October 2008 Archives
Near the end of the Clinton era:
Near the end of the Bush era:
"Too much living is no way to die."
Annual report, year 5 A.D.
Lost three friends to the grave, much too young. Lost more friends to circumstance.
Made new friends, really good ones, and reconnected with old ones, really good ones.
Lost some family. Got tighter with other family. My kids and my siblings and my parents rock.
Watched friends go out, get drunk, come back. Watch friends go out, get high, not come back.
Did not drink. Did not consider drinking. Did not have weird dreams about drinking.
For the whole year.
Which is something, I suppose.
When I was at zero, five seemed unimaginable. Now it's just another year.
P.S. Happy birthday, Professor Morris. I'd give it all back to be able to stand you a round of Jameson.
I tell you what, Biden totally rocks that leotard and cape.
Existing cash flow is key, 'cause you ain't getting any more from anywhere else any time soon:
Gurley also says for companies to expect “across-the-board reductions” in valuations, and a tough market for raising money - “Basically, the cost of capital is going way up.” Hedge funds are probably out of the picture for startup financings, he says, and corporate, strategic and angel money will decline.
But it won't suck as bad as 2000-2003:
From a high level, this downturn is different from the Internet bubble of 1999. First, the last downturn started in our backyard. We were the speculators; this time it is someone else. This means that the “crash on the beach” wont be nearly as severe. In the Internet crash, many times the customer was actually another VC‐backed company and as such, there was a strong negative spiral. That said, while this downturn might be shallower than last; it could last longer in terms of absolute time. The American consumer is super‐leveraged which wasn’t true before the 1930’s or the 1970’s. The overall economy will have trouble gaining momentum ith this debt anchor, and my best guess is the contraction is not finished yet. As wsuch, it might take a long, long time before we see glory days again.
Which is good, because during that period I survived 14 rounds of layoffs at my previous company, and I've still got Startup Seasonal Affective Disorder, AKA End-of-Quarter PTSD, AKA "Anybody heard anything about our numbers? Anybody see stacks of moving boxes hidden in the mailroom?"
I can wait a while for glory days. I just want some reasonable stability. I really don't want another fucking career holocaust amongst the rank-and-file techies. Seeing brilliant senior QA engineers working retail at the mall in 2002 was pretty fucking sobering.
But I don't like the closing tone of tough love:
As an example, not hiring heads that were previous TBH isn’t really a reduction in expenses. Also, 10% cuts rarely lead to anything other than multiple rounds of cuts, which have a harrowing affect on culture. It’s easy to mentally understand this is the right thing to do. It is ten times harder to make the actual decisions to affect change. These are extremely hard decisions.
I have hurricanes. Doesn't that earn me an exemption from high-tech slowdown carnage?
January 29-30, 2009
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
CALL FOR PAPERS
Please distribute widely
The Black Humanities Collective (BHC) and The Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS) of the University of Michigan invite individual paper and panel proposals for our 2009 symposium, “Heart of the City: Black Urban Life on The Wire.
More details over at NuPac.
As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption, mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth -- not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced -- to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nation's economic machinery. [Emphasis in original.]
Instead of achieving that kind of distribution, a giant suction pump had by 1929-30 drawn into a few hands an increasing portion of currently produced wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence, as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped.
--Marriner S. Eccles, Federal Reserve Chairman 1934-1948, on The Great Depression.