NDAs Re: [Beowulf] Nvidia, cuda, tesla and... where's my double floating point?

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Tue Jun 17 14:12:00 PDT 2008

Jim Lux wrote:
> At 12:59 PM 6/17/2008, Karen Shaeffer wrote:
>> On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:41:34AM -0700, Jim Lux wrote:
>> >
>> > Well.. to be fair, there were (and still are) businesses out there
>> > (particularly a few years ago) that didn't fully understand the
>> > concept of needing net profit. (ah yes, the glory days of startups
>> > "buying market share" in the dot-com bubble) And, some folks made a
>> > fine living in the mean time. (But, then, those folks weren't the
>> > owners, were they, or if they were, in a limited sense, they now have
>> > some decorative wallpaper..)
>> >
>> Hi Jim,
>> I think you have the common view about this. The reality is many of
>> those same companies would be making money today. They were just
>> ahead of their time -- which is very common here in Silicon Valley.
> Hmmm.. I don't know about that.. having a solution with no problem that 
> needs to be solved isn't a valid business model. You could equally well 

[hmmm.... how do we get Jim to lecture to VC's about funding the next 
social wannabe linky-linky site?  ]


>> And even worse, they lumped the failure of big iron companies
>> and especially Sun Microsystems during that time with the .com
>> bust, when, in reality, everyone was moving to commodity hardware
>> and Linux during that time frame -- the business press just didn't
>> want to report that at the time... Go figure.

Yup.  Most of them still don't want to admit it.

> To a certain extent, the big iron companies had troubles, though, 
> because of the .com bubble in general. All this cash flooding into the 
> market looking for investments, so really, really speculative ventures 
> got funded (sort of like cash flooding into the collateralized debt 
> obligation/mortgage backed securities market), and that funding drove 
> deposits on equipment from the big iron companies, etc.

Well, there were secondary affects.  Cisco having a $0.5T valuation was 
one of those.  At SGI, one of the "oh feces" moments we had was when TJ, 
who wasn't throwing up in a hotel pool somewhere, noted that some SGI 
gear made for great web servers in 1995 or so.  Then we (while I was 
there) managed to completely miss that market.  Coulda rode the bubble 
up ... <sigh>

More seriously, getting the business model right is hard.  Making it 
work is hard.  Getting investments from groups that understand these 
things is hard.  There was too much speculation, not enough focus upon 
the model.  I would argue there is lots of that today with the social 
bits.  How many social websites are there?  What are they really worth? 
  What is their revenue model?  How will they make money (apart from 
being sold to larger companies)?  Why are VCs funding them?

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax  : +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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