Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

"How To Manage Your Start-Up in the Downturn"? Well, Come to This Event and Find Out!

Tomorrow, BoomTown is trying to find a silver lining from a group of entrepreneurs at VentureBeat’s “How to manage your start-up in the downturn” roundtable event.

It will take place at the Stanford Park Hotel in Palo Alto from 8 a.m. to noon.

Toni Schneider, chief executive of Automattic (the company that makes the WordPress blogging software) will join Max Levchin of Slide, Jason Calacanis of Mahalo, O’Melveny & Myers’ Sam Zucker, and Nirav Tolia of Web 1.0’s Epinions.

Along with my group, for whom I am planning all sorts of verbal tortures (“Exactly how much do you make?”), there is also a panel of investors, moderated by VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall, which features: John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Ram Shriram, one of Google’s first investors, Ron Conway, Kittu Kolluri of New Enterprise Associates and Matt Cohler of Benchmark Capital.

Oh, it is sure to be a festival of Web 2.0 pondering.

Said Marshall in a post about the gathering:

One goal of this event is to provide context and advice for start-up CEOs and founders facing the recession. We’ve handpicked the speakers for their remarkable records and experiences in the previous downturn. …

While the Sequoia [Capital] ‘RIP Good Times’ presentation gave a broad overview of the economic problems facing the tech world, it provided mostly a macro analysis, and a general prescription for companies.

Now is the time to take the analysis one step further, and discuss the variety of situations we see among valley investors and their start-ups: How cleantech companies are different from Internet start-ups, and how under certain conditions, a profitable company may actually be poised for aggressive growth, hiring and M&A–and not necessarily ideal for cost cutting. We intend to explore all of this and more.

Given the fairly predictable ‘Silicon Valley is in circle-the-wagons mode’ story line we’ve been seeing so far in the media, this event is also the Valley’s opportunity to help dispel this myth and explain how the area’s start-ups are actually quite diverse and that there are a mix of strategies at play.”

The event is sold out, but it will be streamed live.

And, as usual, look for a shaky video report of the roundtable from me later!

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle