Well written, incisive and funny. Good old fashioned greed, an inability to admit that you don't know what the fuck it's all about and general ignorance - a holy partnership just made for grifting. Any snake oil Sir?
So why exactly are IT investors so utterly clueless?
Are you thick or what? No, really, how else can you explain why you invest vast sums of money on daft schemes that nobody wants? Long-time readers of this column may remember my little Tech City adventure a while back, in which I managed 2,000 sq ft of chic hipster office floorspace in the heart of London’s so-called "silicon …
Friday 27th November 2015 09:43 GMT Ironclad
Friday 27th November 2015 09:55 GMT auburnman
Friday 27th November 2015 10:09 GMT Pascal Monett
Friday 27th November 2015 13:18 GMT Anonymous Coward
if I lost a million bucks, I think that the fact that the loss would be tax deductible would be more like a kleenex on a 3rd-degree burn
Yeah, but you're imagining it's your money. Private equity and seed capital investors are generally playing with other people's money. Often people who don't know what's happening with their money, because they've taken financial advice, and invested part of their pension funds into something called, for example, the "Ledswinger Perpetual High Growth UK Technology Investment Fund 2 LLP". Sounds sensible and innocuous, n'est pas?
And because tracker investment funds can be listed (hahahaahahaa! FFS why?) you even have situations where regular Joe's have their money invested in fractally nested investment funds, and were you ever to get far enough down amongst the cockroaches and poo, there you would find the investment vehicles like LPHGUKTIF2, and below that its investments in toilet seat raising apps and other IoT and smartphone idiocy.
All the dumb investor knows or sees is the aggregate value of all the investments of the Fund, less Ledswinger Prudent Financial Corporation's extortionate "management" fees. In turn, all LPFC actually does, is farm out big parcels of cash to other investment funds, where the cash buys a "limited partner" share. The people running these funds are the "general partners", and they usually get preferential treatment when things go sour, they have near absolute say in the management of the invested cash, and they also screw a generous "management" fee. They'll have big fat financial sector bonuses for doing jack shit, and the contract will disproportionately share any upside that might occur to their benefit.
So, there's winners here: Anybody screwing a management fee for putting retail investor money at risk will be pulling down a package of at least £500k after tax each year, and usually a lot more. Other winners include the bearded hipster twats (BHT) who get to burn through one or two rounds of financing, paying themselves a six figure salary, before walking away from the smoking wreck. Minor winners include institutional investors like LPHGUKTIF2, because our fee structure will make us money regardless of whether our investors do.
And then there's losers: Retail investors, who as noted above probably have no idea why LPHGUKTIF2 has actually lost them money, and then charged them for the privilege.
Welcome to the world of fund investing.
Post script: I'm beginning to worry that I should be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority to offer this sort of useful and accurate financial advisory. Better add the universal caveat emptor: "Remember, the value of retail investments can go down, or down a lot, it's only the big boys that get the gains."
Friday 27th November 2015 14:10 GMT TRT
Friday 27th November 2015 17:09 GMT Fred Dibnah
Friday 27th November 2015 19:56 GMT Mark 85
@Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...
Right here: and below that its investments in toilet seat raising apps and other IoT and smartphone idiocy.
And IoT device to raise/lower the seat and a smartphone app. It can't possibly do any worse than an IoT lightbulb. The ladies of the house will embrace it as they know the seat will be down upon entering the Room of the Throne. The males... it will be raised.
Start the LLP, man....
Friday 27th November 2015 21:00 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...
The ladies of the house will embrace it as they know the seat will be down upon entering the Room of the Throne. The males... it will be raised.
But blokes going to see a man about a dog with some haste will always find the seat in the wrong position. And if they're fiddling with tightish jeans and button flies* as well, then things could come to a head**
I suppose a fitbit-type of affair might be able to detect the racing pulse and rising blood pressure of a Man On A Mission, and alert the toilet seat to lower at maximum speed, but like all IoT stuff, it's looking like a solution searching for a problem. But....tell you what, we both grow goatee beards, don trousers that are too short whilst forgetting our socks, you write an investment prospectus that talks of a $14bn market by 2020, I'll act the sullen, Asperger's afflicted, sociopathic, withdrawn technical genius in front of the investors, we drink coffee for nine months on six figure salaries, then we start all over again.
* Which knob-head designers think button flies are a good idea? We invented the zip a hundred years ago, and some tossers keep putting buttons on trouser fronts. W*nkers.
** A turtle's head
Friday 27th November 2015 21:59 GMT Fraggle850
Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...
> button flies are a good idea?
Well at least there's no risk of skin/fly interaction injuries. I rock both varieties and have no strong preference, although braces do make a lot of sense with button flies; you've to undo the waistband button to siphon the python.
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This post has been deleted by its author
Saturday 28th November 2015 12:39 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...
Hold on, you may think I'm taking the piss but I have a formal spec for a male urination app:
IF ( user.is_outside() || toilet.is_already_disgusting() )
assert(urine_aerosol_visible(uv_blacklight_mode) = false)
Seriously guys, the seat lifts for cleaning purposes. It is quite clear, logically, that if you lift it you are happy to piss on the rim because if you could piss without splashing the rim you could piss without splashing the seat. If you doubt me, you can get a UV light from Amazon or Fleabay and check for yourself.
Saturday 28th November 2015 15:44 GMT allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...
"Which knob-head designers think button flies are a good idea? We invented the zip a hundred years ago, and some tossers keep putting buttons on trouser fronts.
Trousers with button flies are a very good idea for people who don't like wearing underpants. Getting your pubes caught in a zipper is, uh, kinda unpleasant. And with the mental images just riggered, I whish you a nice weekend.
Saturday 28th November 2015 16:15 GMT J.G.Harston
Saturday 28th November 2015 17:28 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...
It's idiots who don't wear underpants.
I agree, sounds bizarre. I suppose these people also don't use bog roll, as the carelessly trimmed fabric edges on the inside of a typical pair of jeans would go a good job scrubbing an unprotected nipsy. After a few days use those jeans might be a bit, well, musty, but I suppose the glamour of going commando has its own unique price.
You know how old pants get farted out? I presume that's the hydrogen sulphide reacting with some sweat to form sulphuric acid, but if you're depositing neat clag on the jeans, is that going to rot them through in no time? Have you seen the price of a pair of Levis?
Post script: Don't read this post whilst eating your dinner.
Monday 30th November 2015 16:39 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...
I've just had an epiphany!
Speaking of which, the one Kickstarter project I put money into (Adapteva's Parallella board, with embedded Epiphany* chip) did actually deliver on everything except the cables to link the boards in my cluster together.
So far, so ho hum. More interesting, I thought, was how the CEO of that company later said that he wouldn't go with Kickstarter again, even though it seemed like it was a success. He also had a follow-up here
* see what I did there?
Friday 27th November 2015 10:38 GMT Charlie Clark
Sort of – losses in one investment can be offset against profits elsewhere but you generally don't want all your investments to flop (unless you're Goldman Sachs selling mortgage-backed securities…).
The tax-advantages are important only as part of the bigger picture: borrow someone else's money (obviously, you don't want to carry the risk yourself) at the current artificially low interest rates (cheap credit is being paid for by screwing savers) and invest it instead of your own money. Any profits can be funnelled out via the most tax effective means. Publicly listed companies are currently doing this: borrowing money to buy their own shares instead of paying dividends Private equity has a few more tricks up its sleeve such as preferred stock which virtually eliminates risk for the privileged few. Inflating the value of RsWyp is important in sucking in other people's money to allow the scheme to run to fruition. Here again those artificially low interest rates play their part as suckers looking at returns of 0.5% (at best) on safe assets are attracted by RsWyp's potential due to its phenomenal growth. And their goes your pension…
Friday 27th November 2015 09:57 GMT David 132
Friday 27th November 2015 09:57 GMT chivo243
Friday 27th November 2015 10:01 GMT Warm Braw
Friday 27th November 2015 10:02 GMT David 132
Friday 27th November 2015 10:27 GMT Anonymous Coward
…while advising against poor-quality materials, such as … your line manager’s face.
Thankfully, the people I work for and with are a decent lot, so the desire to do this to them has never crossed my mind, but I know others are not so fortunate and would jump at the chance of doing such an act.
Friday 27th November 2015 10:27 GMT Christopher Reeve's Horse
Friday 27th November 2015 10:28 GMT Dr_N
Friday 27th November 2015 10:32 GMT Anonymous Custard
Cheap at twice the price
What that, you say, you want to develop an app that launches apps for running apps? Sounds cool, take £1m!
Why does this bring running Android apps under WIndows Mobile to mind? Other than the price tag would probably have been more than a mil...
Oh and doesn't filing this Friday gem under the Jobs category seem slightly odd to anyone, rather than the normal home of bootnotes or suchlike?
Friday 27th November 2015 10:45 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 27th November 2015 11:04 GMT David 132
Wasn't that a popular shoot-em-up from irem corp.?
No, you're thinking of Turdican (the first was OK but number two stank). Or possibly Ratchet & Clagnut.
I didn't play either of them, but just went through the motions.
...Also, this whole topic is just, eww. I'm decamping to a more salubrious comment thread.
Friday 27th November 2015 10:52 GMT Dan 55
Friday 27th November 2015 10:59 GMT Will Godfrey
Friday 27th November 2015 11:00 GMT Ken 16
Friday 27th November 2015 11:10 GMT Peter Galbavy
Friday 27th November 2015 11:17 GMT Baudwalk
Friday 27th November 2015 11:46 GMT swampdog
RPI zero Kickstarter
Damn it. I've been up all night & read this just before crashing out.
Now I've got thoughts of shoving a raspberry pi zero up a chicken's arse so one can tell when it's cooked. I guess it'll need a temperature sensor and a wireless connection so it can send an email. I reckon it'll all fit nicely inside a heavy-duty condom.
With the addition of two more IoT objects, (an oven with an actuated door and jack-in-the box spring) plus an old fashioned flip-top bin the whole project is complete. In fact, add a speaker to the pi. Once cooked..
Dustbin lid opens. Pi sends email. Oven door opens. Pi commences to emit an audible scream. Oven launches chicken across the room into the bin. Lid closes. Pi changes to make eating sounds.
I have all my best ideas when overtired.
Friday 27th November 2015 11:47 GMT gribbler
Friday 27th November 2015 12:20 GMT Ralph B
Re: Proof of nationality
> Back in his snowboarding magazine days, a freeriding Australian colleague claimed that he only had to utter the word “bottoms” to make an Englishman snigger.
Oh, "Australian" ... I read that as "Austrian" and thought I might know the reason for the sniggering.
Friday 27th November 2015 11:50 GMT Alister
a freeriding Australian colleague claimed that he only had to utter the word “bottoms” to make an Englishman snigger. We suspect he may be onto something...
Is this not, in fact, one of the main reasons why the Minions are such popular characters in Britain?
Friday 27th November 2015 11:56 GMT Anonymous Coward
"oh I dunno, being surrounded by a dozen photographic studios specialising in lingerie model shots."
A former colleague (who went on to be an ERP consultant, hence the IT angle) was interviewed by a well known maker of women's underwear. He reported that the offices were on a mezzanine overlooking the studios. The person who interviewed him told him that "everybody who works here has to be absolutely passionate about bras and knickers".
He decided that this was a bit too creepy, made his excuses and left.
Friday 27th November 2015 12:41 GMT gr00001000
Amusing read. Whats happened in the 20-teens is the marketing industry has blown up and jumped on/attached itself to the IT industry. People are paid thousands and thousands to hype apps/advertise in the channel/run stands at infosec/Perform SEO for industry giants/viral marketing.
Successes like Uber and AirBnB encourage it, but those are Californian digital disrupters. it doesn't seem very English to create such things. We are more liekly to succeed with purposeful Apps and leave the guff to California.
Friday 27th November 2015 12:56 GMT amanfromMars 1
Better NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT Betas........ 4WMD2 Pays rather than Costs Billions
Mega internet bucks are to be made if one realises IT Spaces are Alternate Virtual Reality Places which are not ruled and/or reined in by established elite status quo forces with compromised intellectually challenged sources.
And indeed, fortunes are to be surprisingly easily made for maybe more than just a few, for many with practically everything to lose will quite gladly pay smartly, by simply deciding to not be bothered with sharing more than enough of the novel tricks of the new trading platform, which can virtually in an instant decimate that which may have been chosen as a target for wanton destruction.
Plan and attempt to prevent, with any vain show of ill-conceived and readily perceived, aggressive intimidatory force, such as is a quite normal supernatural progression, and one is then to be classified as a cyber warmonger to be dealt with accordingly, and as befits all arrogant and ignorant renegade pariah types.
Friday 27th November 2015 13:28 GMT Anonymous Coward
Grot (for those old enough to remember - and for those who don't I have a great idea).
People wanting to throw money at utter c**p was highlighted in "The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin" when he opened the shop called GROT, as quoted from the wiki article...
"Reggie then opens a shop called Grot, where he sells useless products like square hoops, round dice and Tom's wine (made from sprouts, nettles and the like), hoping it will be an interesting failure. However, the products are snapped up as novelties, and Grot becomes a huge success."
Although fictional, you could see what they were getting at, and how eager people are to buy rubbish - even back in the 1970's without techie kickstarter shenanigans. Admittedly at least you bought something from Grot, and had something (albeit tat) to show for your money.
Hey! I have just thought of a great kickstarter project. iGrot - anybody interested?
Note to self: I must remember to watch all the Reggie Perrin stuff again.
Friday 27th November 2015 14:06 GMT Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
"Note to self: I must remember to watch all the Reggie Perrin stuff again"
The Beeb were re-running it a month or two back. I caught a few...kicking myself for not realising sooner. For some reason I found it a lot darker than I remembered it being.
There was also a very good documentary about it recently, after David Nobbs' death.
Friday 27th November 2015 20:17 GMT Mark 85
Friday 27th November 2015 13:58 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 27th November 2015 18:40 GMT Doctor Evil
"The data dump would be stored within the EU, most likely in Germany."
Not necessarily. It might be kept locally.
Friday 27th November 2015 14:26 GMT Dan McIntyre
Washing hands - classic. I work for an NHS trust. It's a professional environment and staffed by professional people doing professional jobs.
And yet recently someone decided that what we really needed, what was absolutely essential training, was for us all to go into a little room one by one and be shown how to wash our hands.
I kid you not. It has been added to our mandatory training, completion of which determines our annual increment. If we don't wash our hands correctly we don't get a pay rise.
You couldn't make it up.
Friday 27th November 2015 15:19 GMT The First Dave
Friday 27th November 2015 18:09 GMT Richard Taylor 2
Having spent rather too much time visiting someone in hospital over the las t few months I can concur - semi anecdotally, uncontrolled samples, male only. After the first couple of times, I began to count the number of staff (identified by ID cards) who came into the loos and then attempted to leave without washing their hands. Over
3 months and about 60 logo trips, 1/3of staff tried to leave. I started challenging them (the sinks being conveniently close to the exit. There was an amazing mix of incredulity, denial, excuse and actually abuse. However they'd I'd all make a token approach to hand washing.
I wrote the the head of the trus (yes Cumberland and Westmorland, Carlisle I am talking about you). No answer after 3 weeks. Wrote again last week, but sent it recorded delivery and ccd the Health Care Commision. Just waiting.....
Saturday 28th November 2015 22:33 GMT swampdog
Do you happen to know if that (old) story about alcoholics nicking the handwash had any truth?
In any case - its the punters who need a good slap. It's in front of them on entering a ward. Typically it's positioned so their face is right in it, to open the door, yet some people don't.
I'd have a camera there and post them up on a large screen to embarrass them. You'd only have to do it a few times then all you'd need is the sign.
Sunday 29th November 2015 12:43 GMT phil dude
Re: Washing hands?
@swapdog "Do you happen to know if that (old) story about alcoholics nicking the handwash had any truth?"
This is true, in that, it does happen, even before the invention of mouthwash made it "convenient".
A visit to the Darwin centre in London (an Annex of the Natural History Museum) a few years back, the "Back stage tour" showed a large amount of the material not for show - e.g. A giant squid (!), a Coelacanth and some of Darwin's original materials he had taken on the Beagle.
There were a number of specimens that were sent to the museum for safekeeping from Russia after the revolution in 1917. They were degrading because the Russian troops were starved of alcohol, and drinking the preservative (not all EtOH, some of it MetOH!, refilling with water...),
There were some *very* mangy samples....!
For some, the compulsion to drink, is truely overwhelming...
Sunday 29th November 2015 19:33 GMT Anonymous Coward
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
We had the same thing in a classroom environment, Dan.
A private healthcare company, all of us professionals located at company headquarters about a thousand miles from our closest hospital.
Scheduled for 30 minutes, and the room was awfully quiet during the 25 minute question period.
I tried to think of something to ask ,just out of pity for the poor sods teaching the class, but mainly I was wondering what we paid these three people and what they did all day.
BTW: I think most of us found out we were doing it right.
Sunday 29th November 2015 22:30 GMT David Glasgow
You see the problem is...
.... that all the evidence is that many health workers forget to wash their hands when they should. Not a new problem, but something that has been harming patients for 50 plus years. (Difficult to take it further back because of course cross infection wasn't so widely understood.)
Ironically, many years ago, I crushed some of my fingers when I was playing a very minor role in a hand washing research project. No connection between the two, just a coincidence. The nurse who dressed the wounds didn't wash her hands or use aseptic technique. She got very cross when I commented on this.
The point is, this isn't just washing your hands before dinner, or after you've had a crap, it is washing after every physical contact with every patient, over again, all day long. And people don't do it.
Monday 30th November 2015 13:00 GMT I am not spartacus
"I kid you not. It has been added to our mandatory training, completion of which determines our annual increment. If we don't wash our hands correctly we don't get a pay rise.
"You couldn't make it up.
Hmmm, before I even got to your post I did think that someone from the NHS or other healthcare organisation will be along with their tale of how realistic this is, how the current training is given badly, and how people (probably secretaries with little frontline medical involvement) are being sacked for either not going to the training, or not taking it sufficiently seriously.
So, I claim I could have made it up (the 'pay rise' bit is better than my 'sacking' idea, but it is close). On the other hand, it isn't something I'm proud of. I made this up out of contempt for the modern world, and all that passes for management within it, and it is very troubling to be even that close.
Friday 27th November 2015 16:21 GMT a_yank_lurker
Friday 27th November 2015 19:28 GMT Speltier
My app, worth at least 4 million, is as follows:
small plastic clip for phone, 100
app lease at 10 per month
app videos subject washing hands, sends video to cloud analytics, sends back picture of hands showing filthy infectious areas not properly washed in bilious yellow-green.
Linking to hospital database of pts who are felled by nosocomial infections and correlating adequacy of hand cleaning so admins can fire perps (this is extra hidden feature!)
As a bonus, image recognition of anything in the video to provide a useful advert database for sale. Think of the possibilities, if brand X soap is used, and the vids consistently show poor results, your competitive brand can make a killing!! And we'll make sure our modelling constants guarantee positive use results!
What is that screaming sound? Oh, a stealth styrofoam horned sort of unicorn startup just tanked because the revelation here constitutes prior art and they have not yet filed for letters patent? And now they are dead in the water? hahahahaha.... don't worry, there is still an ocean of drooling investor money available. For 100K, I'll provide another snazzy idea.
Friday 27th November 2015 19:48 GMT John Crisp
Friday 27th November 2015 20:21 GMT Chris G
And send me some money.
I'm looking for £500.000 in crowd sourcing to fund a new app development for analysing Kickstarters and Crowdsourcing appeals, it can save you 50% of your investment.
Download the app for free, it will ask you to send me the whole investment sum and details of the startup, the app will analyse the startup and then send back half the money with a message saying 'Don't invest'.
Friday 27th November 2015 21:32 GMT jonathanb
Friday 27th November 2015 22:18 GMT Stern Fenster
Friday 27th November 2015 22:38 GMT ThorWarhammer
We're laughing our asses off here
My wife is a nurse in acute medical admissions and she says & I quote
"Why the fuck would we need an app or a pair of smartglasses, we can't even wear wrist watches, to tell us how to wash our hands properly, they'd be better off getting this into KFC or that place in Oldham that gave you food poisoning, it's not the staff that spread norovirus, it's the fucking chav relatives and visitors that don't wash properly that spread it and bring it in"
Saturday 28th November 2015 10:39 GMT Alistair Dabbs
Re: chav relatives and visitors
No surprise there. While my wife spent the day in hospital after giving birth to our daughter the night before, the boyfriend of another woman in the same maternity ward came to visit, sat down and promptly lit up a cigarette. He was genuinely shocked when told that smoking wasn't permitted in a hospital ward at all, let alone two feet from his own newborn baby.
Sunday 29th November 2015 12:13 GMT ThorWarhammer
Re: chav relatives and visitors
I get it all feet on beds chairs etc etc etc
you just can't uneducate thick
We've got 3 kids and had 2 home births and 1 smash and grab in hospital literally born stayed for checks made sure mum was OK and we bolted home again with the community midwife in tow to settle us down again....
Saturday 28th November 2015 05:53 GMT SoaG
This post has been deleted by its author
Saturday 28th November 2015 13:38 GMT Anonymous Coward
Lack of drive and an excess of greed...
With drive I'm obviously referring to actually having that spark within you which fuels curiosity. Which makes you go the extra mile to learn what makes something tick. And of course the drive to learn about technology and how to use it.
Greed? We all know that one...
I still remember the perfect example of all this: when a Dutch Internet provider (World Online) decided to take their firm to the stock market. Context: it was a rather small company and the initial price for one stock sat very high. A simple calculation would show you that something wasn't right here. Simply checking their revenue (public information at that time) and dividing that with the amount of employee's and then matching it up to their estimated company value learned you that they had to earn a lot extra if they ever wanted to match up to it.
You didn't even have to be a stock market expert. A few minor calculations combined with common sense and a small interest in the IT market was enough.
Greed prevailed, the launch happened and the stock plummeted. Some people lost thousands that day.
When I played the stock market (very small player) I only invested in companies I took a liking to and which looked trustworthy. Of course I had making money in mind, but I also liked to think that I was actually supporting those companies as well. Which means that when I noticed that things went bad with a certain company and their explanations made perfect sense to me I didn't bail out "just like that". Instead I expanded my portfolio because I trusted them; the dividend I got that year went straight back into the company. In the end that paid off quite well. Maybe not as much as the "jumpers" got who bailed and immediately invested into the next hip thing, but I ended up with both a nice bit of extra cash as well as a good feel of satisfaction.
Saturday 28th November 2015 13:48 GMT Alan Denman
Saturday 28th November 2015 16:47 GMT allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
Patty: Assets? what are they, anyway?
Marcus Pendleton: Young female donkeys.
IT angle? One of the earliest movies using computer crime as a plot device.
Saturday 28th November 2015 17:30 GMT Fibbles
My current favourite 'bloody stupid business ideas':
1) Hello Fresh
"It's like take away but healthier!... Except you have to cook everything yourself, we're really just delivering ingredients. So we're kind of like Tesco home delivery... except you have you choose from a small selection of predefined meals, oh, and we charge a massive markup."
When buying a gift for a relative or dear friend, who hasn't thought to themselves "what this person really, really, really wants is a one inch by one inch piece of marshmallow with a picture of themselves printed on it"?
Saturday 28th November 2015 20:25 GMT ecofeco
Sunday 29th November 2015 05:12 GMT FlamingDeath
Sunday 29th November 2015 12:06 GMT Bill B
Not enough information
Dear Mr Dabbs.
I Read your Article and Thought that the Rs:Wyp sounds like a Very Good Idea but I couldn't find out Any Information on it Even a search on Google didn't give me Any Link and there was nothing on Kickstarter or on the Apple Store so Could you please Post A Link so I can Invest all my Life Savings because I think that I would make A Lot Of Money investing in such a Brilliant Project.
Sunday 29th November 2015 19:58 GMT CJatCTi
Monday 30th November 2015 07:02 GMT Erik4872
Re: Possibly the rest of the world is catching on
We can only hope people wake up before more money is wasted.
What really gets me angry is that people have seen this before, within recent memory. The exact same venture capital startup business model inflated the First Dotcom Bubble of the late 90s. The only thing different is that instead of building web sites and data centers, we're pumping up cloud providers and building phone apps. Seriously, that's it. The same non-viable business plans, the same crazy promotion and marketing -- all of it is the same.
I have watched from the sidelines in a series of "boring, old school" jobs for both of these bubbles. The thing that bothers me is that the flash and marketing of these startups crowds out anything truly innovative and interesting from getting to the average person.
Monday 30th November 2015 07:41 GMT vmistery
Monday 30th November 2015 08:24 GMT dehildum
At one time in my career I did diligence for a large firm looking for strategic investments. There are two stories I recall from that time. The first was during the boom years in Silicon Valley, where you could not swing a dead cat without hitting a dozen startup firms. I, unfortunately, had to meet with the executives, listen to their pitches, and read their business plans. I recall one particularly long day where I was reviewing the plan of some long forgotten startup, consisting of hundreds of pages of the most up-to-date buzzwords, financial projections, etc. After finishing the last page, I tossed it on my desk and looked at it. After throughtly reading and reviewing the plan, I realized that fundamentally, I had no idea what they actually thought they were going to make or who they were going to sell it to. But they did need $10 million to do it…..
The second was actually worse. We had (finally!) found a solid startup that had a product we were interested in with a real market. This particular startup had been funded by an angel investor, a dentist, who had gotten on the Silicon Valley hype train, and invested in a number of companies. We had drafted up a contract for the the international sales of the companies product, to the tune of several million dollars a year in projected revenue if the sales met projections. In the penultimate meeting before signing the contract, we met the CEO, only to be told that the angel investor had panicked because several of the other companies he had invested in had tanked, and that he was pulling his funds from all the companies and effectively shutting them down immediately. We looked into trying to directly fund the company ourselves, but simply did not have the time to work with to actually pull it off. The investor, having panicked, turned an investment would have been in the black in two weeks into a total loss….
Wednesday 2nd December 2015 21:19 GMT Anonymous Coward
Technology/medical startups too
Seem to feel the need to blow all their investor money on industrial design, beautiful mockups, and even dozens of almost-functional 'A-model' prototypes before they've got around to fully debugging their one piece of fundamental core technology (which would be so much easier had they not already made 100's of the core components, boxed themselves into a corner with a case-design etc etc...)
And/or part way through the development it becomes apparent there's a far easier and cheaper way to achieve the startup's core aim.... but no, we have to persevere with the expensive, unreliable, clunky approach (on which they hold a couple of patents) "because that's what out investors invested in"!
Do investors really think like this - or is it just what the startups tell us?
Friday 11th December 2015 11:07 GMT Tim Soldiers
Ha ha Ha
Yep, you all think its very funny. But the NHS buy, stuff as stupid as this (handwash- app or worse) all the time.
The company only have to *cough" "reach-out" to the right person in each hospital and the order will be completed. Which is why they need the £360k
Signed A.N. NHS Buyer