Act Two: The Cringely Startup Tour Gets Back on the Road

Rested, rejuvenated, and — most important of all — replenished with good ideas, the Startup Tour is getting back on the road, revisiting the companies we saw last summer. That first visit set a baseline, introducing the startup companies, but this trip is our chance to help.

Just like they did on the old Newlywed Game, we’re bringing to each company a gift “chosen especially for you.” This is typically something we sensed was missing on the first visit that — through the power of television — we could help provide on this second trip. Sometimes it will be a customer, a strategic partner, a distributor, an investor, a new head of marketing or CEO for […]

How Much is Enough?

So the phone rings at a big publishing company in New York. “How long is a book? ” asks the caller.

“Well it varies from book to book and genre to genre,” explained the publishing company receptionist.

“This is a novel. How long is a novel?” the caller asked.

“That varies, too, but many of ours are around 80,000 words,” the receptionist said.

“Thank God, I’m finally finished!” said the caller.

By the same token, how much money does it take to start a technology business? I’ve just spent the summer with more than 30 startups and can tell you the amount varies greatly — more than you could even imagine.

In the simplest sense how much money it takes to […]

By |September 12th, 2010|2010|53 Comments

The Next White Whale

A week from now I’ll announce in this space an important project involving technology startup companies, which I feel are key to continued economic prosperity for the United States. This will be my major project for 2010 with the Moon shot following in 2011. But first I want to conduct a little experiment involving venture capitalists. How interested are they, really, in your ideas or mine? We’ll see.

This is a tough time to be a VC. Investment returns have been poor for several years. Some of this can be blamed on bad investment decisions, some on a horrific economy, and some of it comes down to what are essentially deferred returns because […]

By |December 29th, 2009|2009|56 Comments