Saturday, March 29, 2008

iMiners First Exhibition

This past Thursday iMiners Founder/President Jnyaneshwar Prabhu and VP of Sales Mike O'Brien attended and exhibited at the NIRI Silicon Valley Spring Seminar. Other IR service providers exhibiting included, Thomson Financial, Business Wire, Marketwire, Ipreo, and PrecisionIR. It was a great event, capped off by the keynote address by Oakland As GM Billy Beane. We are looking forward to our next event: the NIRI National show in San Diego from June 8-11.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Startups and Baseball

Today is a great day already, and as I type this it is only 8:30AM here on the West Coast. That's because my beloved Boston Red Sox (that would be the 2007 World Series champion Red Sox!) already opened up their 2008 season, and are already 1-0! The Sox opened up in Japan at 3AM PT vs. the Oakland As. I woke up at 4AM, couldn't go back to sleep, so wandered downstairs to see the game. After tying the score in the 9th inning, the Sox scored 2 runs in the 10th, and after a shaky bottom of the 10th hung on for a 6-5 victory.

Baseball is a great game, and there are many parallels between baseball and a startup company. For one thing, you never know when something exciting is going to happen. Next, there are numerous ups and downs over the course of the season: winning streaks, losing streaks, big wins, and crushing defeats. The good teams are resilient and bounce back. A baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Even the best teams lose almost 40% of their games, and the best hitters fail in 65-70% of their at bats. To succeed in baseball, and in a startup, you need to have a solid gameplan, get the right personnel in the right positions, and then keep focused on the end goal in spite of the ups and downs. You have to understand that the ball will not always bounce your way, but if you stay focused and persistent you have a good chance to win. Here's to a successful 2008 for the Red Sox AND for iMiners!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Press Release Database

Are you a journalist looking to do research on a company/industry? Do you run a hedge fund, and are researching companies? Or in a competitive intelligence division of a company? If so, you may be interested in what iMiners can provide with our rich reference library press release database. iMiners has nearly 350,000 press releases (and growing by 750-1,000 every day) from over 6,500 companies listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq OMX, and Amex exchanges, categorized into one of 10 major categories and 69 subcategories. By using iMiners you can query our database for all news releases by ticker, by portfolio, by industry (444 SIC codes), and by category. So if you are doing research on Bear Stearns and the recent offer by JP Morgan Chase to acquire them, you can do a search in iMiners of all M&A press releases issued by companies in the National Commercial Banks industry. With the click of a button you have immediate access to dozens of recent M&A releases from companies such as Omega Financial (merger with F.N.B. Corporation), PNC Financial (acquisition of Sterling Financial), Wells Fargo (acquisition of St. Louis-based Insurance Brokers of America), and First Charter Corporation (merger with Fifth Third). Every M&A release is available going back to April 1, 2006. Manual research that used to take hours can now be done within seconds.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Enron revisited: Looking back at Bear Stearns

Kinda' feels like Enron all over again, doesn't it? What has happened in recent days at Bear Stearns is nothing short of shocking. I cannot imagine the pain and anger being felt by employees who are seeing their 401k plans reduced to almost nothing (if they had a big chunk of their plans in Bear Stearns stock). Hard-working people who thought they were well on the road to a comfortable retirement will now have to start all over again. This is a company whose stock price traded at nearly $90/share in the last 30 days and over $150/share in the past 12 months. See their stock chart (iMiners) over the past 30 days: Note on the chart the news releases that BSC issued. iMiners charting plots every company issued news release on the chart so investors can gain deeper context and insight into how company events may impact the stock price. Very interesting that on March 10th they issued a press release titled "Bear Stearns Denies Liquidity Rumors": Alan Schwartz, President and CEO of The Bear Stearns Companies Inc., said, "Bear Stearns' balance sheet, liquidity and capital remain strong." Here is a view of their 12 month stock chart (by iMiners): On this chart you can put your mouse over any time period to see how many news releases BSC issued, and then click on a timeframe to zoom in and see that specific 30 day window and all the news issued during that timeframe.

So the media, employees, and shareholders DID have reason to believe there were problems, but the company issued a press release with a quote from the CEO reassuring there were no liquidity issues, and several days later the company stock tanks 50% and the company is sold at a firesale price over the weekend.

Friday, March 7, 2008

In Silicon Valley, a Flight to Safety

The Wall Street Journal did a page one story today about how some people in Silicon Valley are leaving startups for the relative safety of larger, more mature tech companies such as HP and RIM ("flight to safety"). This is similar to what happened during the dot-com bust earlier in the decade, except all tech companies were hurting back then and there was a mass exodus of 108,000 workers from 2000-2003 (according to the WSJ article, referencing the CA Department of Finance). Another sign of the tough economic climate we are facing in early 2008. The bad news seems to be coming out on a daily basis: home foreclosures rising, weak job reports, higher prices on gas and at the supermarket, and people with good credit being denied approval to refinance their mortgages. The problem is excaberated in Northern California where everything seems to be more expensive (especially housing, and I can relate having just moved here!). So I guess it is no surprise that some would seek the safety of an established company with good benefits and a guaranteed paycheck. Even so, entrepreneurs will continue to flourish, but perhaps now only the true diehards will gut it out. Is the economic downturn (recession?) really hurting startups in Silicon Valley? Or do startups simply need to figure out a way to monetize what they are doing vs. developing cool technology that nobody is willing to pay for? I'm looking to hear from other startup founders and early stage employees for your thoughts on how your businesses are developing, and how you see the economic downturn affecting your startup (or not) whether it be through raising money, generating revenues, hiring good employees, etc.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

iMiners to Exhibit at NIRI Silicon Valley Spring Seminar

March 27th is the NIRI Silicon Valley Spring Seminar, where over 100 Bay Area Investor Relations Officers will gather to hear presentations on a wide variety of topics affecting investor relations. For iMiners, this will be our first public exhibition opportunity; we will have a table along with 15 or so other vendors to show our services. Other exhibitiors include giants such as Thomson Financial, Nasdaq, Business Wire, and Mellon. We should generate quite a bit of attention and curiosity; there haven't been too many new players in the IR technology services market in recent years as consolidation has swept the industry.

The agenda includes: a CFO panel discussion led by the CFOs of Cypress Semiconductor, Hewlett-Packard, and Varian, Inc.; SEC hot topics; breakout sessions on Competitive Intelligence and Best Practices in Small Cap IR; and a session on Crisis Communications. Finally, the keynote speaker is Billy Beane, GM of the Oakland Athletics. For more information visit, and please do stop by to visit iMiners and say "hi" to me and Prabhu.