Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Silicon Valley Could Use A Downturn Right About Now

TechCrunch blogger Michael Arrington longs for the Silicon Valley of 2005.

When I first started writing TechCrunch in 2005 it was like that. There had been a couple of small acquisitions (Flickr, etc.), but for the most part there wasn’t a lot of venture capital moving into new web startups, the IPO window was firmly shut, and the public companies weren’t doing much M&A. There were a few dozen new startups, though, and the people who were involved with them were largely here because they loved what they did. No one had marketing departments or PR firms. Lavish launch parties were a dim memory from the late nineties.

Events started popping up as well. Our first party was in September 2005. Twenty or so entrepreneurs came by my house for beer and burgers. Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, was one of the attendees. I remember asking him if he thought the whole YouTube thing would work out.

Times are good, money is flowing, and Silicon Valley sucks.

But entrepreneurs are no longer talking to us just to get our opinion and hope for a blog post and a little discussion. These guys need press to stand out from the scores of startups just like them. Saying no to them isn’t really an option. They show up at our front door with a bottle of wine or flowers. They instruct their PR firms to do anything necessary to get a story. More than once I’ve had a CEO break down and cry on the phone when we said we weren’t covering them. And more than once, I folded and wrote about them after those conversations.

I left Silicon Valley at the peak of the insanity last time around, and I was pleasantly surprised when I returned in 2005 to see so much goodwill and community surrounding innovation. Now, it’s just like the old days again, and Silicon Valley is no longer any fun. In fact, it’s turned downright nasty.
via TechCrunch

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