Everything Old is New Again

While the great recession was ugly for most, it did have a silver lining. Amidst a society where the institution of marriage is in the decline, the divorce rate surprisingly decreased during the great recession. When times got hard, marriages buckled down because they could not afford to get divorced. The risks of failing were higher, thus more work was required to keep marriages alive.

Coming out of the recession, our nation rediscovered a part of its character long-forgotten in the recent decades of prosperity. The trend of “fixing” is making a comeback. Believe it or not, there was a time when people fixed things that were broken, but at some point, it became easier and cheaper to just start over or buy new.

Relearning how to tough-out the rough times applied to the business world as well. While money never really grew on trees, pre-great recession companies certainly acted like it! Today we are seeing more and more companies bootstrapping and cutting lavish or unnecessary expenses. In fact, investors are now demanding this characteristic in companies and companies are responding with more fiscally-responsible business plans.

While the partners at Tech-Rx are natural-born fixers, die-hards and visionaries, this culture is beginning to spread throughout the industry. Companies now have an alternative to failure. Founders no longer have to throw away their hard work and precious time because they can now turn to micro private equity as an option to fix or save their company. As the Bare Naked Ladies eloquently put it, “Learn to lose, it’s easier that way.”

Micro private equity has been a long time coming and there hasn’t been this option for early-stage companies. Now there is. Hopefully with our arrival, and with others surely to follow, more innovative companies and technologies can be saved.

-Steve Hogan, Managing Partner, Tech-Rx

 

“Failure” Culture

“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

-Abraham Lincoln

Last week, Erika Hall from Wired magazine wrote an article that was well overdue. In the article, Erika discusses how the failure culture among startups is killing innovation. The article continues on and points out that some founders are treating their failed startups as research. The majority of the piece is focused on proper research, but we wanted to take a moment to focus in on failure culture.

Failure is not a badge of honor.

Trying hard is a badge of honor; admitting that you failed is a badge of honor; learning from your failures is a badge of honor; the fact that you failed is not. If you fail, you might as well use your failures as a learning experience, but here is something better, don’t plan on failing! Just because a failure can be spun into something positive does not mean it is okay. As Mr. Lincoln is quoted above, it is not whether you failed but if you are content with your failure. We are seeing more and more contentment with failure in today’s ecosystem, and as the article points out, we are seeing more and more planned failures – which is even worse.

Innovation doesn’t breed from meritocracy.

This ‘failure’ culture is dangerous. Not only is time, money and energy wasted but important innovations become buried. This is the type of thing that makes our skin crawl. Every company failure as a tragedy. The lost opportunities being brushed to the side are a complete waste, and while there may have been a lesson learned, there has to be a loser. Losing investors. Losing employees. Losing economy. Losing society.

Let us do ourselves a favor and do everything in our power to ensure success, else we risk a backwards society that embraces meritocracy and is void of the innovation that lead us to the successes of today.

– Steve Hogan, Managing Partner, Tech-Rx

Where’s the Next Silicon Valley?

Israel, Copenhagen, New York — the list goes on and on! While forecasting the location of the next Silicon Valley is becoming quite the fad, we argue it is a fruitless endeavor to make such forecasts. What Makes Silicon Valley Unique The ingredients that make Silicon Valley so unique to Silicon Valley are impossible to replicate. Most notoriously is the culture. Silicon Valley’s culture is most known for it’s eternal optimism, innovative vision, relentless drive and a flair to risk it all. Without a complementary ecosystem to support this unparalleled culture, none of the technological innovations that hailed from the area would have been possible. Silicon Valley’s Replacement is Online As our convergence with the Internet continues, it is becoming easier and easier to create communities online. While it may be difficult to replicate Silicon Valley in physical locations around the world, it may be more successful to do so online. With the emergence of complex and easy to use collaboration tools and the ability to create and find community online, it is more feasible to for like-minded individuals to find each and work together on creating something new. 10 High-Tech Hot Spots If you don’t care about the unique characteristics that make Silicon Valley irreplaceable and you’d just like to know where you will find the next hubbub of tech, we understand. In fact, it makes more sense to pontificate where are the strongest tech hotspots will be situated. Below is the list you are looking for:
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Riverside, CA
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Houston, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • Jacksonville, FL
We even found this neat infographic here for additional high-tech hot spots. Note that we stayed domestic in our list, but would love to hear your thoughts on international high-tech hot spots — Israel, London, Bangalore, etc. What are your thoughts on the “Next Silicon Valley”? Any other high-tech hot spots that you see on the horizon? -Nikki Griggs, Business and Marketing Associate, Tech-Rx