Thursday, October 9, 2008

Valley alarms

Sitting in a London hotel lobby, waiting for my room to be ready, half asleep but reading through my email.... I picked up the Gigaom article Sequoia Rings the Alarm Bell: Silicon Valley Is in Trouble. I had posted a few weeks ago that the valley was not immune, but it seems that people had to see the market crash to get the message.

Clearly Sequoia has see this type of downturn before. The burst of the dot com bubble was much worse for silicon valley than for the rest of the country. Startups went under at an incredible pace. The glory days were over then and there was speculation that the valley was finished, never to recover. (And the side benefit was less traffic and easy restaurant reservations.)

But the doomsayers were wrong. As has happened repeatedly now, a few short years later the valley was booming again with a new generation of heroes like Google and Facebook and the highest number of billionaries outside of Manhattan.

I think the same cycle will repeat. No question this downturn, like the last just 8 years ago, is going to be brutal and we all have to tighten our belts and hunker down to survive it. But the companies that survive will come out the other side much stronger. They'll have better products, more resilient management teams and the respect of the market for surviving.

It's my job to make sure FirstRain is one of them.

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