I agree with almost all of Steve Blank’s points in this recent interview.
#geekcred: I wrote a case study on Fairchild Semiconductor in 1997, and just this weekend emailed my father and uncles about our new tech paradigm and the certainty of Microsoft’s restructuring at some point in the very near future.
The LinkedIn IPO “absolutely” marks the beginning of a bubble — and he thinks its going to be great. He likens it to the Netscape IPO in August 1995 that kicked off four years of boom times, but notes that this time VCs actually know how to build real companies with real revenue and profit.
Crazy investors — not geeks — are what makes Silicon Valley unique. Without the “crazy” financiers willing to take big risks in hopes of chasing “obscene” returns, the valley would just be “a bunch of smart scientists and entrepreneurs sitting in their labs and their garages.”
Microsoft will start to fail within six quarters. Blank put a timeline on Microsoft suffering the kind of huge loss that drove IBM to restructure itself back in 1993: six quarters from now. He thinks Steve Ballmer is a “miserable failure” and that the board should be blamed for not replacing him. He also suggests that buying Nokia and installing Stephen Elop as CEO might be a solution.
But Larry Page is doing the right thing at Google. By letting the geeks run the show, Page is following in the footsteps of one of the earliest Silicon Valley pioneers: Fairchild Semiconductor in the 1950s.