Archive for the ‘2008: A Good Year for Tech IPOs’ Category

Doriot Quote of the Day

September 7, 2009

Here’s one that seems appropriate for Labor Day, which also applies to startups of course.

“Never go into venture capital if you want a peaceful life. Keep on financing concrete that doesn’t move, that doesn’t call you at 2am in the morning.”

Doriot Quote of the Day

August 27, 2009

“A real courageous man is a man who does something courageous when no one is watching him.”

Doriot Quote of the Day

August 17, 2009

Over the next week or so, I am reviving a great idea that venture capitalist Fred Wilson came up with last year: The Doriot Quote of the Day.

One of the fun and surprising things I discovered while researching my book is that Georges Doriot had a knack for coming up with pithy, humorous and Nietzschian aphorisms.

Here’s one of my favorites:

“You will get nowhere if you do not inspire people.”

OMG: New York Times Reviews Creative Capital

June 1, 2008

As a writer, there are certain things you dream about but don’t think will ever happen. One of those long-held fantasies just became a reality today.

The New York Times reviewed my book.

The review, titled “Venture Capital, Before High Tech,” is on page 6 of the Business section, and includes a nice color photo of Creative Capital.

Reviewer Stephen Kotkin called it “a sometimes slow but ultimately satisfying biography of Georges F. Doriot, the transplanted Frenchman who is often called the father of V.C.”

He continues: “Silicon Valley was decades in the future when, as Mr. Ante writes, “Doriot learned how to become a venture capitalist” during World War II. Mr. Ante, an editor at BusinessWeek, explores the Army-business connections, a remarkable trans-Atlantic extended family of colleagues, the rise of high technology and a love story.” Later in the 1020-word review, Kotkin writes that “as the book advances it gathers poignancy.” Yes!

I still can’t believe it even though my publicist at Harvard Business Press gave me the head’s up on Thursday that it was slated to be reviewed in the Sunday paper. I was ecstatic that the book had already received positive reviews in numerous other prestigious publications, such as the Financial Times, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. But the Times review still carries a special cachet–signaling that the book has crossed over to a truly broad and mainstream audience.

That is all I could ask for. When I set out to do this project, I wanted to restore and revive Doriot’s reputation as one of the 20th century’s most visionary and important characters. With all the attention the book is receiving, I feel as if I have accomplished this goal and it’s very gratifying.

So thanks to everyone–friends, family, colleagues, strangers–who helped me get the word out. All that hard work is paying off in spades!

Doriot Quote Of The Day

May 30, 2008

This just in from Fred Wilson’s Blog A VC.

“At early board meetings, I would try to give an accurate accounting of the profit and loss. He would look through me and ask what I really thought about when I was shaving.”

High Voltage Engineering CEO Denis Robinson, about General Georges Doriot

Says Fred: I really loved this one. Its rarely about the numbers at the early stage. Its about the challenges and opportunities. Speaking of “loving this one” I’ve noticed few if any comments on these Doriot quotes. Am I the only one enjoying them?

So far, 32 people have left comments after Fred’s question–and most folks said they liked the quotes, which makes me feel good. A few people have even gone out and bought the book as a result of reading the Doriot quotes.

What do you think about when you are shaving?

2008: A Good Year for Tech IPOs?

January 7, 2008

Will 2008 be a good year for tech IPOs? Last year, I correctly predicted that 2007 would be the best year for tech IPOs since the tech bust. We ended the year with 60 tech IPOs, up from 41 in 2006, according to data from America’s Growth Capital. This year, I am predicting it will be another year of growth for tech offerings, but the growth won’t be on the order of last year’s 46% surge. We’ll be fortunate to see 10% to 20% more tech IPOs in 2008.

There is one caveat to my prediction: If the economy veers into recession all bets are off.

In my story published in January 2007, I argued that “a steadying of interest rates and inflation, a recent rally in the tech-heavy NASDAQ, and exceptional performance of tech offerings since the summer of 2006″ all pointed to a record year for tech IPOs.

None of those factors have changed that much. Inflation remains low, interest rates are falling again. Tech shares have experienced the best after-market performance of any IPO category, around 28% through the end of October. And some of the year’s biggest stock market winners were new tech names, such as VMWare, Omniture, and more recently, NetSuite.

Moreover, the Silicon Valley dream of changing the world and striking it rich is more alive than ever. I ended my 2007 story by quoting NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson, who affirmed this point. “Entrepreneurs don’t found a company to make Google better,” says Nelson, CEO of software provider NetSuite Inc., which recently chose an investment bank for an expected 2007 IPO. “They found a company to make a mark on the industry.” Now that NetSuite went public in late December, Nelson is worth around $40 million on paper.

Not everyone agrees with me, of course. The founding ceo of America’s Growth Capital, Ben Howe, thinks 2008 won’t be a growth year for tech IPOs. Howe, a key source in my 2007 forecast, argues we will see a decline from 2007, which he believes is already evident from the significant drop in new filings in Q4 2007. “Weak economy, choppy capital markets, political uncertainty will all work to slow down the IPO market,” writes Howe.

What do you think? This could make for an interesting thread.

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