IS IT TRUE? October 25, 2011 LinkedIn’s Impact on Silicon Valley, Why not Evansville


IS IT TRUE? October 25, 2011

IS IT TRUE that the occasional practice of “Millionaire Watch” on underway in Silicon Valley once again with the 180 day lockup period for NASDAQ juggernaut LinkedIn?…that this lockup period is a 180 day period immediately following in Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the company stock during which employees of LinkedIn are not permitted to sell any of their shares on the open market to cash out on their sweat equity?…that on November 21, 2011 that nearly all of the 1,500 employees of LinkedIn will be able to cash out of this leading edge software business that did not even exist a few years ago?…that at today’s stock price of $87 per share that the employees of LinkedIn will have the ability to cash out $8.2 Billion if they choose to do so?…that this averages an astounding $5.6 Million per employee?…that we are sure that this is not equally shared but that the long time practice in Silicon Valley to offer stock options to nearly all employees has made many millionaires of people who would otherwise just draw a paycheck and struggle to get by?

IS IT TRUE that IPO’s that create and spread wealth of this magnitude are only possible in locations where active Angel Investment Networks and Venture Capital is available?…that the talent follows the money and that by not having such opportunities that Evansville and many other conservative places are sealing their economic fate at the bottom of the food chain?…that at a time of recession when Silicon Valley and a dozen other places are high fiving over companies like LinkedIn, Pandora, Synga, etc. that our election is hinging on the perceptions of the masses on Floatgate, the Homestead Tax Credit, cash infusions from Indianapolis, who hates meth the most, who endorses who, and when the Ford Center will ever draw an act that Roberts couldn’t have drawn?…that quite frankly we would be better off celebrating an IPO or ten?…that we wonder if the “keepers of the castle” are paying any attention?

IS IT TRUE that in 2004 at about the same time that the Ford Center was a twinkle in some people’s eyes that LinkedIn announced that they had secured $10M in secondary financing from the Venture Capital firm Greylock and an undisclosed additional amount from 14 Angel Investors?…that with the level of investment that was made in the Ford Center, Front Door Pride, and some other building projects over 100 start up businesses could have been funded?…that while Mountain View got LinkedIn, Google, and a host of other new businesses that we have an arena and some houses that have for sale signs that are gathering dust?…that Evansville is today a sum total of the choices that have been made for the last 50 years?…that looking back to 2004 in the link below should give local leaders cause to reflect on what may have been?…that if we never try we shall never know if something like this is even possible in Evansville?

IS IT TRUE that the $8.2 Billion harvest of cash that the employees of LinkedIn will be able to access if they choose is enough money to buy at assessed value all of the City of Evansville and still have over $1 Billion remaining?…that one can only wonder just how much impact a stash of $8.2 Billion in personal wealth distributed over 1,500 people and their families could have on a place like Evansville?…that unless something is done about the lack of investment dollars and the ability to attract talent we shall never ever know?


    • If Evansville would have caught onto the venture wave of the 80’s, 90’s, etc. the local tax base and earnings base would be sufficient to embark upon a real Billion dollar plan like the 2001 Downtown Master Plan. If we are broke with nothing but garbage jobs for talented college graduates there will never be enough money for a real public infrastructure plan to be implemented. So if we must choose and we could go back to 2004 obviously we would invest in LinkedIn as opposed to anything going on here. If we did and chose to stay here we would be paying enough tax to support something of value in the infrastructure area. A good plan with no money to do it is nothing but a good check for a consulting firm.

      • You’ve got it backwards. It’s the 2001 Master Plan that brings the venture wave not vice versa.

        First of all, the 2001 Downtown Master Plan isn’t even close to being a billion dollars. I guess if you count every single minuscule thing on it might be but the guts of it are this…

        Renovated Civic Center

        OKC built their canal for $20 million, Jeffersonville is doing it even cheaper and complying with the EPA…

        The ballpark was $22 million, probably $30 million now

        The marina wasn’t estimated but probably would be around $16-$18 million.

        The arena was $127.5 million

        The Civic Center project could go a number of ways but would probably be south of $50 million if they didn’t completely rebuild it.

        That comes to a total around $250 million (which includes the already constructed arena). Without the arena I would say $100 million- $200 million would do the trick.

        So with all of that being said, no city will ever become the silicon valley of the Midwest if it doesn’t invest in itself. To think that investors are going to come by the truckloads to a city in turmoil is outlandish. Why does GE/Sabic have a hard time recruiting African-Americans to Mt.Vernon? Because the place is a redneck utopia.

        I’m really having a hard time trying to figure out how the Ford Center is the reason for Evansville not having funds.

        Why does I-69 which will cost over $5 billion, the EVSC bond which was in the $149 million range, and the road projects at Oak Hill, Millersburg, Green River, etc etc that total up to be way over $100 million get a free pass?

        We hear that stupid “Sewers before Stadiums” motto yet these road projects and this EVSC project are expanding the county which will result in the need of more sewers, more police,fire, ambulance, and more infrastructure across the board. It’s ok to expand your city before you have proper infrastructure in the city but its not ok to build a new arena that will compliment, not compete, with the current facility?

        I don’t support the way FDP is being implemented, but cutting groups a blank check doesn’t make sense to me either. Why not incorporate companies such as GBT into your recruitment (see below post). Take this two building quiz on this post (don’t cheat by scrolling down to see what the buildings are). That will tell you why building with design in mind is the only way to recruit…

        To say that we shouldn’t build up downtown, especially when we just stuck over a hundred mil in it, now that’s conservative.

        • Nope. Silicon Valley formed as a business center in the 70’s and 80’s. The wealth that followed paid for the Mountain View Amphitheatre, the San Jose Sharks franchise stadium, the new Stanford Stadium, the new SF Giants ballpark, and a host of other things. The first step to success is to have the wage base and the population base to support the amenities. Anything else is putting the cart before the horse. All of the things that you propose are great. Without people they will not prosper.

          • I agree. The silicon valley seems to have been a perfect storm of an educational paradigm from Stanford and technological opportunities, but the paradigm existed before the opportunity. In fact, I think it is safe to say it created the opportunity or at least caused it to grow exponentially. It wasn’t what existed that created the valley but what did not exist. The goals were not arenas and parks, or even something newer and better, but to create what did not exist before.

            We are looking on main street when perhaps we should be looking in garages for our future.

          • Silicon Valley does not branch up to San Francisco and Oakland. Ironically, both of those cities are more nationally known as bay area teams than San Jose.

            SV started up with Frederick Terman at Stanford. Nobody just showed up because they were given a bunch of money. It was furthe reinforced with the Stanford Tech Park (now research park).

            Commissioner Winnecke has proposed a Tech Park but he wants to put it on I-69/I-164. Makes no sense whatsoever. Why shouldn’t it be down US 41 at the old Hercules plant where UE can tap into it and the surrounding village is revitalized down old US 41 to downtown. Makes more sense than throwing money at someone.

            Indy’s 16 Tech does this.
            Indy’s old GM Stamping Plant poject does this.

            OKC’s MAPS invested $1 billion and has gotten back $5 billion. That does not include the new Devon Energy Tower which specifically relocated there because of the development…


            • Silicon Valley absolutely influences the San Francisco businesses and valley businesses fully support the 49ers and Giants. South San Francisco is the tech center of bioengineering for Silicon Valley. It is one county away. As for Oakland I agree with you on that.

  1. Go back in time?
    Oh, baby.
    I remember in 2009 I liked “Mine That Bird” in the Derby.
    I really did.
    Did not put a dime on him at 50 to one.
    If I had put 10 grand on him, oh geez.

    Everyone knows that hindsight vision is perfect.
    We’ve all missed perfect opportunities.
    God knows I’ve missed my share.

    The point being is that one can not predict the future.
    All that one can do is anticipate.
    All that one can do is prepare for success.
    Or failure.

    This little town has a huge river.
    A very well educated population.
    A supremely adaptable airport.
    A work ethnic second to none in the world.
    A temperate climate.
    An interstate highway.

    How can you screw that up?

    • Ethically challenged leadership has found a way.
      BTW: Well written; lays nicely on the Page. …

    • The point of the article is to inform all of us that We Have Screwed Up! The time has come to stop relying on two-bit, sleazy, stupid politicians like Whiney-Zapple, who has been treated like God’s Gift to Evansville by the Courier and Press since 2003!

      We have to stop acting like a gang of mind-numbed robots, beholden to corrupt machine politicians, and give the private sector a chance to improve the quality of life in this God foresaken poophole of a town. Otherwise we will continue to be draged through history by the nose by mayors and sheriffs who care about no one but themselves and their political allies!

  2. Excellent article. What do we have that no one else has? From the dingy depths of my mind, it is only the Fall Festival. We use to be able to claim refrigeration, plastics, the first retail Sears store, Dodge Brother’s trucks, but today, we have one week of what is in reality a second rate festival. It’s bad enough to know who we presently are because of choices made in the last 50 years, but it’s downright depressing to imagine who will, or will not, be in thirty years because of our present choices. I read this article and realize that I am barely awake. And I’m a forward thinker. Sad.

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