Given the financial turmoil that is hitting international markets (especially the US), it is not surprising that Techcrunch posted and article delving into the issue of venture capital in this tumultuous time. I agree with the majority of the article, except I think that there is another angle in play.
The general market turmoil caused by the credit crunch is certainly going to reduce the number of wealthy investors that are throwing money into VC funds. However, at the same time we are witnessing a sharp shift in the perception of risk associated with hedge funds and other leveraged investing strategies. As investors withdraw their money from those funds there is definitely the potential that some of that money will in turn flow into venture funds that are now perceived as slightly less risky than before, on a comparison basis.
The article is definitely worth a read. Check it out below and leave your comments here.
VC’s (and Startups) Won’t Be Immune to the Credit Crisis: Techcrunch
So far the downward spiral of credit and financial markets seems to have left venture capital firms and startups relatively unharmed. Even though the IPO market closed completely in the second quarter (and opened again only slightly in the third), venture capital firms continue to raise money and invest in startups at a healthy pace. During the first half of the year, venture capital firms raised about $16 billion in 141 funds and invested about $15 billion in nearly 2,000 deals.
A month ago we wrote a piece (The e-Book Revolution) that claimed that Amazon sold 240,000 kindles. Citigroup has since estimated that number up to 380,000 sold. We debated whether the E-Book in Kindle like formats would be widely used. The numbers are encouraging. This month iRex is going to launch it’s next generation e-reader called Reader 1000. Sony is rumoured to be launching its next generation e-reader in October and a company called Plastic Logic recently demo’ed an e-reader aimed at business users.
Don’t be surprised if all the new readers will sport E-Ink technologies. It is the only way of building a thin, durable device that has extended battery life. It’s rumoured that Amazon’s Kindle will still carry the best price point ($360) by a longshot. Some of the new features we are looking to play with are larger screen sizes and interactive touch screens.
The question still remains, do we want to carry a second or third device? Are these dedicated e-readers that much of an improvement to warrant their purchase? I’ve just downloaded an e-book to my iPhone. Who knew that I was carrying an an e-reader in my pocket all along?
For those interested in a beta trial of reading longer documents (perhaps an e-book) email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
I always enjoy reading/viewing articles about concept technology (especially car designs). I thought this article from Lifehacker was interesting highlighting some of the new tech coming to the internet. Top 10 Up-and-Coming Products
The human mind never ceases to amaze me. Seeing pictures of the LAC, LAC Stunning Images and the audacity of human kind to manipulate our reality is incredible. By far the best quote I have read regarding the LAC is from none other than Stephen Hawking,
“I think it will be much more exciting if we don’t find the Higgs. That will show something is wrong, and we need to think again. I have a bet of 100 dollars that we won’t find the Higgs,” added Hawking, “and another 100 that we all fucking die. AAAAHH!”
Large Hadron Collider Successfully Tested, Hasn’t Destroyed Earth…Yet!
The title may not be 100% accurate, but I just came across an article documenting a new patent that Google just won this past August. The patent is for a floating datacenter that is run on wind power and is cooled by the water. The implications of this are obviously huge and far reaching. To put this in perspective Rackspace which is one of the larger datacenters recently bought the carcus of a very large shopping mall to host their new server facility. These datacenters are huge power hogs. If Google can move these data centers off-shore (literally) and into the vast ocean while at the same time increasing their energy efficiency, there is no limit to their capacity. The article which can be found here is worth checking out as it goes into much more detail.
Last week, I attended a presentation by Pierre-Olivier Pineau, a professor at HEC Montreal who specializes in energy policy. He delivered a presentation entitled “The Energy Non-Crisis.” His basic thesis is that the current state of global energy consumption does not meet the definition of a crisis. He asserts that at our current rates of consumption we could survive for at least a century, and thereby there is no immediate need to curb usage of non-renewables.
Obviously, and I believe intentionally, this perspective excludes a number of critical arguments, not the least of which being rising rates of demand across the developed and undeveloped world and the environmental impacts of our energy habits. He does this to establish a bookend perspective. One (untenable) position is that we maintain the status quo. The other (unlikely) position is that the world wakes up tomorrow with the political and economic will to dramatically and materially change the way energy is produced and consumed.
The net effect this has is to open up the middle ground, and allow the rest of us to debate exactly what the appropriate actions to take are. For our generation, this question is particularly poignant. 100 years seems like a long way off, but when we turn 65, this will become an immediate concern.
For the most part, we say all the right things. We research new technologies, we talk about reducing our carbon footprints, and we chide our parents about the gas-guzzling minivans they drove carpool in when we were young. But what can we do to have an impact beyond our small spheres of influence? How do we expand our scopes to the communities around us?
I believe that the way to affect change is by engaging actively in the political process, working with our elected representatives to develop an implement meaningful change. Ultimately, we will be in a position to become those elected representitives, and will hopefull be campaigning to a more educated and concerned population. I suspect, however, that many of my peers disagree with this, and feel that politics is an old man’s game with no real impact. So what does everyone out there think? How can generation Y, on the cusp of self-sufficiency, drive our respective communities to take action while energy is still a “non-crisis”?
I always find it annoying watching someone swirve on the road only to find them texting on their cell phone as I pass by, my fist waving angrily out the window. This whole texting revolution has gone too far in my mind. The number of car accidents in the UK alone attributed to texting on a cell phone is uncanny. The fact that London is installing foam around some of it’s metropolitain street posts due to people walking into them as their heads are down, concentrating on their lovers text message request for a couple of limes from the local supermarket, is in itself absurd. However, last weekend a friend of mine told me about something he had seen online that blew his mind (mind you he was texting, eating McDonalds, smoking and driving the car at the same time/watching a movie). I wont describe it as the video is worth a thousand words in itself … you have to check it. See below.
What are we becoming?