Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Pedal To The Metal: Is It Time For A New Sequoia Presentation?

Posted by Tom Foremski - September 17, 2009

Rarely has a Powerpoint presentation deck had as much destructive power as the one prepared by Eric Upin, partner at Sequoia Capital.

"R.I.P. Good Times" was presented about a year ago in a mandatory meeting of all the CEOs backed by Sequoia. Mike Moritz and Doug Leone laid down the line: slash jobs and expenses now - the fallout from the financial crisis could last for years. [GigaOm:Sequoia Rings the Alarm Bell: Silicon Valley Is in Trouble]

The presentation was leaked and circulated wildly with nearly half-a-million views.

Silicon Valley VCs might like to think of themselves as svelte wolf packs sniffing out the best investment opportunities, but they more often act like herd animals all running in the same direction -- especially when spooked.

The RIP presentation had a huge multiplier effect. Thousands of startups cut jobs and slashed spending. Outside services, especially PR firms, were hurt badly as companies cancelled or cut their retainers to the bone.

Now we are beginning to see some green shoots of a recovery. There has been some very welcome M&A activity and at very generous valuations.

Recent acquisitions in the hi-tech field include the purchase of Mint.com by Intuit for $170m (£102m), Adobe buying Omniture for $1.8bn (£1.08bn), the sale of Skype to a private equity syndicate for $2bn (£1.2bn) and the purchase of SpringSource by VMware for $420m (£254m).
BBC NEWS | Technology | Silicon Valley 'seeing revival'

All we need now is the IPO market to spark up and Silicon Valley will roar back to life.

But why wait? Surely it is better to have all your ducks in a row now. This is a great time to invest in people and services to make sure your startups are well positioned and well known.

Surely now is the time for another Sequoia presentation: "Pedal to the Metal." You can bet they won't be leaking that one.

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Please see:

RIP: Sequoia Capital's hedge fund? | VentureBeat

Sequoia Capital partner Eric Upin has left the storied Silicon Valley venture capital firm to work at investment management firm Makena Capital Management, according to Forbes.

You're Fired, Er, No You're Not - Layoffs - Gawker

Sequoia Capital, the backer of Apple, Yahoo, and Google, ordered its startups to slash their payrolls this fall. We hear one CEO fired people so enthusiastically he had to retract some of his pink slips.


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