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.
As 158-year old investment bank Lehman Brothers goes down in flames, an angry employee is taking out his frustrations on eBay. A user going by the handle jmcclane92 is selling a "Lehman Brothers Nalgene Water Bottle (never used)," which he says Lehman CEO Dick Fuld told him was "unbreakable, but he also said that about our mortgage business 2 months ago. Caveat Emptor, I guess." Also for sale: a messenger bag, a gym bag, a hat and a Lehman Brothers guide to New York City. So far, our guy is up $170.25, which could buy him about 781 shares of Lehman stock.
Click to view"The company is seeing further softening in global end-user demand in the current quarter," a Dell spokesperson told Reuters on Tuesday. The news had company shares down over 10 percent an hour after this morning's market open. In August, Dell posted poor profits and said it planned to cut 8,500 jobs. Earlier this month it announced it would begin selling factories in China, Malaysia and Brazil.