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JLG Chronicles

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Posted by:Deej on Wednesday, 26 Dec, 2001 @ 1:07 AM
 
Submitted News

mooooooo found another link out there, this one an article written by JLG. It’s in French, but for the english readers out there, I’ve put the Babelfish translation in the “Read More” link. Hehe, good luck with that. :P Any real French folk out there want to translate it a bit better for us?

Between two worlds

December 21 2001

Jean-Louis Gassée is a Be chairman , Inc. in Menlo Park in California.
Its address is jlg@be.com.

E write plane to you which carries us in family towards the native land. We is above Canada, close to Hudson Bay, it is the early morning in Paris, the end of day in a rainy Valley. We sold the Be technology in Palm, the engineers work with their new colleagues with the future of PalmOS, I have just emptied my office full of relics and I leave behind me a small core of charged people, inter alia, to liquidate the other credits of the company and, once the finished operation, to distribute the funds to our shareholders. At the beginning of January, I will find myself with the head of another company, of another group of merry technoïdes, by a combination of circumstances which I then to evoke for the moment. Between the Valley and the native land, between two adventures.

It remains too much of questions, legal inter alia, so that I take full the 11 years measurement of the course of the founded company at the end of 1990 with my friend Steve Sakoman, so that I have enough retreat. That prevents me neither from accepting my responsibility without taking refuge behind large malicious Bill or the economic circumstances, nor to recognize my debt towards those and those which supported us morally and materially. I hope to be one day able to tell by the menu the continuation of adventures, meetings, goods and bad days which marked these years. I do not believe that there are grounds for a book, the accounts of high facts and low works of chairman passed a little from mode. I would lean rather for a series of tests and chronicles on the men and the women who supported the project of the interior and outside, on successes and the errors become retroactively obvious, on what I believe to have learned thanks to ” the complete course ” from the Valley: foundation, first financings, capitalist professional, introduction out of Stock Exchange then transfer.

Difficult forecasts

Of course, I jump while reconsidering to my naivety or my claims, but I delighted to have worked as much with a beautiful project joining together as many nations or people, France, Croatia, Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, India, Mexico, Japan, China, Taiwan, America and even Polytechnique. I feel well that all that is abstracted a little too much, I hope well to be made forgive later with anecdotes, facts, names, dates rather than of the concepts.

To return to the Valley that I leave for two good weeks, the mood of the moment is difficult to analyze, the forecasts even more difficult than in the past. November is morose, one knows why, the started recession fine 2000 plus September 11 plus Afghanistan. The figures and environment are bad, on patriotic bottom of pride. One thinks then of a year 2002 even more morose, the hopes of recovery are pushed back to 2003 and economic oracles of the government admit that, yes, finally, since first quarter 2001, we are in recession.

At the end of December, all becomes complicated. Afterwards from very bad deals since September 11, the customers return in the stores. After a continuous rise of unemployment, the movement seems to slow down. The indices of construction change color, effect, says one, of the fall in the interest rates, and the sales of cars initially stimulated by expensive financings for the manufacturers, except Toyota, seem better to go that envisaged. As regards the financial markets, Wall Street blows hot and the cold but, in the final analysis, we do not witness a slump in prices. On the contrary, they seem returned on their level of August 2001 - while waiting for the next meeting. Into theory, the biddings of the moment translate a vision of the future. I buy 100 in the idea to sell 110 or 250 later. Let us add that Vendresse, it, yields to 100 persuaded that that will be worth 80 or 20 in some time, without forgetting the well-known value of the stock exchange forecasts. But we do not speak about hard realities of tomorrow, only of the mood of today.

For my part, I am perplexed, I expected a morose end of the year, followed of advertisements of disappointing results in January and February 2002, rise of unemployment, prudence not to say fear of the consumers and companies and, therefore, continuation of the recession, more difficult year still than the preceding one.

On their side, the Venture Capitalists, the pros of the capital risks, gently start again all to invest, contradicting the rumours of a quite informed gossip however who supported at the end of August that certain funds returned their money to their particular rich investors, funds of retirement or large companies. With the interest rates to low, than to make liquidities which would return from a bottom of capital risk? This type of investment carries in him the idea of a hope of long-term profit, five years or more, in not of a speculation from day to day.

Sick animals of the plague

In fact, the rumour of funds returning their subsidies with their financial backers is a courtesy made with the victims of the brutal fall of the values known as of high technology. When you invest in a content of capital risks, you sign for a total sum, say 100. But you pour only one small part of the capital, say 20%. The remainder will be tapped at the proper time by the bottom of capital risks, they are capital calls, in the jargon of the place, the calls of capital. Many were those which had paper fortunes, in actions of Nasdaq, when it was not in still private companies but some to enter out of Stock Exchange tomorrow morning. Nasdaq falls, certain values lose 80 or 90% and the IPO are deferred sine die. Useless to quote Perette and the Pot with Milk, they would be rather the Animals Patient of the Plague. By definition, the fever of Nasdaq resulted from the number of those which ” believed in it “.

Under conditions, the sums discounted for future the capital calls flew away. What to make at the proper time? According to whether are powerful or miserable, the bottom will treat you differently. If you are a notability wrongfully abused by the Stock Exchange, one returns your money to you, one forgets the contract obliging you to subscribe the promised sums. If you are nobody, one points out the contract to you, you did not sign it in a bulge with the gleam of a lighter, clears up you, if not… If not, one directs you towards an intermediary specialized in this type of situation, perhaps will agree it to repurchase you your participation and to invest in your place. Do not hope to withdraw large-thing, a better sleep from it perhaps.

Return of mode for the ” Biotechs “

The sector of biotechnologies is become again popular. Formerly, to criticize an investment with the distant hopes of profit in time, one said ” it is biotech “. Today, with hopes of profit which move back in the bits and the bytes, the biotech becomes again interesting. They is, to tell the truth, least reasons. The expenditure of health continues to increase and it appears, since we evoke bit and bytes, that technologies of diagnosis very promising, fast, combining many simultaneous tests, call at the same time with the traditional high-tech and the attractive become again biotech. Of course, it is the fashion of the moment, with all that the expression recalls us of last enthusiasms — and of ” the current ” bio-fears.

In a few hours, I will walk in the streets of my native Paris, difficult exercise to California where the legend wants that the cops of Beverley Hills stop you if they surprise you to survey the residential avenues. I am curious to differently make me an opinion of the air of time than to the reading of the media, to see how arises the passage to the euro and how prepare the next elections. Family, friends, contractors lit, museums and castles favorite, without forgetting the bookshops, restaurants, coffees and breweries beloved…, another world which I find with more pleasure than usually. Here is my Christmas present. That yours is also enraciné in the affection of your family and the good old man country.

JLG



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