Voices

The Case for the Fat Start-Up

Much has been written and said about the current economic downturn and the resulting lessons on how to run high-technology companies. Quite famously, Sequoia Capital, the premier venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, held a mandatory all-CEO meeting in fall 2008 during which it advised them to “Cut spending. Cut fat. Preserve capital.”

Apple Has Hired an M&A Specialist? What’s Adobe’s Market Cap, Again?

Apple made its first acquisition on March 2, 1988, with the purchase of Network Innovations. Since then, it has made just 23 more, including its recent $275 million purchase of Quattro Wireless. Which isn’t all that many for a company with $23 billion in the bank (as a point of comparison, Google has acquired 11 companies in the last 18 months alone). But that may soon change, because Cupertino finally has a dedicated acquisitions specialist, Adrian Perica.
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Econalypse Fin

“The technology downturn of 2008 and 2009 is unofficially over.” This, according to Forrester, which claims technology spending will roar back to life in 2010.
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Sun’s Business in Shambles Thanks to “Uncertainty Associated With the Proposed Acquisition by Oracle”

“The decrease in _____ revenue was primarily due to _____” and “uncertainty associated with the proposed acquisition by Oracle and increased competition.” That refrain is repeated over and over again in Sun’s latest grim earnings report, which was filed without much in the way of announcement Friday afternoon.
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RealNetworks’s Internal Layoff Memo

Earlier today, Kara Swisher reported in BoomTown that RealNetworks would sack four percent of its workforce–70 employees out of its 1,700-person staff. After the jump, the official internal memo from RealNetworks Founder, Chairman and CEO Rob Glaser, breaking the bad news.
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Global Chip Sales Down 21.3 Percent Year-to-Date. But Hey, They Rose Five Percent in August!

Worldwide sales of semiconductors in August rose five percent over July, racking up their sixth month of consecutive gains, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. Great news were it not for the fact that at $19.1 billion, August sales were down a horrific 16.1 percent year-over-year. Furthermore, for the first eight months of 2009, sales are at $133.8 billion–about 21.3 percent below what they were at this time last year.
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Shocking Coincidence! Republicans, AT&T Unhappy With Proposed Network Neutrality Rules.

That was fast. Just hours after Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, unveiled his open Internet proposal, a number of Republican senators stepped forward to oppose it. Arguing that Net Neutrality will “impede investment and innovation of new technologies,” Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R., Texas), proposed an amendment to an Interior Department appropriations bill that would bar the FCC from using federal funds to implement the proposal.

Smart Phones Selling Far Better Than Dumb Ones

Global mobile handset sales fell at a record pace in the first quarter of 2009. And they’re likely to do so once again in the second. With the exception of smart phones, which are apparently doing quite well despite the recession.
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Steve Forbes: We’re Not Making More Cuts

Just because Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners is stepping down from the Forbes Media board, to be replaced by a cost-cutting expert, doesn’t mean more cuts are coming, says CEO Steve Forbes: “Various media outlets today noted that Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners has stepped off the Forbes Media board and that this portends an imminent round of additional cuts. It does not.” Here’s the complete internal memo.
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Non-News From Microsoft: More Layoffs–If the Economy Tanks Again

File this one under “hard to say it’s news”: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says the company would consider more layoffs–if the economy falls off another cliff. Gotta credit him with consistency: He said the exact same thing a week ago.
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Insert "Sirius Trouble" Pun Here

Apple Q1: Boom

Thank God for IBM