Friday, August 11, 2017
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Written on behalf of the New York Times for
- Every decade since, the global markets have relived this party. In the late 1960s the mania was for the “nifty 50” American companies like Disney and McDonald’s, which had been the “go-go” stocks of that decade.
- In the late 1970s it was for natural resources, from gold to oil.
- In the late 1980s it was stocks in Japan,
- and in the late 1990s it was the dot-com boom.
- Last decade, investors flocked to mortgage-backed securities and big emerging markets from Brazil to Russia. In every case, many partygoers were still in the market when the crash came.
- Today, tech mania is resurgent. Investors are again glancing at a clock with no hands — and dismissing the risk. The profitless start-ups that were wiped out in the dot-com crash have consolidated into an oligopoly composed of leading survivors such as Google and Apple.
- Last decade they bundled Brazil, Russia, India and China to sell as the BRICs.
- More recently they packaged Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google as FANG,
- then, as names and prospects shifted, subbed in Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft to make Faama.
- Others are hyping the hottest tech companies in China as BAT, for Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.
If there is a single thread, it is the expanding capacity to harness data, which the Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, calls the “electricity of the 21st century.”
Saturday, July 22, 2017
I am not known for being a great supporter of government programs, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank the SBIC program for taking a chance on me way back when when I was 26 years years old and starting out in the venture capital business. I was able to take a $2 million SBIC and use SBA's 3:1 leverage to have a fund where I could use their $6 million to start investing in tech startups.
I remember Marvin Klapp telling me I needed to have 10 years of investment experience, and I replied, "I have been investing since I was 10." He looked right down at his hands and said, "check!"
From that borrowed $6 million, I was able to build a record and a career that allowed me to finance over 1000 companies that have employed hundreds of thousands of employees, creating hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth for hardworking, driven creative people with dreams of a better future.
As of today, I have finally paid off all of my debt to SBA, so I wanted to show my appreciation for a group that was willing to stick their necks out for a green, unproven investor with a three page handwritten business plan.
So thank you Small Business Investment Company division of the Small Business Administration. Thank you Marvin Klapp, wherever you are.