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The internet economy may be one of the brightest spots in today's global economy, but the hits taken by shares of publicly-traded prominent internet brands like Facebook, Zynga and Groupon has definitely had an impact on venture backed companies, many of which have had and will have a more difficult time convincing investors that they're worth as much as they might have been able to convince them they're worth a couple of years ago.
You wouldn't know that, however, looking at Pinterest's latest funding round, which made headlines last week. The image-based social network is on the verge of becoming the second most popular social media site in the United States, and despite the fact that it hasn't figured out how to make money, investors poured $200m into the young company at a $2.5bn valuation.
There's arguably never been a better time to be a developer.
Looking for a full-time job? If you have the chops, they are plentiful, and if you're in a hot market, salaries are high. Not interested in the nine-to-five routine? Freelance opportunities abound and investors are still pouring big bucks into startups, with many focusing on backing entrepreneurial engineers who can turn their ideas into code.
But if all success on the web and mobile internet required was a few hundred thousand lines of awesome Ruby code, a few NoSQL databases here and there and a clever Amazon AWS-based architecture, there would be a lot more Facebooks out there.
What's missing for many companies? One word: design.
For a growing number of companies, the cloud is an incredibly appealing proposition. It allows organizations to scale up (and down) infrastructure and services as needed, and you generally pay only for what you use.
But that doesn't mean that the cloud isn't without its challenges. Some, such as architecting fail-proof applications, are well documented. But there are others which don't often get as much attention. One: keeping track of what your company is spending.
If you're an entrepreneur today looking to start a company, there's a decent chance you've looked at an accelerator program.
The proposition is compelling: funding, access to resources, events, fellowship with other entrepenreurs, and introductions to venture capitalists who can fund your growth.
When you want to search the web, chances are you turn to Google. But where do you go when you want to search for mobile apps?
It's a question more and more consumers will grapple with as use of smartphones grows and the number of sites with app platforms increases. And one company, Quixey, wants to be the answer to that latter question.
The relational database may not be dead, and so-called NoSQL solutions may have been slightly overhyped, but that isn't stopping investors from betting that the market for new types of data stores is going to be very, very big.
The latest example of that: 10gen, which is behind one of the more prominent NoSQL databases, MongoDB, has just raised a new $42m round of funding.
A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollars.
The words made famous by the movie that dramatized Facebook's beginnings may soon be passé in Silicon Valley, as investors clamouring to get in on funding rounds for the hottest tech startups seem increasingly willing to put their cash in at billion-dollar valuations.
Crazy? Perhaps, but Facebook's $1bn Instagram acquisition shows that big valuations don't exclude companies from the startup lottery, at least for the time being.
The latest entrant to the billion dollar club will be Pinterest, thanks to a $100m funding round led by Rakuten. The funding round puts a $1.5bn valuation on Pinterest.
Facebook may be the subject of all of the headlines with its public debut looming this Friday, but another major player in the social networking space is reminding the world that it's still growing too.
Twitter, which has built a company that one day might go public too on the back of 140 character messages, has waived its hands in the air by announcing that it has surpassed 140m users worldwide.
Yesterday, United States President Barack Obama signed into law the JOBS Act, which may be the most significant update to securities regulations since Sarbanes–Oxley was passed in 2002.
One portion of the new law, the CROWDFUND Act, has been creating a lot of buzz in Silicon Valley for months, as it will make it legal for startups the ability to raise money in small chunks from large numbers of non-accredited investors.
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.
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?
Times are good for internet entrepreneurs. VC money is flowing again, supporting a startup boom the likes of which hasn't been seen since the late 1990s.
Large companies aren't shy about acquiring technology and talent, and for the most promising companies, the public markets are once again open for business.
Although much of the startup investment activity and buzz is focused on startups in Silicon Valley and New York, Europe isn't without startup action of its own.