again
Topic: Tech Industry 4:42 pm EDT, Jun  5, 2005

Marc Andreessen continues to fill up notebooks with ideas and sketched-out business plans for new companies. Among the gossipy cognoscenti, it's a poorly kept secret that in recent months he has been occupied starting a new Internet company.

Improbable as it may seem, given the breadth and depth of the dot-com collapse, not to mention the emergence of hivelike high-tech centers in places like China and India now available for off-shoring and outsourcing, Silicon Valley is starting to feel like 1995 -- the year Netscape went public -- all over again.

The miracle of Silicon Valley is that it is a system finely calibrated to spit out new companies -- some of which have come to be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, within a few years' time.

"I think the mistake now is holding back when you've got a good idea." Particularly with the rich scent of investment money once again in the air.

They form the core of a revived entrepreneurial network drunk on the idea of creating the next big thing. None have to work another day in their lives, yet they still routinely work 60 to 70 hours a week -- except those who sheepishly confess to working 80.

"You can't underestimate the good feeling you get when people in your wider social circle think you created something really, really cool."

"It's like the word 'opportunity' is there in front of you in red flashing lights and you feel you have no choice. I'm having the time of my life."

"I know one venture capitalist who's basically reviewing scores of ideas from 1999 [2], figuring there's all these babies thrown out with the bath water. I think he's right."

"We are not ready to stop changing the world."

Wanted: "Silicon Valley ate my balls" webpage.

If I had my choice of locations to base Industrial Memetics and the MemeStreams empire out of, I'd probably pick New York for the Business and Media HQ, and San Francisco for Engineering and Research & Development. All the code tinkering and thinking would run out of the Bay Area in an effort to pool and poll its talent pool. All the (non-vendor) business relationships and production of PodCasts and vCasts would be run out of Manhattan, most likely mid-town, although that Freedom Tower is going to be pretty alluring whenever they actually build the damn thing. We could nickname the company intranet "The I-80".

Someone get me about $40-60 million, please. I'll start doing the diamond thing with my hands, and I'll take meetings and make decisions all day. I might even cut my hair, although I wouldn't expect Decius to cut his. Everyone could start calling me a self-righteous-militant-asshole behind my back, and maybe we'd be able to get something done this time around, without Silicon Valley eating our balls.

If You Can Make It in Silicon Valley, You Can Make It . . . in Silicon Valley Again

GQ: Journey to the (Revoltionary, Evil-Hating, Cash-Crazy, and Possibly Self-Destructive) Center of Google
Topic: Tech Industry 3:07 am EST, Feb 28, 2005

GQ on Google's internal power structure and corporate influences.

GQ: Journey to the (Revoltionary, Evil-Hating, Cash-Crazy, and Possibly Self-Destructive) Center of Google

Choose to Compete - What the IT industry told Congress today
Topic: Tech Industry 11:54 pm EST, Jan  7, 2004

Decius's response: The US IT industry cannot employ the people domestically that it has available to it today, and it has no plans to employ more people domestically in the future. That is the reason that it is beginning to fall under political pressure. Their response is to pretend that this problem does not exist by quoting statistics developed during the dotcom boom, and then, with a straight face, request assistance with moving money across international borders, assistance with R&D expenses, and the training of EVEN MORE engineers ("We can't use the resources we have, so please give us more resources.").

This country does not produce as many Engineers as China because Engineering bears a stigma in this country of being an undesirable profession. Numbers increased in recent years because that perception began to change, but its going right back down again. This is because the IT industry has failed to make a compelling case that people should WANT to be Engineers. If they wish to see the US produce more and better engineers, they need to sell teenagers on the idea that being an Engineer is worth all the work. They need to demonstrate to people that there are real opportunities.

How many of those 61,000 Engineering graduates from the class of 1999 do you know who have been underemployed or unemployed in the last 3 years? What kind of message is that sending to people who are considering following in their footsteps? If the IT industry really wanted more Engineers domestically they would be addressing that concern directly instead of getting up in front of Congress and asking for lower taxes. The fact that they chose the later option further contributes to the idea that this is all a big crock. It should surprise none of you that this is the same industry group that cuts deals with the RIAA to sell DRM into your house.

This sort of complete leadership vacuum does not bode well. Leadership vacuums get filled, inevitably. Sometimes by dangerous people.

Choose to Compete - What the IT industry told Congress today

Tech Firms Defend Moving Jobs Overseas (
Topic: Tech Industry 9:59 pm EST, Jan  7, 2004

] Intel chief executive Craig Barrett said the United
] States "now has to compete for every job going forward.
] That has not been on the table before. It had been
] assumed we had a lock on white-collar jobs and high-tech
] jobs. That is no longer the case."

They are smarter. They are hungrier. They have a better work ethic. Their dollars go futher, and they are used to having less stuff. Their labor regulations are looser. This isn't about tech jobs, this is about service/knowledge jobs. This is only the beginning. American dominance is over. There are too many skilled people, no one knows how to utilize all of them, and you are far from the most attractive of them. Ever wanted to know what life was like in the 30s? You will.

Tech Firms Defend Moving Jobs Overseas (

Globes [online] - No favors
Topic: Tech Industry 6:25 pm EST, Dec  2, 2003

] In recent years, there have been quite a few
] entrepreneurs wandering around with good ideas (at least
] in their heads), but unable to raise capital. There are
] no more angels willing to invest hundreds of thousands of
] dollars. The number of venture capital funds making seed
] investments has sharply contracted, and those still
] willing to invest do so only after long and painstaking
] study, especially in cases of entrepreneurs without prior
] experience.

Interesting interview with the founders of Huminity...

] In retrospect, do you regret not raising money from
] venture capital funds?
] "Truthfully, not at all. I think that had they invested
] in us, there's a good chance that TeraSync wouldn't
] exist now. They'd have killed us, like they killed a lot
] of other companies. If they don't see a quick exit,
] they have no reason to waste their management fees on a
] company. Had they invested in the company, they'd have
] forced us to appoint all kinds of American marketing
] people; their kind of people. They'd have diluted us
] altogether at the second financing round, and if they
] didn't see an IPO on the horizon, they'd have simply
] closed us down."

Globes [online] - No favors

As Silicon Valley Reboots, the Geeks Take Charge
Topic: Tech Industry 10:12 am EST, Oct 27, 2003

Are the good times back in Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley is rebooting. And this time, the geeks are the ones with the upper hand.

... The marketing plan, business model and sometimes the company itself die, but good technology tends to live on. Think of it as the biz/tech equivalent of the "selfish gene." ... "No one gets too torn up about [failure] in the valley."

"There is a lot of phenomenal intellectual property that has not found its way into the marketplace yet."

As Silicon Valley Reboots, the Geeks Take Charge

Rogue AOL Subsidiary Leader to Resign
Topic: Tech Industry 8:25 am EDT, Jun  4, 2003

A young programmer whose software startup, Nullsoft, was gobbled up by America Online -- and then caused numerous headaches for its corporate parent -- plans to resign after his latest piece of rebel code was pulled from the Internet.

Justin Frankel, 24, announced his intentions late Monday, less than a week after a file-sharing program called Waste was posted and then pulled from the Nullsoft Web site.

Rogue AOL Subsidiary Leader to Resign

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