Silicon Valley has its own portfolio of toxic investments that no one likes to talk about. The office parks along 101 are littered with the living dead, startups running on fumes of hope and trickles of venture capital. What their future looks like: The $5 million asset sale of Radiance Technologies, a digital-video file-delivery company, to Comcast. An asset sale means that the buyer gets the technology, patents, and servers, while investors are left with the liabilities. Radiance's VCs, who sank $26 million into the company starting in 2000, are unlikely to see much from the purchase. Play that scenario out hundreds of times, and you get a glimpse at what's coming for investors and entrepreneurs. No wonder even sunnily optimistic VCs are losing hope.As it should be. It's always at the height of a bubble that some fad — bandwidth delivery! online ad-networks! social media marketing management! — starts looking like a sure thing. But most startups fail, tech startups included. Few make any money for their investors; VCs, like Hollywood studios, live off the hits. What to do if you work at the 17th Ajax-enabled online calendar to hit the market, the 217th YouTube clone, the 397th online-ad network ? Give up, move on. Despite the headlines, people are still hiring — even, sometimes, as they shed jobs. Wall Street may have failed in its job at allocating capital. But Silicon Valley's particular genius is in matching talent to markets. So embrace it! The world has countless real problems to solve. You're not going to make a fortune copying someone else's idea. Come up with your own genuinely good one, and you'll never have to read about your company's fire sale in Valleywag.