All Unicorns in Silicon Valley’s Signed “Faustian bargain”

that “is known as a liquidation preference… And that may be one big reason valuations in Silicon Valley are so disconnected from the public markets… Higher valuations create higher expectations, and failure to meet them can set off adownward spiral… In that event, the venture capitalists are paid first, leaving ‘unicorpses’ in their wake and the founders with nothing… it can simply mean that the newly foaled unicorn has made a Faustian bargain”.
The Hidden Risk of a Billion-Dollar Valuation in Silicon Valley By Steven Davidoff Solomon. NY Times September 23, 2015.

“The proliferation of unicorns, venture-backed companies valued at over $1 billion, is raising concerns… Software company Palantir, with a $20 billion valuation, is up against established, deep-pocketed tech titans. If this bubble bursts… the damage could spread to the public markets”.
International Business Times, by Mike Brown. August 20 2015

‘Unicorn’ is the term du jour in Silicon Valley, used to describe a startup with a valuation of more than a billion dollars… But there’s another kind of unicorn… the World Wide Web was a Unicorn, even though it didn’t make Tim Berners-Lee a billionaire… So, what makes a real unicorn?… Michael Schrage wrote… “Successful innovators don’t ask customers and clients to do something different; they ask them to become someone different. Facebook asked its users to become more open and sharing with their personal information, even if they might be less extroverted in real life…” “We’ve Got This Whole Unicorn Thing All Wrong! By Tim O’Reilly, September 25,2015

Sundar Pichai, the Indian-born Google CEO

welcomes India’s Prime Minister Modi to Silicon Valley, where he will meet with Indian-born CEOs, including Satya Nadella of Microsoft Corp.:
“The bond between India and Silicon Valley is strong. India has long been an exporter of talent to tech companies… The products built by Indian graduates… have helped to revolutionize the world…” Mr. Pichai says.

The tour also represents an effort by Prime Minister Modi to leverage the rapidly growing influence of the Indian diaspora community in the region… nearly 20% of all technology start-ups there are run by Indian-origin executives. That so many of the country’s most prominent companies like Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. are now run by Indian-American chief executives demonstrates just how influential the Indian-American community has become… Prime Minister Modi has expertly courted the Indian-American community…
– “Why Prime Minister Modi Is Visiting Silicon Valley?” By Ronak D. Desai. Forbes, Sep 25, 2015

Silicon Valley Encroaching on the Skincare & Beauty Industry

    … venture capitalists wrote a $100 million check to a startup called Ipsy to build the next-generation, global beauty brand… Startups like Ipsy believe the future is super intelligent software that knows your tastes so well, it will send products you’re guaranteed to like… There’s a large prize if they succeed. Worldwide revenue for beauty care products is expected to jump to $461 billion by 2018, up 21 percent from 2013. So far, San Francisco-based Ipsy has grabbed about $150 million of that total each year from its 1.5 million subscribers. Read more:

Who made it possible:

    ipsy Founders:
    Jennifer (Jaconetti) Goldfarb,
    President and Co Founder

    Marcelo Camberos,
    CEO and Co-Founder

    Michelle Phan,

    ipsy Mailing Address:
    Personalized Beauty Discovery, Inc.
    11 N. Ellsworth Ave. San Mateo, CA 94401
    Source: CrunchBase

Startups Are Growing Faster Today than Ever Before

US VC backed startups in 1998 grew revenue 63% per year on average. In 2014, the median startup grew at 85% CAGR before going public.


More impressively, newer startups must be 5x larger than 15 years ago before going public. In 1998, the median IPO-bound startup reported $11.8M in revenue in their S-1 (inflation adjusted dollars). In 2014, a startup needed $54M. Withthe two venture backed IPOs though August 1, 2015, the trend shows no signs of abatement. Read more:

Facebook is Winning the Traffic War with Google

From the beginning of June 2015 Facebook is bringing more referral traffic to publishers than Google:




        Mobile is drastically decreasing the number of … searches … You don’t search when you’re on mobile, you open apps… When you’re in front of a computer, practically every action in your browser begins with a search. On mobile? Not so much. It’s slow and inefficient to write stuff, that’s why apps exist. One tap and you’re done. The combination of these two behaviors (mobile discovery vs. desktop search) generates probably the biggest threat to Google ever, given that the bulk of its revenues come from search… Facebook’s secret plan to kill Google… By Armando Biondi, AdEspresso

See also: Facebook Just Declared War on Google By Sam Biddle.

Google’s Crossroad: Why “Alphabet” ?

There are at least two main – mostly revenue based – reasons:

1. Google’s core business, search, continues to lose steam with a key metric, cost-per-click, falling as mobile app usage skyrocketed.

2. … reasons why Google has renamed itself Alphabet…: It positions the tech company to expand into health care, which could be very healthy for its long-term fortunes… Google’s revenues are extremely dependent on its relationship with Apple — and there are questions over what the Search business model will look like as mobile devices evolve. Meanwhile, health care is a multi-trillion-dollar business. Health care will stay a multi-trillion-dollar business for years to come… In the past year alone, the company has teased a pill that would detect cancer, debuted a plan to map all the biomarkers in the human body, and … half-dozen other wild inventions that could change health care forever… shifting from Google to Alphabet could catalyze a new wave of [health care] product development.
Read more:

See also: Larry Page: ” we are creating a new company, called Alphabet”