5 tech companies getting soaked by Wall Street's meltdown

Nicholas Carlson · 09/16/08 07:00PM

If Silicon Valley is mentally disconnected from this week's Wall Street mess, it's because ad-supported companies dominate the Valley these days. High-net-worth investors aren't reeled in with cheap banners, so the demise of Lehman Brothers or Merrill Lynch hardly pinches budgets. Lehman spent just $501,900 on ads, both online and off, in the first half of 2008. Merrill Lynch, which has a much larger consumer business, still only spent $38 million on advertising last year. Still, some 150,000 people will lose their jobs in this week's fallout. That's a lot of tech infrastructure no one will want to pay for anymore. Lehman, for example, spent $309 million on IT last quarter alone. What's more, Lehman's investment banking connections run deep in the Valley's world of startups, VCs and big company buyers. Below, five tech companies that find themselves wishing they could unleash themselves from Wall Street's fate.

How funding works: So startups are abandoning venture capital. Why?

Nick Douglas · 11/09/06 02:33PM

An insightful article on "startups on a shoestring" in the New York Times covers the rise of companies running on angel investors, loans, or even credit cards. It's a switch from the more famous method of raising piles of venture capital from a firm. But what does that mean? It means startup founders get to keep more of their money and power.

The rumors of YouTube's death...

Nick Douglas · 10/20/06 10:50AM

"IS YOUTUBE DEAD?" screams the San Francisco Chronicle. "For many of us, there's a definite vibe that the wild fun times will soon be coming to an end. It's like your parents are coming up the driveway."

Meet the duo: Why YouTube's Chad Hurley can't be the next Steve Jobs

Nick Douglas · 10/13/06 07:33PM

A dynamic duo is more likely to found a hit company than a lone gunman. Hewlett and Packard, Yahoo's David Filo and Jerry Yang, Google's Sergey Brin and Larry Page, — even Steve Jobs had his Steve Wozniak. The character of the company, then, lies not in one personality but the relationship between two. For YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, that relationship, according to Fortune, is the classic nerd-and-businessman pair.

Win Google's money: Who can leave YouTube today a millionaire?

Nick Douglas · 10/09/06 05:13PM

So now that Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock, which YouTube employees, managers and investors can cut and run, and who has to work another year before leaving a millionaire? An old-school dot-com journo explains the windfall to Valleywag.

What do we lose when YouTube sells out?

Nick Douglas · 09/29/06 06:07PM

It's the place you go for Family Guy clips and last night's Jon Stewart interview. For now, media companies keep their hands off YouTube and cut deals with the site instead. But some day, if it doesn't die first, YouTube will have to sell out, and the buyer will become a juicy legal target for every other media company whose stuff is pirated on the popular video site. What clips are in danger if one of these top potential buyers bites?

The eruptors: 11 companies. 11 puff pieces.

Nick Douglas · 09/20/06 01:42PM

Hey, nothing against the eleven corporate leaders profiled in Business 2.0 Magazine's latest feature, "The Disruptors." (Except you, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff. Nobody likes you.) It's just that "glory stories" like this make us giggle, because by definition they have to play down the arguments against their subjects. And B2 added Wired-worthy hero shots like the one shown here. So here's a guide to the most egregious idolatry:

Don't be a flack: Tips for PR workers from the journalists who hate them

Nick Douglas · 09/13/06 07:23PM

Today a flack from public relations firm SS PR sent me yet another piece of spam following up an e-mail pitch I never asked for, proving that PR folks need some guidance in how to avoid being "that annoying flack" that journalists and business development workers gossip about at the bar. Because by pleasing journalists, you don't just help them — you help yourself.

Valleywag party report: Google's Larry Page rocks the urban mullet

Nick Douglas · 09/12/06 04:35PM

Last night, I cheated my way into a book party for California-based writer and web publisher Arianna Huffington at the San Francisco guest house of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and romance novelist Melanie Craft Ellison. First lesson: Don't go to a society event dressed for a Silicon Valley geek party. Second lesson: F. Scott Fitzgerald was right, the rich are not like you and me.