Archive for February, 2014


Life Lessons for Turbulent Times

Memoirs of a Crisis Manager
by Steven R. Gerbsman

1.  Have Ethics & Integrity

2.  Be Responsible & Accountable for your actions

3.  the More Things Change – the More they Remain the Same

4.  In order to Lead, you must Do – make a sales call, do a business plan, pencil out go forward financials, communicate with a creditor, make something, negotiate a deal, etc.

5.  Your WORD is your BOND – Your BOND is your WORD

6.  ATTITUDE – always be positive and constructive

7.  Have the DESIRE to do the best you can

8.  Be CONSISTENT in good times and challenging times

9.  Continue to LEARN & LISTEN & LISTEN – and its ok to say “I don’t know” and “I need help”

10.  Take RISKS – don’t be afraid to make mistakes, that is how you learn and grow

11.  Live Life for the Integrity of your Name, the Love of your Family and Hope for the Future

12.  Always focus on #1 above, nothing else matters.


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PING Golf Clubs
I think all Americans should be aware of this. According to snopes.com this story is true.


This isn’t a joke or cartoon; just something interesting to know . . . You may want to forward this on to others.

On Monday, I played the Disney, Lake Buena Vista course. As usual the starters matched me with three other players. After a few holes we began to get to know each other a bit. One fellow was rather young and had his wife riding along in the golf cart with him. I noticed that his golf bag had his name on it and after closer inspection it also said “wounded war veterans”. When I had my first chance to chat with him I asked him about the bag.
His response was simply that it was a gift. I then asked if he was wounded and he said yes. When I asked more about his injury, his response was “I’d rather not talk about it, sir”.

Over a few holes I learned that he had spent the last 15 months in an army rehabilitation hospital in San Antonio Texas . His wife moved there to be with him and he was released from the hospital in September. He was a rather quiet fellow; however, he did say that he wanted to get good at golf. We had a nice round and as we became a bit more familiar I asked him about the brand new set of Ping woods and irons he was playing. Some looked like they had never been hit. His response was simple. He said that this round was the first full round he had played with these clubs.

Later in the round he told me the following. As part of the discharge process from the rehabilitation hospital, Ping comes in and provides three days of golf instruction, followed by club fitting. Upon discharge from the hospital, Ping gives each of the discharged veterans, generally about 40 soldiers, a brand new set of custom fitted clubs along with the impressive golf bags.

The fellow I met was named Ben Woods and he looked me in the eye and said that being fitted for those clubs was one of the best things that ever happened to him and he was determined to learn to play golf well enough to deserve the gift Ping had given him. Ben is now out of the service medically discharged just a month ago. He is as fine a young man as you would ever want to meet.

Ping, whose products are made with pride here in America ( Arizona ), has the good judgment not to advertise this program. God Bless America and the game of golf.
Thank you PING !!!

May God Bless our Military!!!

This one deserves to be shared with everybody!!!!!!


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Silicon Valley Venture Survey – Fourth Quarter 2013

February 18, 2014

We analyzed the terms of venture financings for 124 companies headquartered in Silicon Valley that reported raising money in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Overview of Fenwick & West Results
Valuation results in 4Q13 continued strong, although not quite as strong as 3Q13.

Here are the more detailed results:

  • Up rounds exceeded down rounds 71% to 16%, with 13% of rounds flat. This was slightly less strong than 3Q13 when 73% of rounds were up, 8% down and 19% flat.
  • The Fenwick & West Venture Capital Barometer™ showed an average price increase of 57% in 4Q13, again a small decline from 65% in 3Q13.
  • The median price increase of financings in 4Q13 was 27%, a healthy result but a decline from the 43% registered in 3Q13.
  • While internet and digital media continued to be the strongest industries valuation wise, the percentage of financings from the life science industry was the highest (24.5%) since 2Q11. Additionally, software and internet digital media only combined for 50% of all financings, the lowest amount since 1Q12. As life science financings have not performed as well as software and internet digital media financings from a valuation perspective, this shift in mix was the major reason for the slightly less strong overall valuation results.

The more detailed results are below.

Overview of Other Industry Data
The overall venture environment continued to improve in 4Q13, and 2013 overall, but M&A activity and VC fundraising lagged.

  • Venture investing was strong in 4Q13, and 2013 was generally stronger than 2012, but lagged 2011. Software and internet investing was especially strong in 2013.
  • IPOs were strong in both 4Q13 and 2013, with 2013 seeing the most venture backed IPOs since 2007.
  • M&A in 4Q13 was mixed but declined in 2013 overall. 2013 saw the lowest number of venture backed M&A since 2009.
  • Venture firm fundraising improved in 4Q13 but declined in 2013, which was the lowest fundraising year since 2010.
  • Corporate venture investing increased through the first nine months of 2013 and was on track to be the best year since 2001
  • Angel funding increased in 2013, but the number of companies funded by accelerators declined.
  • Venture capitalist sentiment continued to improve in 4Q13 reaching the highest level since 3Q07.
    • Venture Capital Investment
      Dow Jones VentureSource (“VentureSource”) reported a 9.9% increase in venture investment and an 11.8% increase in the number of venture financings from 3Q13 to 4Q13. Specifically, $8.9 billion was invested in 901 deals in 4Q13 compared to $8.1 billion invested in 806 deals in 3Q13 (as reported in October 2013).1 For the full year of 2013, $33.1 billion was raised in 3480 deals, a 1% increase in dollars but a 5% decline in number of deals from 2012. The PwC/NVCA MoneyTree™ Report based on data from Thomson Reuters (the “MoneyTree Report”) reported generally similar results. Specifically, it reported that $8.4 billion was invested in 1077 deals in 4Q13, a 7.6% increase in dollars and a 7.2% increase in deals from the $7.8 billion invested in 1005 deals in 3Q13 (as reported in October 2013).1 For the full year of 2013, $29.4 billion was reported invested in 3,995 deals, an increase of 7% in dollars and 4% in deals over 2012. Investments in internet and software companies reached their highest levels since 2001 and 2000, respectively.Andreessen Horowitz was the most active VC in 2013 with 81 deals.
    • IPO Activity
      There were 24 venture backed IPOs raising $5.3 billion in 4Q13, a slight decline in transactions from the 26 IPOs in 3Q13 but a substantial increase in dollars from the $2.7 billion raised in 3Q13 (as reported in October 2013)1, according to Thomson Reuters and the NVCA (“Thomson/NVCA”).There were 82 venture backed IPOs in 2013, the most since 2007, and the amount raised in 2013 ($11.2 billion) was also healthy, although less than 2012 due to the Facebook IPO.
      Number of Venture Backed IPOsEleven of the fourth quarter IPOs were in life sciences and 10 in IT. Six of the IPOs were from outside of the U.S., due in part to China based companies beginning to re-enter the U.S. IPO market after having little activity in recent years. However the few venture backed Chinese companies going public in the U.S. in 2013 was far less than the 40 that did so in 2010 according to the Venture Capital Journal. VentureSource reported similar IPO results.

      Despite the healthy IPO market, there does not appear to be the large scale “irrational exuberance” in the industry as there was in 1999 when there were over 350 tech IPOs. However those companies that did go public, and those that have gone public in recent years, generally traded up significantly in 2013. And with CB Insights reporting at least 26 private venture backed IT companies with valuations over $1 billion, 2014 is positioned to be another good year for venture backed IPOs.

      In November 2013, the Equity Capital Formation Task Force issued a report on some of the regulatory reasons why IPOs in the U.S. have declined over the past decade, and made suggestions for regulatory changes. The report focused on the problems caused by decimalization of trading and the resultant lack of aftermarket support for smaller public tech companies. The lack of small investment banks like the “Four Horsemen” of the 1990s (H&Q, Montgomery, Alex Brown, Robertson Stephens) is likely a related factor.

    • Merger and Acquisition Activity
      VentureSource reported a 24% increase in the amount paid in the acquisition of venture backed companies and a 4% increase in the number of acquisitions in 4Q13 compared to 3Q13. Specifically there were 115 acquisitions for $12.0 billion in 4Q13 compared to 111 deals for $9.7 billion in 3Q13 (as reported in October 2013).1For the full year 2013 the amount paid in acquisitions declined by 14.2%, and the number of acquisitions declined by 9.4%, from 2012. Specifically there were 413 acquisitions for $36.9 billion in 2013 compared to 456 acquisitions for $43 billion in 2012. Thomson/NVCA reported a decline in M&A, from 116 in 3Q13 to 81 transactions in 4Q13, a 30% decrease, and from 488 transactions in 2012 to 377 transactions in 2013, a 23% decrease and the lowest year since 2009.Number of Acquisitions of VC-Backed Companies

      Somewhat in contrast, EY reported that the global (public and private) technology M&A market for 3Q13 was very healthy, with a post dot-com bubble record $71.2 billion of disclosed value acquisitions, and a continued increase in the amount of cash and investment held by the top technology companies–up to $784 billion in 3Q13.

      Perhaps part of the reason for the apparent disparity between the public and private M&A markets is that the rebounding IPO market has provided private companies an alternative to acquisition, and perhaps raised their perception of what they are worth. Supporting this thesis, EY also reported that 45% of tech executives they interviewed expected a widening gap in valuation expectation between buyers and sellers, an increase from 18% just six months prior.

      Another trend noted by TechCrunch is that increasing numbers of public non-tech companies are interested in acquiring private tech companies, especially those in the same industry (e.g., real estate or retail). And a new start up, ExitRound, has been formed to be a matchmaker for M&A, helping to match buyers and sellers on a confidential basis, a tool that could be especially useful for public non-technology company acquirors.

      Of the top 50 VC backed U.S. tech exits each year since 2007, 42% of the companies were based in Silicon Valley and 65% of the aggregate valuation was attributable to Silicon Valley based companies, according to CB Insights.

  • Venture Capital Fundraising
    Venture capital fundraising increased 9% in dollars in 4Q13 compared to 3Q13 but declined 10% in dollars from 2012 to 2013 according to VentureSource. Fourteen venture firms raised a majority of all funds raised in 2013.Similarly, Thomson Reuters/NVCA reported that fundraising increased 20% from 3Q13 to 4Q13 ($4.1 billion to $4.9 billion) but declined 14% for the full year, from $19.5 billion in 2012 to $16.7 billion in 2013.Fundraising by VCs ($ Billions)The increased concentration of venture resources was also evidenced by the Venture Capital Journal’s report that while 360 U.S. venture capital funds invested over $4 million in 2007, only 221 did in 2013.

For additional information, please visit http://www.fenwick.com/publications/Pages/Silicon-Valley-Venture-Survey-Fourth-Quarter-2013.aspx?WT.mc_id=2013.Q4_VCS_BK

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Comcast’s $45 Billion Purchase Of Time Warner Cable Is Trouble For Apple TV

Jay Yarow


Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Apple May Have Just Acquired The Final Piece It Needs To Make A Killer Apple TV

A funny thing happened this week.
After years of rumors, speculation, and wishing, we got two solid reports that said Apple was really ready to launch a full-on TV product.

Both the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg said Apple was planning to release an Apple TV this year. Bloomberg predicted an April reveal, and the WSJ predicted a June reveal.

These reports followed Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac saying a new Apple TV was coming in the first half of the year. All three said Apple was revamping its little hockey puck TV box, not releasing a big screen TV.

The Journal and Bloomberg both said Apple was partnering with Time Warner Cable to deliver video content to users. Apple TV would add a nice layer of user interface to Time Warner’s video stream.

However, just hours after the reports broke, a much bigger story involving the TV industry hit. Comcast was planning to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion in an all-stock deal.

We don’t know what this means for Apple’s TV plans, but it sure looks like whatever Apple was planning will be thrown into flux.

The Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal won’t close for a while and Comcast shouldn’t have influence over Time Warner’s plans until the deal is officially closed. But who knows if Time Warner will want to dive into something as big as a partnership with Apple at the same time that it’s getting acquired.

Our guess is that in the short term whatever Apple was working on with Time Warner Cable should be safe. Time Warner has been in play for a while, so Apple must have been aware this could happen.

In the long run, things get a little fuzzier.

On the day that news broke that Apple was working with Time Warner Cable, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich put out a note on the news titled, “Attempt to Preempt Comcast in Set-Top Box.”

Milunovich says Comcast has an agreement with Cox to use its set-top platform. Presumably, when it owns Time Warner Cable, it’s going to push those customers to use its platform. That would mean the three biggest cable companies, or ~35 million subscribers, will be using Comcast’s set top box.

Milunovich says that Comcast has been aggressively investing in its own set-top box platform, called “X1”:

“Today’s X1 features include voice-based navigation and search, personalized recommendations, a collection of customizable widgets, and access to third-party apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pandora. Internally referred to as X2, Comcast is in the midst of migrating its X1 users to a next-gen cloud-based device. This upgrade provides cloud-based DVR, mobile device synchronization, and app airplay capabilities.”

This makes it sound like Comcast would not want to hand over its video signal to Apple. It sounds like it thinks it can build a better TV experience.

It’s possible Apple makes something so great Comcast decides to drop its own platform, but we doubt it. It looks like when Comcast buys Time Warner Cable, Apple will have one less partner for trying to crack the TV market.

And this is the problem for Apple. Breaking into the TV market is tough because it’s a messy industry. It’s fractured, but the power is still in a few hands.

As Steve Jobs said in 2010, you can give consumers a box, but then it’s just another box on top of a box. “You end up with a table full of remotes, cluster full of boxes, bunch of UIs.”

Here’s the full quote from Jobs in 2010, which remains the best explanation of why Apple has struggled to crack TV:

“The problem with innovation in the television industry is the go to market strategy.

The television industry fundamentally has a subsidized business model that gives everybody a set top box for free, or for $10 a month. And that pretty much squashes innovation because no one is willing to buy a set top box.

Ask TiVo. Ask Replay TV. Ask Roku, ask Vudu, ask us, ask Google in a few months. Sony’s tried, Panasonic’s tried, we’ve all tried. So, all you can do is add a box onto the TV system.

You can say … I’ll add another little box with another one. You end up with a table full of remotes, cluster full of boxes, bunch of UIs.

The only way that’s ever gonna change is if you really go back toy square one and you tear up the set top box and design it with a consistent UI and deliver it to the customer in a way they’re willing to pay for it.

Right now there’s no way to do that. So that’s the problem with the TV market.

We decided, do we want a better tv or a better phone? The phone won out because there was no way to get it to market. What do we want more? A better tablet or a better tv? Well, probably a better tablet. But it doesn’t matter because there’s no way to get a tv to market. The TV is going to lose until there is a viable go to market strategy, otherwise you’re just making another TiVo.

That make sense?

It’s not a problem of technology, it’s not a problem of vision, it’s a fundamental go-to-market problem.

There isn’t a cable operator that’s national, there’s a bunch of operators. And it’s not like there’s GSM, where you build a phone and it works in all these other countries. No every single country has different standards. It’s very ‘tower of babble-is’, not that’s not the right word. Balkanized. I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out. But when we say Apple TV is a hobby, that’s why we use that phrase. ”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-tv-comcast-time-warner-2014-2#ixzz2tbLU2M89

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Update to the Bidding Process, Procedures for the Sale of certain Assets and Intellectual Property of GluMetrics, Inc. 
Further to Gerbsman Partners e-mail/sales letter of January, 30, 2014 and February 5, 2014 regarding the sale of certain assets of GluMetrics, Inc., I attach the draft legal documents  that we will be requesting of bidders for certain Assets and Intellectual Property of GluMetrics, Inc. and GluMetrics Fixed Asset List.  The GluMetrics Fixed Assets are in addition to the information supplied for the GluMetrics Intellectual Property and Assets outlined in the sales letter.  Any and all of the assets of GluMetrics, Inc. will be sold on an ‘as is, where is’ basis and will be subject to “The Bidding Process for Interested Buyers”, outlined below.

I would also encourage all interested parties to have their counsel speak with Timothy O’Brien, Esq., or Bruce Feuchter, Esq. counsel to GluMetrics, Inc.

For additional information please contact:

 Timothy O’Brien  Esq, 949 725 4195            tobrien@sycr.com

Bruce Feuchter, Esq. 949 725 4061            feuchter@sycr.com

The key dates and terms include:

The Bidding Process for Interested Buyers

Interested and qualified parties will be expected to sign a nondisclosure agreement (attached hereto as Exhibit A) to have access to key members of the management and intellectual capital teams and the due diligence “war room” documentation (the “Due Diligence Access”). Each interested party, as a consequence of the Due Diligence Access granted to it, shall be deemed to acknowledge and represent (i) that it is bound by the bidding procedures described herein; (ii) that it has an opportunity to inspect and examine the GluMetrics Assets and to review all pertinent documents and information with respect thereto; (iii) that it is not relying upon any written or oral statements, representations, or warranties of Gerbsman Partners, or their respective staff, agents, or attorneys; and (iv) all such documents and reports have been provided solely for the convenience of the interested party, and Gerbsman Partners (and their respective, staff, agents, or attorneys) do not make any representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the same.

Following an initial round of due diligence, interested parties will be invited to participate with a sealed bid, for the acquisition of the GluMetrics Assets. Sealed bids must be submitted so that it is actually received by Gerbsman Partners no later than Friday, March 7, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (the “Bid Deadline”) at GluMetrics’ office, located at 15375 Barranca Pkwy, Suite I-111, Irvine, CA  92618.  Please also email steve@gerbsmanpartners.com with any bid.

Bids should identify those assets being tendered for in a specific and identifiable way.  The attached GluMetrics fixed asset list may not be complete and Bidders interested in the GluMetrics Assets must submit a separate bid for such assets.  Be specific as to the assets desired.

Any person or other entity making a bid must be prepared to provide independent confirmation that they possess the financial resources to complete the purchase where applicable.  All bids must be accompanied by a refundable deposit check in the amount of $250,000 (payable to GluMetrics, Inc.).  The winning bidder will be notified within 3 business days after the Bid Deadline.  Non-successful bidders will have their deposit returned to them.

GluMetrics reserves the right to, in its sole discretion, accept or reject any bid, or withdraw any or all assets from sale.  Interested parties should understand that it is expected that the highest bid will be chosen as the winning bidder and bidders may not have the opportunity to improve their bids after submission.

GluMetrics will require the successful bidder to close within 7 business days.  Any or all of the assets of GluMetrics will be sold on an “as is, where is” basis, with no representation or warranties whatsoever.

All sales, transfer, and recording taxes, stamp taxes, or similar taxes, if any, relating to the sale of the GluMetrics Assets shall be the sole responsibility of the successful bidder and shall be paid to GluMetrics at the closing of each transaction.

For additional information, please see below and/or contact:

Steven R. Gerbsman
steve@gerbsmanpartners.com                         j

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