Today's WSJ (login required) has a great article about Voltage Security and the less glorious side of founding and running a startup--the fact that you have to keep slogging away regardless of what's going on around you.Every industry has its superstars and its sloggers, of course. But the tech industry of the late 1990s and earlier this decade has seen an unusual number of two-year cycles end with a lucrative sale or initial public offering. When that doesn't happen, the process can get so grueling and protracted that some VCs say they have to get creative … Read more
Right now, a small team with no money can start a real online business. If the founders are very lucky, they generate revenue and begin to grow. If they are exceptionally fortunate, they get sold to Google for $1.65 billion. But most of the start-ups we cover on Webware.com will languish for a while in obscurity and eventually die. The problems they are solving are not big enough.
This is one of the reasons that venture capitalists are having a hard time. Many are are sitting on funds of hundreds of millions of dollars, looking for places to … Read more
Reading about the demise of Edgeio over on Techcrunch made me think a bit about being an entrepreneur and wonder what's happened to the valley. Having been through the tech downturn here in SF and watching two companies I worked for go public only to flame out I should be last person who felt the desire to start a company. But, what's the point of living in the bay area if you can't seize the opportunity for technology greatness?
There seem to be less startups lately and I'm starting to wonder if would-be founders are taking … Read more
No two jobs are alike, but one thing millions of us have in common is the daily wait for Windows to get going. Why can't our PCs start as quickly as our radios, TVs, and other electronic devices?
Well, the instant-on PC isn't likely to arrive anytime soon, but you can get your workday rolling without having to stare down that annoying Windows logo. The simplest solution is to set Windows' Power Options to send your system into XP's standby or Vista's sleep mode after it has been idle for a while. Then you can simply … Read more
Mark Wolfram, General Manager of Venture Integration (!?) for Microsoft, told a group of VCs that no startup is too small for it to consider acquiring, apparently displaying its desire to keep up with Google's and Yahoo's appetites for startup veal. As CNET's own Beyond Binary reports, though, depending on how you read his comment, Wolfram's idea of a fair price may not endear him to too many startups.
"At end of day we are buying a company for (its) people and IP."...
Asked what is the smallest acquisition he'd consider, Wolfram insisted that there is no minimum revenue, provided its two prior conditions are met. Some of Microsoft's acquisitions have been companies with just a few people and no revenue. The company has also spent as much as $6 billion, with its recent acquisition of Aquantive, though $50 million and 50 to 100 employees tends to be the company's sweet spot, Wolfram said.
I read that to mean $50 million in revenue. But if it means what Valleywag interpreted it to mean - 50 to 100 people and a valuation of $50 million, it's no wonder the best startups don't necessarily fall into Microsoft's lap. If I have 100 people in my company I'd darn well better be doing more in revenue than would justify a paltry $50 million valuation.… Read more
Monday morning, Zoho, the online productivity suite, announced full offline functionality for its Zoho Writer product. Zoho had previously released partial offline functionality for Writer earlier this year, but you could only read the documents and not edit them. What good is that? Luckily, as a little post-Thanksgiving gift, we now have full offline editing, utilizing Google Gears (download Google Gears for Windows or Mac from CNET Download.com).
The offline functionality here couldn't be any easier. If you need to go offline, just hit the "Go Offline" button at the top, give Zoho permission to use … Read more
The guy who created Hotmail is back with a new set of applications that are a direct clone of MS Office delivered through a browser. My initial reaction: Who cares? We already have at least 10 companies doing the same thing, including Google who have the biggest footprint...but read on:
Live Documents is similar to Google Apps, launched in February and used by companies including Proctor & Gamble, General Electric and Capgemini as a cheaper alternative to Microsoft. However, Mr Bhatia claims that his product is superior to Google?s in its range and quality, most crucially because it … Read more
Nothing like a little dose of harsh reality in the morning.
InsideCRM has a list of what it thinks are the twenty worst VC investments of all time. I'm not really sure why InsideCRM would be the expert on this, it's still pretty interesting.
1. Amp'd Mobile: $360 million raised, ended in bankruptcy. 2. Procket: $272 million, sold for $89 million. 3. Webvan: Valued at $1.2 billion, went bankrupt in 2001. Ate through $800 million in venture capital, ended with $830 million in losses.
For even more depressing fun, check out the massive list of 4300 … Read more
The Web 2.0 style IT management tool, Paglo launched in beta on Monday.
Paglo is essentially an IT search engine that indexes a ton of information about the network you are managing. For example, if you are concerned about how many copies of Microsoft Office are installed on computers at your company and want to make sure that you are complying with your license, Paglo allows you to view that statistic in real time.
There are three key elements to Paglo: the Crawler, Search Index, and UI. If you are a network administrator, for example, you install the Paglo … Read more
Paula Abdul doesn't have anything on Marissa Mayer.
Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience, will be on a panel of expert judges for YouBeTheVC.com, where people vie for venture capital funding though an online contest. The contest is something like American Idol meets The Apprentice.
Would-be entrepreneurs submit their business ideas online and the judges give them report cards. Members of the public then choose the winners from semifinalists picked by the judges.
"We're really excited about this contest because we really like the idea of being able to see what'… Read more