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

Karen Shaeffer shaeffer at neuralscape.com
Tue Jun 17 14:51:34 PDT 2008

On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 01:25:49PM -0700, Jim Lux wrote:
> At 12:59 PM 6/17/2008, Karen Shaeffer wrote:
> >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 argue that a company with lots of smart employees, but 
> no ideas, is also ahead of it's time.
> Either you have all the elements, or you don't.

Have you ever worked in Silicon Valley? Much of the thinking
is about what is emerging, and how long it will take to emerge.
This is the mindset for the big winners, but it is also the
highest risk. Once all the elements are in place, then that is
the secondary market of what I call the carpet baggers. Actually
there are a lot of those folks too.
> >The .com bust is about as hyped as you can get. They used to love
> >to bash San Francisco as the symbol of the bust. Take a look at this
> >month's cover of San Francisco magazine. Timing is everything in
> >life. (smiles ;)
> >
> >http://www.sanfranmag.com/
> >
> >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.
> 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.

I think you nailed that. Silicon Valley is driven by greed. And no group is
more full of greed than the investors of Silicon Valley -- as it should be.
We all live by the golden rule -- Those with the gold make the rule. What
is almost comical is how they engage in herd investing. They watch what
their counterparts are investing in -- and they often need to invest in
a competing company to avoid looking clueless. There is cover in that
model -- If it hits big, you can say you were playing in the market,
even if your investment lost. And if that market flops, you can say that
everyone else made the same mistake as you. This is very common here in
Silicon Valley. And it definitely was at play in the hyper-investments
that set up the .com bust -- herd mentality that required everyone to
be dumping money into the emerging Internet paradigm -- early. You gotta
love Silicon Valley. I wouldn't live any other place in the world.
(smiles ;)

Thanks for your comments. They are always interesting. I actually
have work to get done today. Gotta go.

 Karen Shaeffer
 Neuralscape, Palo Alto, Ca. 94306
 shaeffer at neuralscape.com  http://www.neuralscape.com

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