Rhythm and Noise

So Exchange Traded Index funds and the $1.2 trillion invested in them have increased volatility for small cap stocks making the whole IPO process less attractive for many founders of U. S. tech companies — our kind of companies. It’s not the end of the world but has been a downer of sorts for both the market and the tech industry for the last decade. What’s to be done about it, then?

“The problem as we see it could be 80-90 percent contained if only Exchange Traded Funds were subject to the same sort of trading circuit breakers that were imposed by the SEC on regular shares after the Flash Crash of earlier this year,” says […]

By |November 17th, 2010|2010|54 Comments

No Life Insurance for Bull Riders

I write a lot about technologies, companies and industries, some about economics, but hardly ever about stocks or trading, so this column is an unusual one. But because of the hard work of a couple economist friends of mine I’m finally coming to understand a stock market phenomenon that has been hurting tech startups for over a decade — Exchange Traded Funds. Forget about bad banks, cooked books and even the recession: Exchange Traded Funds are forcing more and more good tech companies to abandon the idea of ever going public.

We saw this trend on this summer’s Startup Tour where not one of more than 30 companies we visited saw an Initial Public Offering (IPO) […]

By |November 11th, 2010|2010|48 Comments

Meet Us in Kansas City

We’re well into our Startup Tour, visiting young companies so far in New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri.  Today we head to Kansas City and the Kauffman Foundation, one of our sponsors. That I’ve been slow to post the promised tour videos or write about these companies comes down to air conditioning failure, driving 4,000 miles, air conditioning failure (again), swiping a tree and tearing-off our retractable steps, air conditioning failure (yet again), and hitting a pothole so deep that our exhaust system literally fell off in the road.

Ah, the RV lifestyle!

We also learned a great truth about Travelocity when booking hotel rooms for the camera crew: did you know that when they […]

Some Rules of the Road: 200 Nominations in the First Week!

Just a week into nominations for the Cringely (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour we have 200 companies signed up to vie for the 24 positions. My hope to reach 600 in eight weeks, then, is very possible if I keep up the pressure and perhaps define the rules a little better. That’s what this column is for.

Non-U. S. companies are out. We’ve had a few Canadian companies enquire and one even claimed to be from Vancouver, WA instead of Vancouver, BC. No, that won’t do. This is a U. S. competition, but that doesn’t mean the next season won’t be international. In fact I can almost guarantee it will be.

Remember this […]

100 Startups and Growing Fast!

It has been just over a day since we opened nominations for the Cringely (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour and already there are more than 100 companies in the system, all six categories are covered, and the level of competition is very high. At this point I am confident we’ll get 500-600 companies in the eight week period, which is what I had hoped.

While all six categories are represented, more than half are IT companies, which isn’t surprising given the orientation of this blog. But the Kauffman Foundation just sent out a press release about the Tour to 11,000 reporters and editors, so I’m guessing the technology base will […]