Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Unicorns and regulations: Prophecy or parable

From the entertaining article Silicon Valley Unicorn Obituaries by Mr. Prabha Kannan in The New Yorker:

"Three unicorns passed away in the Bay Area last week after an extended battle with a particularly virulent strain of valuationitis. Gathered at their bedsides were executives and prominent venture capitalists, who confirmed the deaths. “The virus came out of nowhere,” the treating physician said. “One minute they were thriving entities worth billions, and the next . . . I haven’t seen cases of valuationitis with inflammation of this magnitude since, oh, way back in 2000.”"

Read the complete article here.

From the more sober evaluation from Schumpeter: Toy Story in The Economist:

"The threat of adverse regulation animates the question of whether the hoverboard fiasco is a prophecy as well as a parable. Silicon Valley has long displayed some of the classic characteristics of a bubble: companies vying to build the most eye-catching headquarters and CEOs competing to produce the most extravagant ideas to “change the world”. There are growing signs that private valuations of tech “unicorns” will not hold up when they are subjected to the rigours of the public market. Some unicorns have shied away from going public at the last moment and others such as Good Technology, a mobile-device security firm, have sold themselves at lower valuations than they had hoped. If regulators alter the landscape further, 2016 might be the year that such firms follow the hoverboard and go up in a puff of smoke."

Read the complete article here.

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