Green shoots in Silicon Valley and the PowerPoint recovery

Rarely has a PowerPoint presentation had as much destructive effect as Sequoia's "RIP" deck . . .

The financial meltdown a year ago had an immediate effect on Silicon Valley despite the fact that the regions' thousands of startups are focused on growth and being profitable many years out into the future. For startups and their investors, just because the economy is bad today should be less of an issue than what the economy will be like in the future. However, a year ago it looked like the sky was falling. Sequoia Ventures, one of Silicon Valley's oldest and most successful VC firms secretly assembled all of its portfolio CEOs and laid down the line in a PowerPoint presentation titled "RIP Good Times." Cut jobs and slash expenses now -- conserve capital at all costs. News of the secret meeting spread quickly. And soon the "RIP" PowerPoint presentation was leaked and distributed widely. Rarely has a single PowerPoint deck had as much destructive effect as this one. Hundreds of other VC firms took on the Sequoia message and thousands of startups cut jobs and slashed expenses -- sometimes a little too enthusiastically. And there was a tremendous knock-on effect as PR firms, law firms and all the other service providers and independent contractors that work with the startup community, also suffered. Silicon Valley plunged into yet another large downturn. And this was at a time when it was still climbing out of the monster downturn from 2001's dotcom disaster. It all seemed unfair especially since this time it wasn't Silicon Valley's fault, this time it was the fault of New York's Wall Street. It was the Sequoia "RIP" presentation that tied what was happening in New York to what needed to happen in Silicon Valley. The Sequoia PowerPoint deck became a hated thing among all the services firms. The consensus was that startups should focus on growth and on the future - this was not a time for dramatic cuts in spending Now, there are signs of improvement in Silicon Valley because of a handful of large M&A deals at very generous valuations.

Recent acquisitions in the hi-tech field include the purchase of Mint.com by Intuit for $170m (£102m), Adobe buying Omniture for $1.8bn (£1.08bn), the sale of Skype to a private equity syndicate for $2bn (£1.2bn) and the purchase of SpringSource by VMware for $420m (£254m).
BBC NEWS | Technology | Silicon Valley 'seeing revival'

And if the IPO market sparks up Silicon Valley will come roaring back to life. In the meantime, we might enjoy a modest recovery from the effects of Sequoia's "RIP" PowerPoint deck. - - - Please see: