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

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Jun 17 15:24:54 PDT 2008

At 02:51 PM 6/17/2008, Karen Shaeffer wrote:
>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.

Thinking yes, profit/revenue no.

>This is the mindset for the big winners, but it is also the
>highest risk.

I would say that it's the folks who think and identify what the 
elements are and when they will be in place that have the highest returns.

>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.

I believe the term is "fast followers"

> >
> > 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.

I suspect that there are folks in other places who are substantially 
greedier and who think that "they're the smartest guys in the room", 
and who play in far more ephemeral and speculative venues than actual 
ideas and products.

Structured Investment Vehicles with multiple tranches are just an 
example.. entirely a construct of paper and one economic model 
against another to hopefully have a positive return.  No technology 
ideas or better mousetraps needed. It's all moving future money from 
one place to another, betting that your risk model and corresponding 
asset allocation strategy is better than someone else's.

>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 in the entertainment business.  Look how many clone "high 
concept" movies/TV shows there are.

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