Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The New Era

I would like to offer some supporting thoughts as to the value of the bootstrap process, the wisdom of your choice to follow it, and the ultimate practicality of it today. First a couple of quotes:

Forbes this month (Jan 2009 ) "The venture capital industry is staring at the most vicious shakeout in its history . . . Returns are pathetic for most funds, [and] the public offering pipeline on which venture depends for its exit strategy is clamped shut.", "IPOs historically dry up at the end of a bear market and don't begin to recover for months after a rally as issuers and investors wait for signs of stability."

During the last quarter, 38 companies withdrew or postponed their filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Bloomberg says "it may take until 2011 for the number of companies going public to return to their 2007 level, according to data compiled by the University of Florida. While the S&P 500 rose an average of 24 percent in the first year after a market plunge, the data show, it takes 34 months on average for underwriting to return to its rate at the start of a slowdown."

Companies pursuing the traditional VC or investor routes are running into brick walls or valuations that are ridiculous

Yet this is one of the best times to start a business.

We are in a world rich with new technologies, applications of those technologies, services that can be based on those technologies, and perceptions based on those technologies that open unimaginable doors.

Even better, established businesses whose inertia, that is inability to change and adapt, and whose debt or commitment (financial, political, or social) are now untenable are thus going on the rocks and leaving unsatisfied customers with unfulfilled appetites looking for solutions.

This is possibly one of the best times in recent history to apply the bootstrap techniques creating your fortune. I wish you well and in these stormy times expect to see good results for you on your journey down a good path, stick to it.

Happy New Year and New Era,

Barry Thornton

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