This article by long-time entrepreneur and author Steve Blank predicts a coming “Lost Decade” for entrepreneurs looking to build a startup into something much larger and longer term. Technology startup IPOs have diminished almost to the point of disappearing over the decade since the ‘dot-com crash’, leaving VCs and angels with only one main exit strategy: acquisition by a larger firm. New, smaller venture firms with less than US$150 million to invest have picked up the ball to fund Web 2.0 startups, who themselves are smaller and more efficient than their bubbly predecessors of the 90s.

The late 90s really were too ridiculous to want a repeat, and for many entrepreneurs acquisition by a major firm is a worthy goal, even if it does mean the disappearance of their company. But Blank laments that non-web startups, especially those in biotech, medical devices, semiconductors, communications and cleantech, may not be able to raise the larger amounts of capital necessary to grow their businesses.

Some questions then: Is this US trend affecting startups in Asia too? Are Asian governments more likely to play a role in non-web business building if their country wants to expand its role in those sectors? What is the primary goal of entrepreneurs these days — to grow and manage a company, or to solve a particular problem and move on to the next idea?

full article & discussion here

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