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Re: dbts: Cryptographic Dog Stocks, The Dirigible Biplane, and Sending the Wizards Back to Menlo Park

As Cheech & Chong said once, "YYYYYYerrrrrrr Busteeeeed!". :-).

It seems I forgot that nCipher is, after all, a manufacturing company.

They needed capital to manufacture stuff with, and they went out and got
great gory piles of venture capital to do it with, several rounds, in fact,
in the millions of dollars.

While nCipher seems to be the exception which proves my "venture capitalism
is quaintly industrial" assertion, and that, Microsoft, C2NET, and most
first-mover software / net firms, can do just fine without venture capital
as long as they provide things their customers want, the best "venture
capital" to be found in their customers' pocket, and all that, I do plead
guilty yer honor, yet again, to working without a net.

Oh, well. On the internet, the cost of error is bandwidth, same as it ever
was. Sometimes "ready, fire, aim" means losing a toe or two...

Of course, it's easy to see how, like machinery eventually became to land
in agriculture, the most valuable component in manufacturing won't be the
machines themselves, but the software and wetware required to run those
machines, someday, but that's a rant of a different color, if not a whole
'nother generation.

Bob Hettinga

At 10:05 AM -0500 on 10/28/98, Hal Lockhart wrote:

> I've been waiting for somebody to mention that (according to
> www.ncipher.com) one of the primary investors in Ncipher, which is the
> company Bob touted in the rant that started this thread, is none other than
> They also list investments by Newbridge and no less than three V.C.
> companies.  Seems at odds with Bob's claim that they "used little, if any,
> venture capital money".  However, I have not information about the history
> or extent of investment in this company, so I bow to Bob's insider
> knowledge. (Bob, I thought you were going to stop posting insider knowledge
> to this list.  Or was it that you were going to stop NOT posting ...)
> As an aside about Ncipher, while I am sure they are smart guys and will do
> well, isn't a hardware crypto engine pretty much a commodity product?  How
> can a company like this resist an onslaught from an IBM or an Intel if they
> decided this niche was large enough to go after?
Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: [email protected]>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'