When Facebook filed to go public earlier this week, you can be sure that the excitement in the halls of Facebook's offices was palpable. After all, the company's wild ride is going to make a lot of people very wealthy.
But the excitement around Facebook's IPO isn't just being felt amongst Facebook's employees. It's creating increased excitement for technology entrepreneurs, some of whom hope their startups could be the next Facebook.
Starting a new venture is tough, but entrepreneurs are often less likely to complain. After all, to succeed, you have to be positive, right?
Following the death of Diaspora co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy, some are questioning whether those sorts of beliefs are dangerous, and a perhaps much-needed discussion is taking place about depression amongst entrepreneurs.
The boom times of the past several years may create the impression that just about every startup with half a business plan can get funding, but the truth of the matter is that many startups desiring to raise capital from investors are unable to.
There are plenty of reasons for this. Some startups, for instance, realistically don't have what it takes to convince investors that they're viable investments.
For many if not most of these startups, founders, family and friends simply can't pony up enough cash.
For many tech entrepreneurs, a startup leads to one of three destinations: acquisition, IPO, or failure. Historically, the risks have been big, but the rewards have been even bigger.
From Google to Facebook, few industries have created vast amounts of wealth faster than the internet, but for many entrepreneurs today, swinging for the fences isn't a must.
Increasingly, big companies (like Google) and high-flying upstarts (like Facebook) are targeting young startups for acquisition. Not for assets or IP, but for their people.
With the hottest startups raising big money from investors, and founders and early employees of some of the most successful cashing out some of their equity to the tune of millions, it's no surprise that so many entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs are taking the plunge and starting companies that they hope could be the next big thing.
Building a successful company, of course, is tough, and the odds aren't favorable. Despite the hot market, a growing number of observers believe that we may be in the midst of a bubble which may not be as big as the first, but which could still create significant pain for entrepreneurs and the startup investment community.
In 2008, just as the global economy was collapsing, one of the most storied venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, Sequoia Capital, gave a presentation that encouraged entrepreneurs to raise as much money as they could, and hunker down for a nuclear winter.
Three years later, the startup economy is zooming along. Many young companies large and small have been raising money at significant (and arguably exorbitant) valuations. A new breed of angel investor -- the 'super angel' -- has emerged, buoying the market for startup capital. And thanks to secondary markets for private company stock, founders and early employees at some of the most successful companies have been able to obtain liquidity.
But are the good times coming to an end, again?
Are we in a tech bubble?
There debate is only growing, and while it may not really matter to most of us, there are ten particularly worrying signs for those who have expoure to companies that are running on VC fuel and may need to go public in the near future.
For most entrepreneurs, the first time is usually not the charm. Nor are the second and third times. Instead, success is often reached after countless failures, rewarding only the most persistent and determined entrepreneurs.
So it's no surprise that a lot is made of 'pivoting' in the startup community. A 'pivot', as the name implies, occurs when a startup that isn't on the right path tries to move onto a different path.
When done successfully, a company on the brink of failure might find itself achieving great success.
Bulding a successful company usually takes a lot of hard work, and a lot of time. But destroying a successful company can take be measured in hours and minutes. Case in point: TechCrunch.
Started by a single blogger, Michael Arrington, TechCrunch became one of the most prominent voices of Silicon Valley and the tech startup scene and was acquired a year ago by AOL for an eight-figure sum.
The debates over what constitutes journalism, and what the future of journalism will look like, rages on.
Last week, a firestorm erupted when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington announced that he was launching a fund to invest in technology startups.
TechCrunch, of course, which is now owned by AOL, is a blog focused on technology startups, and while Arrington will apparently be off the editorial payroll, he'll still be able to contribute as an unpaid blogger.
Adding fuel to the firestorm: the fact that AOL itself is investing in Arrington's fund.