• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

All posts by Tom Foremski: In Silicon Valley

Tom Foremski: In Silicon Valley
Tom Foremski is a former Financial Times journalist and the Founder and Publisher of Silicon Valley watcher, which is an online news site reporting on the business of Silicon Valley and the culture of disruption.
  • Every VC company is a media company

    The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Cambridge Associates recently released a study showing that VC funds returned an average of 7.4% annually over a 10 year period. For early stage funding it was just 6.4%. This compares to 8.5% for the S&P 500. The VCs of Silicon Valley have an unshakeable belief in their investment skills, despite the study's Big Data showing they can't outperform a grandmother investing in an S&P Index fund. It's easy to see how "smart money" VCs end up with dumb money returns, when they herd into the same types of me-too startups and ruin the...

  • Hey startups, good luck with Paul Graham’s ‘do things that don’t scale’ tip

    Y Combinator founder Paul Graham is a deity in Silicon Valley's startup communities and whenever and whatever he writes on his blog is closely scrutinized. His latest post: Do Things that Don't Scale. The word "scale" is code for software automation. His post is about startups that believe that all they need to do is launch their web service with sufficient attention and users will sign up and the business will grow (like a hockey stick). He points out that successful startups, such as Stripe did not sit back but went out "manually" to "recruit users." "Sell" is a four-letter word in...

  • Put that Schadenfreude on hold, Silicon Valley is still king

    Silicon Valley reported 226 private company acquisitions in 2012, well ahead of New York with 100 deals, and leagues ahead of any other US tech hub, reports PrivCo, which tracks such deals. The Silicon Valley region, including the wider San Francisco Bay Area, recorded 226 private company sales in 2012, next was New York with a surprising 100 deals, which ousted Boston and its 62 deals, LA had 55, and Seattle's 43 narrowly...

  • Delphix: a standout startup with standout leadership

    I meet with huge numbers of companies every year but it's rare for me to come across a company that excites me as much as Delphix. Delphix founder Jed Yueh is just 37 years old and will undoubtably become one of Silicon Valley's next generation of leaders and success stories. His focus, his discipline, and his intellect are striking -- and it's these qualities of leadership that sets Delphix apart from the many...

  • Are the consumer web and enterprise splitting the VC herd?

    Dave McClure, the highly successful Silicon Valley Angel/Micro VC investor, published a passionate post about the prosperous future for the consumer web, and criticised other investors for moving away from the sector. McClure writes: Recent articles by the WSJ, Fred Wilson, & others are noting a shift in investor interest to enterprise and away from consumer. If true, this is a huge error... at least for entrepreneurs, angels, and smaller funds. There is no better time than the present to build cheap & scalable software-based businesses that make money. He points out that the business opportunities are far from over because of...

  • Brazilian tech giant makes Silicon Valley play

    Brazilian tech giant TOTVS says it has established TOTVS Labs, A Silicon Valley based research and development facility that will be used to create new software and spearhead an expansion into North American markets. TOTVS is the largest enterprise software company in Latin America with more than 10 000 staff. I spoke with Vicente Goetten, executive director of TOTVS Labs. Here are some of my notes from our conversation: The move is a strategic one and will help the company become a global IT brand by leveraging the specialist cutting edge expertise of top Silicon Valley engineers. The primary focus is on...

  • Y Combinator is a cult and Silicon Valley is unique

    Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley-based retired serial entrepreneur, does a fabulous job in this interview in defining what makes Silicon Valley unique as a global engine of innovation. It's about culture and culture cannot be easily copied or exported. He also talks about how people around the world can be reading his posts and lessons in near-real time and that this is helping to change culture in innovation centers around the world. I disagree...

  • A closer look at GE Software: a rising startup in Silicon Valley

    One of the largest startups in and around Silicon Valley is GE Global Software in San Ramon, California, a brand new division of giant General Electric, built from scratch into an organization of 400 engineers, growing to as many as 800 software engineers and researchers by year end. Betting big on software is a key business strategy for GE. The business group's annual revenues were more than $142 billion in 2012. In 2008 they were nearly $180 billion. Software businesses have high profit margins especially if they can be applied across a large user base. Software is a far more...

  • WPP’s buying spree shows a thirst for digital marketing startups

    WPP, the world's largest advertising and marketing group, is on a buying spree, reports the Financial Times. Who says there is no M&A any more? WPP made no fewer than 40 acquisitions, in 21 countries, in the first half of 2012. That is nearly two a week. ... WPP is already the world's biggest advertising agency. It intends to get bigger still. As Sir Martin points out, half its business -- emerging markets, digital...

  • Every company is a media company

    For many years I've been saying that every company is a media company and writing about what that means, as well as its importance to business. At first people were puzzled by that statement but these days it is much better understood. Its importance has increased tremendously and it is now fueling multi-million dollar acquisitions. This week, Fleishman Hillard, one of the world's largest PR firms, and GMR Marketing acquired Amos Content Group in...