For Silicon Valley’s Leading VC “it doesn’t matter what your probability of failure is

If there’s a 90% chance of failure, there’s a 10% chance of changing the world.”

  • Most technology startups fail. There’s a winner, and there’s 7 out of 10 that lose.
  • I don’t mind failing, but if I succeed it better be worth succeeding for.
  • I have seen too many startups where they have reduced risk to a point where they have a higher probability of succeeding, but if they succeed it is inconsequential.
  • We invest more in people than in a specific plan, because plans often change.\
  • Where most entrepreneurs fail is on the things they don’t know they don’t know.
  • There are probably three or four things you can control out of ten that matter for the success of your company… The rest is just luck.

Partly for that reason, he is dismissive of business plans: “I’ve never seen one that’s accurate.”

~ Tren Griffin “A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Vinod Khosla“.

Silicon Valley “War on Women”

80% of Silicon Valley 150 companies had only one woman director or none at all.

women-directors-fenwick-sv150

And we’re not just talking about four-person startups; the average number of employees in these 150 companies is 8,500. Comparatively, 98% of companies in the S&P 100 — which average 170,000 employees each — had at least one female director, and almost 70% had between two and three.

 

women-directors-2013-proxy-s-and-p

… and recent data suggesting that despite the prevalence of coding programs aimed at girls and women, only 12.9% of Silicon Valley engineers are women.
~ How Far Behind Silicon Valley Is On Gender Equality  by Lydia Dallett, Business Insider.

See also:

  • List of 200 highest-paid CEOs contains only 10 women
  • U. S. Labor Force Structured by Occupation, Race, Gender and Education
  • “Silicon Valley of India” is Located in California

    asian_domin_silva_sig

    Data sources: Census Bureau; San Jose Mercury News.

     

    The percentage of Asian tech workers grew from 39 percent in 2000 to just more than 50 percent in 2010 ….  At the same time, white workers saw their more than 50 percent majority of tech jobs in 2000 fall to nearly 41 percent …  African-American and Hispanic tech workers each saw slight decreases: Positions held by African-American tech workers fell from 2.8 percent to 2.3 percent; those held by Hispanic workers dropped from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent.

     By Dan Nakaso, San Jose Mercury News

    Year Asian White Hispanic Black Other
    2010 50.1 40.7 4.2 2.3 2.7
    2000 38.7 50.9 4.6 2.8 3

    Data sources:   Census Bureau; San Jose Mercury News.

     

    Where is located the Silicon Valley of India?

    Some people  suggest that  the Silicon Valley of India is a nickname of the Indian city of Bangalore. That’s correct but not substantially, because main part of India’s Silicon Valley located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Of the total number of engineers and scientists in the [San Francisco Bay Area] valley, 28 percent comes from India, up from 20 percent a decade ago  (Statistics offer glimpses into how Silicon Valley lives. By Scott Herhold, San Jose Mercury News. 02/23/2010).

    Three years later  the following  – more detailed comparison – data were published:

    https://i1.wp.com/www.netvalley.com/silicon_valley/sv/SV_startup_founders_birthplace.jpg

    SourceHow Indians defied gravity and achieved success in Silicon Valley by Neesha Bapat, October 15, 2012

    The process of transforming San Francisco Bay Area to the India’s Silicon Valley will continue for lot of different reasons including the following – significantly more English speaking IT engineers graduates in the India than in any other countries:

    Four-Year Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering, Computer Science, and Information Technology Awarded from 1999 to 2004 in the United States vs. India,

      1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005
    United States 108,750 114,241 121,263 134,406 137,437 133,854
    India 82,107 109,376 129,000 139,000 170,000

    Indians have founded more engineering and technology companies [in US] during that past decade than immigrants from Britain, China, Taiwan, and Japan combined.  

    Source: Where the Engineers Are. By Vivek Wadhwa, Gary Gereffi, Ben Rissing, Ryan Ong. University of Texas at Dallas

    Indian Government aims to create 28 Million Jobs In Electronics By 2020. For comparison, there are a total of 5.75 million workers in the U.S. high-tech industry.   ( U.S. High-Tech Jobs Down Again in 2010  By Brian Heaton, October 5, 2011)  

    US ends India tech restrictions. Wharton Aerospace & Defense Report, February 04, 2011

     

    See also: U. S. Labor Force Structured by Race and Gender

    Silicon Valley At The Cusp of a New Age of McCarthyism

      McCarthyism is the practice … of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques… for small and large companies concerned about … their work force.
      Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism

    Sure, a law might be annoying and unpleasant. If a company’s workforce looks like Google’s, radically a white masculine club, there will expected be disastrous stories and open vigour to change. On a eve of a open offering, Twitter had to continue slings and arrows over a all-male house before appointing a woman… a ethnicity, competition and gender of who works in tech, radically a tube to those pivotal care roles, has radically been a black box. And that’s been on purpose… This kind of avowal matters now some-more than ever since a Bay Area is intent in a wide-ranging review over who advantages from a tech industry’s success… What kind of information am we articulate about? Companies should exhibit annually their global, U.S. and Silicon Valley workforce by gender, race, ethnicity and age and by specific roles, such as leadership, tech, non-tech. They should exhibit demographics when it comes to new hires, influence and promotion.
    It’s time for Silicon Valley firms to divulge a race, ethnicity, gender and … by San Jose Mercury News.

    Google joins a small set of Silicon Valley companies that offer data about the gender, racial and ethnic breakdown of its workforce… Asians make up 34 percent of Google’s workforce nationally. That compares favorably with national numbers for tech jobs; Asians held 15.5 percent of those. But in Silicon Valley, 50.1 percent of tech workers are Asian… Google’s disclosure comes after the company, along with other tech firms, resisted media efforts to get employment data released. Google, along with Apple, Yahoo, Oracle and Applied Materials, fought the Mercury News’ efforts to obtain the data several years ago,…
    ssjm0529quinn90
    Quinn: Google workers predominantly male and white, rare peek shows by San Jose Mercury News.

    Top 10 Silicon Valley tech job trends

    Elite techies make the big bucks. A Silicon Valley startup tried to woo a Google programmer away with a giant carrot: a $500,000 annual salary. The programmer scoffed. That’s because he’s making $3 million annually in cash and restricted stock units, according to Business Insider. Sure, the programmer’s massive salary isn’t typical, but it does point to a sign of the times. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others flush with cash are throwing wads of money at tech talent…

    Read more: http://www.infoworld.com/slideshow/136825/top-10-silicon-valley-tech-job-trends-234685#slide2

    Israel is the Silicon Valley’s major competitors

    … Tel Aviv ranks second in the world for the top startup ecosystem — just below startup mecca Silicon Valley… one of the most startling differences lies in how the two innovation centers behave as a whole and how literally the word “community” applies to the [Silicon] Wadi. Instead of a purely competitive collection of individuals and companies, the Israeli tech scene is comprised of a group of interconnected young upstarts investing, mentoring, and cooperating with one another… Perhaps Israel isn’t so far from its roots after all, and the kibbutz [ a collective community based on agriculture] mentality is alive and well in the Startup Nation.
    Israeli cooperation and collaboration is making Silicon Wadi the Valley’s major competitor. By Eilon Tirosh, VentureBeat

    Zuckerberg Bought 4 pieces of His Privacy

    for $30 million.

    Meanwhile, Facebook users do not have any clue what can be market price of their privacy. For example, …

    In other words, …

    Silicon Valley as a “Black Hole”

      I admire and respect startup communities globally, and I’ve worked with many of them. They should keep doing what they’re doing. There is plenty of room to build new businesses—and if it’s a very high-growth disruptor and strategic, odds are a Silicon Valley company will buy it.
      Why the “Next Silicon Valley” Doesn’t Really Exist. By Mark Zawacki, MIT Review.

    See also some of the excerpts from the MIT Review readers’ comments to the above article:

      mzawacki: Startups can and do happen anywhere, but they hit a glass ceiling of sorts and the most promising ones continue to get acquired into Silicon Valley. For every company globally that gets acquired into Silicon Valley it actually weakens the very fabric of the local Silicon (Blank)… For instance, look for a moment at New York as the ‘next Silicon Valley’. When DoubleClick gets acquired by Google and Tumblr gets acquired by Yahoo, this actually weakens (not strengthens) the New York ecosystem … they are selling the family silver.

    pasward: … That’s funny. I don’t remember them buying Amazon. Or Microsoft. Or Virgin. Or, for that matter, having much to do with the world of banking which has frequent innovation. Or having much to do with the world of energy production. Or … More to the point: every entrenched system uses its metrics to show why it will remain entrenched. Every new system changes the metrics, making the study pointless. Disruption cannot, by definition, be controlled or planned.

      mzawacki: … Amazon is a formidable disruptor, however their Silicon Valley headcount is approximately 5,000. They can’t do it all from Seattle. There is a tremendous multi-layer financial services ecosystem in Silicon Valley comprising 500+ companies. (1) Large multinational financial services companies are piling into Silicon Valley at an increasing rate and opening strategic outposts: BBVA, BNP Paribas, Axa, American Express, Citi, Capital One, JP Morgan Chase, Standard Chartered Bank, etc. (2) 400+ startups focused on various aspects of the financial layer (Square, Clinkle, Lending Club, SoFi, Kiva, Upstart, etc.) (3) established companies who understand the importance of the financial layer all doing plenty of experimentation (Facebook, Google, Apple, PayPal, etc). (4) add to that Visa, Wells Fargo, Intuit, Verifone, etc. Peter Sands, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank recently stated that banking is entering its ‘Spotify moment’ (check out Youtube and FT.com for reference) I’d welcome seeing data that shows a similar 500+ financial services cluster in any of the other 70+ Silicon (Blanks) globally. Silicon Valley certainly has it’s faults, and I entirely agree with you disruption cannot be controlled nor planned. I spend about 50% of my time outside the US (and having lived abroad for nearly decade) Executives globally often think of Silicon Valley as some ‘high tech capital of the world’, our research suggests thats a dated (and dangerous) mindset. More and more, Silicon Valley is launching businesses to compete with the very industries it was once a mere IT provider to.

    cordell2: …Between 1997 and 2012, the average technology venture capital fund reportedly produced an annualized return of just over 2% for its general investors. They would have been far better off buying energy or REIT mutual funds. Most of the benefits of technology investment go to consumers, particularly as a given technology is commoditized, (e.g. disk drives, computer memory).

    Silicon Valley’s main advantage over other areas lies in its wealthy entrepreneurs who recycle their winnings and expertise back into new ventures. This is an asset that cannot be copied but most be grown indigenously in any Silicon Valley wannabe — and that takes time and numerous successful ventures. How many people in these new “Silicon Valleys” are willing to write million dollar checks to a couple of young geeks working in their garage, as was the case with both Apple and Google? …

      mzawacki: … yes as an asset class, venture capital has done quite poorly. However, 10 or so VC firms consistent take a disproportionate amount of winnings (Sequoia, Greylock, Benchmark, etc.) that hundreds of other VC firms keep playing the long odds to find just one outlier performer. 10 to 15 VC firms rake the industry profits the rest are buying lottery tickets. They pay it forward model is also part of it’s success. Long before the PayPal Mafia there was the Traitorous 8 who set up Fairchild Semiconductor. Check out what they did when Fairchild became successful. Two of the eight did a startup up called Intel, another became the ‘K’ in KPCB. Once you’re lucky, twice you’re good. Our research shows these entrepreneurs are not doing it again and again and again to make money but rather to show that it wasn’t luck and they are that good/smart. Most entrepreneurs have an extraordinarily high need for achievement/validation/acknowledgement and a rather low need for social interactions.

    US Metropolitan Areas Ranked by Concentration of Venture Capital

    Top 20 Metros for Venture Capital Activity per 100,000 People
    Rank Metro Investment Deals
    1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $216.9 22.6
    2 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA $159.1 17.2
    3 Boulder, CO $86.9 13.6
    4 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH $68.1 9.0
    5 Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA $59.1 3.3
    6 Lawrence, KS $40.8 5.4
    7 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA $36.6 3.3
    8 Austin-Round Rock, TX $36.5 5.1
    9 Provo-Orem, UT $30.7 2.7
    10 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $25.8 3.3
    11 Ann Arbor, MI $24.1 6.4
    12 Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA $20.8 1.7
    13 Raleigh-Cary, NC $16.3 2.5
    14 Fort Collins-Loveland, CO $15.9 1.7
    15 Salt Lake City, UT $13.2 2.4
    16 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA $13.1 1.8
    17 San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA $13.0 0.4
    18 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA $12.0 2.0
    19 Trenton-Ewing, NJ $12.0 1.9
    20 Madison, WI $11.5 1.9

    Source: High-Tech Challengers to Silicon Valley. By Richard Florida, The Atlantic Cities.

    “Silicon Beach” vs. “Silicon Valley”

    UCLA, USC and Caltech collectively graduate more engineers annually than Stanford and Berkeley, major feeders of Silicon Valley. And L.A. tech staffers tend to possess more interdisciplinary skills than their northern counterparts, having developed expertise in cinema, communications, music, design and entrepreneurialism while pursuing engineering degrees… Silicon Beach culture, unlike Silicon Valley’s, is more consumer-oriented, drawing on art, entertainment and commerce to explore the intersections between technology and gaming, fashion, advertising and video… Hollywood studios are using profits from their cash cows — cable and television — to invest in digital entertainment. And Los Angeles is at the center of 21st century video production. YouTube has opened new production studios in Playa Vista to capitalize on the number of content channels originating here. According to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook, annual revenue generated by film and video entertainment delivered online is expected to double from $5 billion in 2012 to more than $10 billion in 2016. Companies based in Los Angeles produce most of that content…

    L.A.’s future: ‘Silicon Beach’. By Lucy Hood, LA Times.

    See also:

  • Silicon Beach emerges as a tech hotbed
  • Is Los Angeles the Next Silicon Valley?
  • Is Silicon Beach Over-Hyped?
  • Cassidy: Holiday wish list for Silicon Valley’s royalty

    For Apple CEO Tim Cook, an idea … any idea for God’s sake. Apple has been hammered for months for not innovating anymore. Coming up with a pink iPhone just doesn’t cut it … For Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, a chance to take a deep breath. You probably read that the husband and wife — he of Google, she of 23andMe — are on the outs… For Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, how about another woman or two to serve on the newly public company’s board? … For Mark Zuckerberg, … Remember how he dropped $30 million in October to buy four of his neighbors’ houses so he wouldn’t have to worry about how some stranger might redevelop his neighborhood? … For Marissa Mayer, … passing out employee smartphones and instituting a free food policy (Who says there is no free lunch?), Yahoo recaptured a certain cool factor — almost enough cool factor, in fact, to negate Mayer’s move to ban her troops from working from home… – read more.

    By Mike Cassidy, Mercury News Columnist.

    … tech entrepreneur called for Silicon Valley to secede from the United States

    Balaji Srinivasan, co-founder of San Francisco–based genetics company Counsyl, gave a talk to aspiring entrepreneurs about “Silicon Valley’s ultimate exit,” which outlined his vision of a tech world free of the constraints of government. “We need to build opt-in society, outside the U.S., run by technology,” Srinivasan said. This techno-utopian vision of a world insulated from big-government intrusion is not new to Silicon Valley, which has some deep libertarian roots. Google CEO Larry Page, during his Google I/O keynote in May, spoke of his desire to set aside a place in the world where technological experimentation can be conducted unfettered by regulation. (“There are many exciting things you could do that are illegal or not allowed by regulation,” Page said.)  Investor Peter Thiel has championed the “seasteader” movement, which would create floating societies off the coast of California just beyond the clutches of the U.S. government.  And the Blueseed project wants to put foreign-born workers on a cruise ship off the coast of Northern California in international waters to evade immigration laws.

    The Jobs Machine: Start-ups founded by immigrants are creating jobs all over America

    Proportion of high-tech companies founded by immigrants

    Some 40% of Fortune 500 firms were founded by immigrants or their children… So were the firms behind seven of the ten most valuable brands in the world. Although the foreign-born are only an eighth of America’s population, a quarter of high-tech start-ups have an immigrant founder (see left-hand chart)… it is worrying that the proportion of start-ups in Silicon Valley founded by immigrants has fallen from 52% to 44% since 2005 … In America as a whole, the proportion has stopped climbing for the first time in decades… America has benefited enormously from immigrants’ resourcefulness and penchant for risk-taking, … But it lets in only 225,000 foreigners with special skills a year. This amounts to less than 0.1% of the total labor force.

    ~ Economist. From print edition.

    Google’s Eric Schmidt wants a ban on Amazon’s drones

    Warns that the technology can be used to spy on — and record — your private activities. By Philip Elmer-DeWitt, CNN Money.

    See also:

  • Eric Schmidt Tried To Get Google To Hide His Political Donation In Search Results. By
    Matt Rosoff, Businessinsider.com

  • Larry Page: “Governments are too focused on democracy and rule of law. On Google Island, we’ve found those things to be distractions… and logical end point of Google Island: a new Google Earth …” – Welcome to Google Island. By Mat Honan, WIRED.
  • Google’s mystery barge caught in Coast Guard red tape. By Andrew Couts, Digitaltrends.com
    Google's barge.

  • Google’s future: microphones in the ceiling and microchips in your head. By Adam Sherwin, independent.co.uk
  • Cryptolocker Ransomware … bitcoins … “the perfect crime”.

    In the past 90 days, thousands of people worldwide have opened a seemingly innocuous link to track a holiday package. Suddenly, all the files on their computer are encrypted… And that is exactly what happened last month at the Swansea Police Department. Cryptolocker ransomware took over the department’s entire computer system and the police were forced to pay a $750 ransom to get back control… That means purchasing a key, or software, to reverse the process. And victims must do that using the online virtual currency known as bitcoins … “Once you have purchased a bitcoin, then the transaction that you use that bitcoin in is encrypted, and therefore you cannot trace it,” … it appears to be the perfect crime.

    Cryptolocker Ransomware Being Described As ‘The Perfect Crime’ By Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV

    … Silicon Valley hiring practices gets class action status

    … judge accorded class action status to a lawsuit that alleges broad conspiracy among major Silicon Valley companies to suppress employee compensation by not poaching each other’s employees, a court filing showed… In 2011, five software engineers sued Adobe Systems Inc , Intel Corp, Apple Inc and Google Inc among others over their hiring practices, alleging that the Silicon Valley companies entered into an “overarching conspiracy” to suppress employee compensation to artificially low levels… The case … has been built on email exchanges between top executives, including the late Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and former Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt … – Oct 25, 2013 (Reuters) – read more.

    See also:

  • Google vs. Evil By John C Abell. Wired, Issue 11.01 | January 2003
    … Google’s code of conduct can be boiled down to a mere three words: Don’t be evil… But what does it mean? … “Evil,” says Google CEO Eric Schmidt, “is what Sergey says is evil.” … For now, at least, in Google we trust.

  • Google’s ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Mantra Is ‘Bullshit,’ … Apple’s Steve Jobs By John C Abell, Wired 01.30.2010
    … Another member of the audience, … disputes the “bullshit” quote and says Jobs actually said: “Don’t be evil is a load of crap,” …

  • Meditation and mindfulness are the new rage in Silicon Valley.

    More than a thousand Googlers have been through Search Inside Yourself training. Another 400 or so are on the waiting list and take classes like Neural Self-Hacking and Managing Your Energy in the meantime… The search giant even recently built a labyrinth for walking meditations… Across the [Silicon Valley] Valley, quiet contemplation is seen as the new caffeine, the fuel that allegedly unlocks productivity and creative bursts. Classes in meditation and mindfulness …have become staples at many of the region’s most prominent companies. There’s a Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute now teaching the Google meditation method to whoever wants it. The cofounders of Twitter and Facebook have made contemplative practices key features of their new enterprises, holding regular in-office meditation sessions and arranging for work routines that maximise mindfulness. Some 1,700 people showed up at a Wisdom 2.0 conference held in San Francisco in February, with top executives from LinkedIn, Cisco, and Ford featured among the headliners… – read more

    Enlightenment Engineer, By Noah Shachtman. Wired.com
    ___

    Meanwhile, as Noah Shachtman pointed out, “there is in fact little data to support the notion that meditation is good for Google’s bottom line” … So, what is all about – next wave of the corporate rituals, the most recent version of Kool-Aid or …?
    ___
    PS. So, if you are a software engineer, be careful, because in today’s Silicon Valley, there’s little patience for what many are happy to dismiss as “hippie bullshit”

    … Mark Hurd Should Be Microsoft’s Next CEO.

    … Steve Ballmer would step down as CEO … once the company chooses his successor… much of Silicon Valley thinks [Mark Hurd ] … is the best CEO not now serving anywhere as a CEO. Hurd’s style and strategy would serve Microsoft well … Hurd revived H-P after the dismal tenure of Carly Fiorina. He set that organization on the right path. He found a way to make the rocky acquisition of Compaq into a net positive for H-P. The company was struggling before he got there, and has struggled since he left. That alone should tell you the kind of leadership he provides… Microsoft wants to be a devices and services company. It is already in the process of trying to transform, but an outsider like Hurd can get the culture on board more easily simply through force of will. He did it at NCR. He did it at H-P. He is in the process of transforming the culture at Oracle… read more: 6 Reasons Why Mark Hurd Should Be Microsoft’s Next CEO. By Ray Hennessey, Entrepreneur.com

    See also: NDA Experiment Set up by Mark Hurd.

    job experience in the tech industry … can work against you.

    In 2012, three high-tech companies in Silicon Valley announced they were laying off a combined 48,000 employees. Layoffs continue this year, including last week’s announcement that an otherwise profitable Cisco Systems was letting 4,000 people go. At the same time, the total number of jobs in the [Silicon] valley and in San Francisco’s tech hub is on the rise. In fact, tech executives claim to have tens of thousands of jobs going begging, so much so that they need to bring in educated workers from overseas to fill them.

    “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” [Mark Zuckerberg ] Facebook’s CEO told … “Young people are just smarter. Why are most chess masters under 30? I don’t know. Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family. Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what’s important.” Younger and cheaper Like working around the clock, seven days a week on app development, coding and Web design …

    In Silicon Valley, age can be a curse. By Andrew S. Ross

    [Silicon] become a reference to any region with a high-tech economy

    Silicon Alley(New York), Silicon Prairie (Midwest), Silicon Forest (Northwest), Silicon Slopes (Utah), Silicon Hills (Texas)… As much as “Hollywood” refers to nearly anything associated with the cinema industry, so too is “Silicon” a branding term for tech economies…Silicon Beach roughly refers to the Westside of Los Angeles — mainly Santa Monica and Venice Beach, where several incubators, accelerators, and startups are based. But because Los Angeles is so spread out — it more accurately references the Los Angeles tech economy as a whole. – read more

    the average annual salary for Google software engineers … $143,000

    and skyrockets to as much as $550,000 … companies like Facebook and Apple (AAPL) aren’t far behind. While the talent vacuum remains problematic for Bay Area companies, it presents a huge opportunity for candidates. Enter the Silicon Valley “boot camp,” a nouveau vocational school for the coding-inclined. Such nine- to 12-week accelerated programs, including Dev Bootcamp, Hackbright Academy, and Hack Reactor, arm students with the fundamental skills needed to compete as engineers — no previous coding experience required. That, coupled with pent-up demand is why program applicants come from all walks of life, from thirtysomething nannies to fortysomething attorneys and bankers. – read more

    Are the electric cars safer than gas-powered cars?

    California has more electric vehicles per capita than any other state in the nation, … The Palo Alto [financial and ideological capital of Silicon Valley] city council voted 9-0 in favor of a proposal that would require new single-family homes to come pre-wired for an electric car charging station – read more.

    A Tesla Model S electric car, touted as the safest car in America, caught fire on Tuesday, spurring new worries about the possible risks of lithium-ion batteries. In two recent incidents, involving Boeing’s new 787 plane and Chevrolet’s Volt hybrid car, fires have emanated from batteries of the same type – read more.

    The fire in the car’s lithium ion battery pack erupted Tuesday morning when the driver ran over a metal object in Kent, Wash., triggering the first battery fire in the company’s history… [Meanwhile] Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded Tesla’s Model S its highest five-star safety rating… – read more.

    Every hour, there are an average of 17 automobile fires somewhere in the U.S., according to government data. Mechanical failure in internal combustion engines cause the majority, and burning cars filled with gasoline result in more than 200 deaths per year – read more.

    There are 150,000 car fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year according to the Department of Transportation. That equates to 1 vehicle fire for every 20 million miles driven, compared to 1 fire in over 100 million miles for Tesla,” Musk [Tesla CEO, Elon Musk] pointed out.

    [Musk] also said the Tesla Model S. battery pack is a safer power source than “a large tank of highly flammable liquid” – read more.

    In the Shadow of Big Brother …

    “Google has the world’s most popular mobile operating system. The world’s most popular search engine. One of the world’s most popular social networks, in Google+. The biggest ad exchange in the world. And, yes, the world’s most popular browser. Imagine, for instance, if Google introduced an Ad ID, a la Apple’s solution, for every Android device. And then included it in Chrome. And then extended it to the Google.com searches, and Google+ social networking”.

    … fighting to control the future of the Internet
    . By John Koetsier, VentureBeat.

    … San Francisco locals disturbed as Google, Facebook, Apple and eBay professionals move in

    In 2011, according to the US Census, the median income for a man aged 25-34 was $32,581 (£20,368). The average Silicon Valley salary was a little under $100,000. The [Silicon Valley] Bay Area’s tech industry boasts 50 or more billionaires and many thousands of millionaires. Yet homelessness in the region has risen by 20 per cent in two years. This month, Twitter announced its imminent flotation on the stock market, which means there may soon be several hundred more tech millionaires in San Francisco… The median monthly rent on a one-bedroom flat in the Mission is now $2,850. Between 2011 and 2012, San Francisco rents went up faster than in any other US city.

    By Tim Walker, The Independent. 27 September 2013

    Silicon Valley’s Culture: insider slang

    Learn by the examples: what does it mean “disrupt ?

    Spend ten minutes talking to, listening to, or reading about anyone in the startup community, and you’ll almost inevitably hear the word “disrupt” in one of its many forms.

      They’re going to disrupt the industry.
      The company is disruptive.
      It’s a classic disruptor.

    The startup and tech worlds have taken a perfectly useful word and turned it into something devoid of meaning — a cliche thrown around by would-be insiders.
    by Max Nisen. Business Insider, Sep. 28, 2013

    Larry about Larry: Google CEO did “evil” things …

    (CBS News) Larry Ellison, America’s third richest man and the CEO of tech giant Oracle, took aim at Google in a wide-ranging interview with Charlie Rose, calling out Google CEO Larry Page “specifically” for overseeing Google’s decision to “take our [Oracle’s] stuff” …

    Larry about Larry

    Ellison clarified that Page — who is known for his personal slogan, “Don’t Be Evil” — “slipped up this one time” and said it was it was his actions, not necessarily Page himself, that were evil.

    See also:

    Eric Schmidt thought ‘Don’t Be Evil’ was ‘the stupidest rule ever’ when he joined Google

    The idea was that we don’t quite know what evil is, but if we have a rule that says don’t be evil, then employees can say, I think that’s evil,” Schmidt said. “Now, when I showed up, I thought this was the stupidest rule ever, …”
    ___

    Google vs. Evil

    Evil,” says Google CEO Eric Schmidt, “is what Sergey says is evil.”
    ___

    Google’s ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Mantra Is ‘Bullshit’
    ~ Steve Jobs

    What is the average age of the high tech employees?

    The NY Times provides some insights:

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall median age of American workers is 42.3 years old. The company with the oldest workers on the PayScale list, Hewlett – Packard, came in at 41 years… I.B.M. Global Services (38 years old), Oracle (38) …

      The … companies with the youngest workers, ranked from youngest to highest in median age, were Epic Games (26); Facebook (28); Zynga (28); Google (29)…

    Source: Technology Workers Are Young (Really Young) By QUENTIN HARDY. NY Times

    Corporate venture capital (CVC) dollars exceeded its pre-crisis value.

    Recent Quarters Total CVC Investment $M Calculated Percentage of Dollars Coming from CVCs
    Q1 2007 828.9 11.2%
    Q2 2007 734.9 9.4%
    Q3 2007 530.0 6.5%
    Q4 2007 582.3 6.9%
    Q1 2008 730.6 9.0%
    Q2 2008 666.2 8.3%
    Q3 2008 830.4 10.9%
    Q4 2008 507.9 8.2%
    Q1 2009 223.3 5.8%
    Q2 2009 358.7 7.0%
    Q3 2009 295.6 5.5%
    Q4 2009 462.6 7.8%
    Q1 2010 371.5 7.4%
    Q2 2010 665.1 9.3%
    Q3 2010 441.3 8.1%
    Q4 2010 437.2 7.7%
    Q1 2011 461.0 7.0%
    Q2 2011 742.2 9.1%
    Q3 2011 553.8 7.4%
    Q4 2011 532.8 7.2%
    Q1 2012 514.3 8.2%
    Q2 2012 572.3 7.8%
    Q3 2012 686.2 10.3%
    Q4 2012 494.1 7.4%
    1Q 2013 473.1 7.9%
    2Q 2013 909.2 13.5%

    Data source: PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree™ Report, Thomson Reuters
    ____

    What’s all about – Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) ?

    CVC as a subset a venture capital (VC) whereby a company is investing directly – without using a third party investment firm – in an external start-up, that it does not own.

    Top Startup Incubators And Accelerators …

    Rank Incubator/
    Accelerator
    City Note
    1 Y Combinator Mountain View, Calif. Dropbox and Airbnb are just the biggest names in portfolio.
    Investors fight to invest in YC companies at sky-high prices.
    Founded in 2005.
    2 TechStars Boulder, Boston, New York, Seattle, San Antonio Founded in 2007, it has grown to five cities, but keeps batches
    small to give each startup extra attention. Has broader impact by
    helping other incubators.
    3 DreamIt
    Ventures
    Philadelphia, New York,

    Israel
    Founded in 2008, it has programs in Philadelphia, New York and
    Israel, with 65 portfolio companies, including SCVNGR/Level Up.
    4 AngelPad San Francisco Founded by seven ex-Googlers in 2010; hot portfolio, but too early
    to value many of the companies.
    5 Launchpad LA Los Angeles Founded in 2009, 23 companies have gone through program, 19 have
    been funded, 5 acquired.

    Source: Top Startup Incubators And Accelerators: Y Combinator Tops With $7.8 Billion In Value By Ryan Mac, Forbes.

    The Bay Area job …

    The Bay Area job market boomed in August, adding 12,700 jobs for its best one-month performance since October 2012, state labor officials reported Friday.

    Santa Clara County did even better, adding 8,500 jobs, the best one-month performance for the county in more than 13 years. Those gains accounted for two-thirds of the jobs added in the Bay Area and more than one-fourth of the jobs gained in California last month, this newspaper’s analysis of data from the Employment Development Department shows.

    “Silicon Valley labor market has best month in 13 years” By George Avalos. Oakland Tribune 09/20/2013