The bad news? While a few startup stars like Twitter and Slide can get venture cash on little or no revenue, the expiration date on your "it's [blank] with a social network layer" pitch may be well past. "There is going to be a shake-out here in the next year or two," Battery Ventures partner Roger Lee told the Financial Times. Mitchell Kertzman of Hummer Winblad was a little more succinct: "If you look at some of the valuations, you wonder what fantasy of revenues they're based on." The kinda good news? Google will help subsidize the cost of entry for early-stage online projects with infrastructure — you'll just have to use their Web Apps cloud and their Gears and Android clients developing browse and mobile applications, respectively. (Photo by Edward O'Connor)
Barack Obama's campaign for president has raised a staggering $200 million from contributors through the Web, tapping Valley talent like Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Mark Gorenberg, a VC with Hummer Winblad. Obama has surpassed fundraising efforts by his primary opponent Hillary Clinton, even though she's raised more money for her campaign than her husband, former President Bill Clinton, ever did in winning an election. And he's doing it under the rules put in place by the Republican candidate, John McCain, under the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. You can read all the details in The Atlantic's 5,243-word feature by Joshua Green, but a summary, 98-word paragraph is all you need to read.
Max Levchin, the cofounder of PayPal and the CEO of Slide, measures nearly everything, down to the optimum price to pay for an engagement ring. If he needs a metric for self-importance, Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good, Sarah Lacy's new book about Web 2.0, provides one. He occupies 78 out of 294 pages, more than anyone else. Here are the index pages for "F" through "M":