Surviving the Financial Crisis

General | September 22, 2008 | 3 min read

GigaOm has a guest post on how start-ups can survive the financial crisis. We have some experience at AdventNet on this, which I want to share. First a bit of history: AdventNet was born as a bootstrapped company in 1996. Our initial business was selling software to network equipment vendors. By 1999-2000, there was a raging bubble in networking and telecom; while the media focused on the flashy dotcoms, it was really telecom service providers and their equipment suppliers that had by far the bigger financial bubble, amounting to over a trillion dollars of capital eventually written off, split between debt taken on by service providers to finance new network construction and the venture capital raised by their equipment suppliers. For every dotcom that raised $5-10 million rounds, there probably was a SONET or WDM start-up that was raising $50-100 million. There must have been a hundred of them just in the San Fransico bay area, but Boston, New Jersey, RTP in North Carolina, Dallas and Toronto all had their fair share of bubble companies, and I must have visited each of these places at least 5 times during 1999-2000.

I had a really good vantage point on the bubble because I personally must have visited 80% of those equipment companies, as a software supplier. Fortunately for me, I was aware of the Japanese bubble of the late 80’s (when Japan was going to take over the world) and its painful aftermath in the 90’s. So even in the middle of the telecom bubble as a supplier, I could not help feeling it was going to end badly. There was a point when I realized that the same exact pitch was made by dozens of companies, yet most of them didn’t know so many others existed, pursuing the same exact business plan.

Having said that, I have to admit even I wasn’t mentally prepared for the extent of the carnage to follow. In 2000, I would have thought may be 20% of the start-up companies would survive. It turned out may be 3 out of 200+ survived. By 2003, over 90% of the companies we had supplied to in in 1999-2000 had gone out of business. That is something to keep in mind on the extent of wreckage bubbles cause – for those keeping score in the bay area or in Chennai for that matter, it is worth considering that real estate prices in Japan eventually fell 80% from the peak they reached in 1990.

So how did we overcome that shock? Here are the things that helped us.  In 2000, there was a venture capitalist who was offering us $10 million for a 5% stake, in order to enable us to grow faster. After careful thinking, we turned that money down, because we felt the industry was going to shrink, not grow, and we didn’t want to commit to a growth projection when our instinct told us to get ready for contraction. We felt if we were to be honest to ourselves, we had to tell the VC we expected to shrink, yet the money was coming in at such a high valuation that it needed growth as far as the eye could see to justify it. One of my friends in venture capital did tell me I was a fool – but that folly saved us.

We didn’t expand our headcount in line with revenue in 2000. We simly banked the cash – which came in really handy in the subsequent nuclear winter. Indeed, it was that cash that enabled us to diversify in 2004, and that was ultimately what led to Zoho.

It seems clear that we are heading into another nuclear winter, this time led by housing and financials. It is going to impact the tech industry, but this time as suppliers not as direct bubble-blowers.  Companies that have a strong balance sheet (we prefer zero debt), and the ability to adapt and flex will survive the wreckage. Customers are hurting, so attractive pricing is a must – there is going to be price deflation in tech. These are the rules we live by at AdventNet & Zoho.

  1. Nevi

    As the theories of most economists are based on ‘history’ , you can clearly see that all stimulus packages across the globe have failed, and even the initial one in US has lost all focus with economists trying to plug whatever hole appears.Aggressive tax relief, means that none of the states will be collecting revenues..so, lets see..ummm..Almost every state now needs ‘a bailout’ because of depleted funds – so where does that leave the treasury? Quite the catch 22 with the sting in the tail. Things can be made to sound pretty nice for the American to swallow, but reality is really a bitter pill. Technically engineered speeches are nice, but upon inspection the holes in promises become so obvious.Citigroup could be back for more, and the big 3..well, they’ll definitely be back soon.I offered to regenerate the US economy, by providing a NEW clean energy solution that provides more energy than the COMBINED energy yield of ALL known renewable energy methods, at a fraction of the current costs with the added bonus that it systematically reduces oil dependance.Communications to the Fed,state depts,governors etc all get zero response…so, talk about being ‘asleep at the switch’ – they all are. As in many cases preceding disasters, governments are warned- nobody listens. So, the fallouts across 2009 will be massive. Neither Obama, or the finest economics team on this globe can fix a thing. Any stimulus that lacks the core component of return on that stimulus, only adds to DEFICIT.Talks in the senate may continue..Its unfortunate that politicians merely gab,and are good at fingerpointing..but not one, has a SOLUTION.There’s a big difference between ideas,plans, and ‘iron solution’.
    I offer :
    1- Millions of jobs across various sectors
    2- Regeneration of the stock markets
    3- Affordable abundant electricity
    4- Systematic reduction of oil dependance.To produce more than 1000x the power of all known alternate energy sources may seem impossible sounding..but it IS possible…and to do it at a fraction of your current costs, might seem even more unbelievable..but its possible.
    Stock markets only revive on solidity,and unwavering confidence. I can provide a catalyst for US to start manufacturing, from the ground up again, with the offshoot spinoffs being millions of jobs, throughout every sector of your society. If I told you its possible to produce 1000x the energy yield of wind/solar energy more cost effectively, and more environmentally friendly what would you do? Laugh? Thats the response of a moron, thats stuck in the realm of only what is known,and too dumb to have any lateral thought beyond that.T Boone Pickens – is on a mission that will fail..I tried writing him..perhaps he thinks he’s too witty, or perhaps his people in charge of comms don’t READ. Warren Buffett, is just another billionaire, but he can lose his fortune too, if the status quo of this economic situation does not change.Energy – underpins EVERY economy. The highest sophistication,s nothing without power.When the US fed, or its state departments actually respond to important communication, then perhaps things can change – until then, the globe will continue its freefall.If you know a senator that has a mind, and is also blessed with ears, then notify him or her. Politicians are now more intent on being ‘celebrities’- they seem to forget they are public servants – so, they cannot be reached.PE Obama promised to ‘listen’, so lets test that.
    You stepped up to the plate, now it’s time to bat.
    Listening, is infinitely more affordable than the cost of not listening.Here is an open challenge to the world’s finest economists and the biggest political team on the globe – I say, your biggest stimulus plans will all fail, because no degree of liquidity injection, can stem the root cause of this financial crisis,which is actually ‘mass unemployment’.To Mr Geithner – I sent you a communication before you even joined PE Obama’s team.
    To the transition team – I also sent communications…so, the ball is now in your court. You have been told, but listening is really up to you. You can watch the US collapse totally, or have the presence of mind to ‘listen’, and perhaps if you do, you might learn something about expansive clean power generation capability.Solutions do appear, but wax is a difficult thing to dissolve. Politicians do tend to have lots of that..if there were earwax shares on the stock market, I’d say those would always remain high.I apologise for any errors in my note..no spellcheck:)

  2. Nevi

    As the theories of most economists are based on ‘history’ , you can clearly see that all stimulus packages across the globe have failed, and even the initial one in US has lost all focus with economists trying to plug whatever hole appears.Aggressive tax relief, means that none of the states will be collecting revenues..so, lets see..ummm..Almost every state now needs ‘a bailout’ because of depleted funds – so where does that leave the treasury? Quite the catch 22 with the sting in the tail. Things can be made to sound pretty nice for the American to swallow, but reality is really a bitter pill. Technically engineered speeches are nice, but upon inspection the holes in promises become so obvious.Citigroup could be back for more, and the big 3..well, they’ll definitely be back soon.I offered to regenerate the US economy, by providing a NEW clean energy solution that provides more energy than the COMBINED energy yield of ALL known renewable energy methods, at a fraction of the current costs with the added bonus that it systematically reduces oil dependance.Communications to the Fed,state depts,governors etc all get zero response…so, talk about being ‘asleep at the switch’ – they all are. As in many cases preceding disasters, governments are warned- nobody listens. So, the fallouts across 2009 will be massive. Neither Obama, or the finest economics team on this globe can fix a thing. Any stimulus that lacks the core component of return on that stimulus, only adds to DEFICIT.Talks in the senate may continue..Its unfortunate that politicians merely gab,and are good at fingerpointing..but not one, has a SOLUTION.There’s a big difference between ideas,plans, and ‘iron solution’.
    I offer :
    1- Millions of jobs across various sectors
    2- Regeneration of the stock markets
    3- Affordable abundant electricity
    4- Systematic reduction of oil dependance.To produce more than 1000x the power of all known alternate energy sources may seem impossible sounding..but it IS possible…and to do it at a fraction of your current costs, might seem even more unbelievable..but its possible.
    Stock markets only revive on solidity,and unwavering confidence. I can provide a catalyst for US to start manufacturing, from the ground up again, with the offshoot spinoffs being millions of jobs, throughout every sector of your society. If I told you its possible to produce 1000x the energy yield of wind/solar energy more cost effectively, and more environmentally friendly what would you do? Laugh? Thats the response of a moron, thats stuck in the realm of only what is known,and too dumb to have any lateral thought beyond that.T Boone Pickens – is on a mission that will fail..I tried writing him..perhaps he thinks he’s too witty, or perhaps his people in charge of comms don’t READ. Warren Buffett, is just another billionaire, but he can lose his fortune too, if the status quo of this economic situation does not change.Energy – underpins EVERY economy. The highest sophistication,s nothing without power.When the US fed, or its state departments actually respond to important communication, then perhaps things can change – until then, the globe will continue its freefall.If you know a senator that has a mind, and is also blessed with ears, then notify him or her. Politicians are now more intent on being ‘celebrities’- they seem to forget they are public servants – so, they cannot be reached.PE Obama promised to ‘listen’, so lets test that.
    You stepped up to the plate, now it’s time to bat.
    Listening, is infinitely more affordable than the cost of not listening.Here is an open challenge to the world’s finest economists and the biggest political team on the globe – I say, your biggest stimulus plans will all fail, because no degree of liquidity injection, can stem the root cause of this financial crisis,which is actually ‘mass unemployment’.To Mr Geithner – I sent you a communication before you even joined PE Obama’s team.
    To the transition team – I also sent communications…so, the ball is now in your court. You have been told, but listening is really up to you. You can watch the US collapse totally, or have the presence of mind to ‘listen’, and perhaps if you do, you might learn something about expansive clean power generation capability.Solutions do appear, but wax is a difficult thing to dissolve. Politicians do tend to have lots of that..if there were earwax shares on the stock market, I’d say those would always remain high.I apologise for any errors in my note..no spellcheck:)

  3. Casinos Random Number Generato

    At the time of financial crises we need to come together united and try to resove the prroblems which are responsible to such a hazard. We need to overcome it. IT is meant to bring calm to the population and markets and display government strength and stability.

  4. Casinos Random Number Generato

    At the time of financial crises we need to come together united and try to resove the prroblems which are responsible to such a hazard. We need to overcome it. IT is meant to bring calm to the population and markets and display government strength and stability.

  5. Sane Voices on Financial Crisi

    […] Surviving the Financial Crisis:  Even though you may not be part of the Financial industry, the crisis affects all. Zoho guys relive their experience of the DotCom bubble and share their experience […]

  6. Sane Voices on Financial Crisi

    […] Surviving the Financial Crisis:  Even though you may not be part of the Financial industry, the crisis affects all. Zoho guys relive their experience of the DotCom bubble and share their experience […]

  7. Joel Isaacson

    There is a better way to quickly reduce foreclosures and credit defaults, give lenders more money and increase housing values.Here’s how it works.The government takes the 800 billion dollars they plan to give to the financial institutes, and pay off as many bad mortgages as they can.When they do this, here is what will happen:
    1. As each loan is paid off, the bank or mortgage lender will have that money to loan to other borrowers.2. The bank or mortgage lender will have one less BAD loan on its books. As more and more bad loans are paid off the bank will have fewer defaults and projected losses, and should be able to manage their business without government help. After all, if only 2 or 3 percent of a bank’s portfolio consists of bad loans, it should be easily able to handle that.3. The homeowner now has no mortgage to pay. What do you think the homeowner will do? Well, the homeowner has been struggling with bills for months, if not years. He has put off fixing the house, buying a car, buying clothes, taking a vacation, etc. Now that there is no mortgage to pay, he will be out there doing these things. He will be putting money into the system to catch up.
    HE WILL BE BUYING!!!If the homeowner puts some of the money in the bank, that will just give the bank more money to lend.4. For each loan paid off by the government, there will be one less home in foreclosure or looking to be sold. As the inventory of available homes goes down, the competition for the remaining homes goes up, and so will the price of homes.Now, I know that a lot of people will say that this will give money to flakes and people who don’t deserve it. Also they will ask how to choose these people and that those who don’t get their mortgage paid off will be angry.There needs to be some rules to the selection process.
    First, the homeowner must be living in the home, and should not own more than one home. Multiple homes can be a sign of an investor. This money should only go to families that earn their living from hard work and not investing.Second, the homeowner must be either in default, or have one of those bad loans where the interest rate has kept going up and is putting the homeowner in jeopardy. As fewer of these homeowners can be found, then the criteria can be expanded to include others.Third, the major breadwinner in the home must have a job. Why is this important? Because the purpose of this process is to have the homeowner stay in the home and use the money they were paying for the mortgage to buy other things.In conclusion, fix the problem from the bottom up. Don’t give money to banks so they can buy other banks and give big bonuses. Banks won’t spend money.

  8. Joel Isaacson

    There is a better way to quickly reduce foreclosures and credit defaults, give lenders more money and increase housing values.Here’s how it works.The government takes the 800 billion dollars they plan to give to the financial institutes, and pay off as many bad mortgages as they can.When they do this, here is what will happen:
    1. As each loan is paid off, the bank or mortgage lender will have that money to loan to other borrowers.2. The bank or mortgage lender will have one less BAD loan on its books. As more and more bad loans are paid off the bank will have fewer defaults and projected losses, and should be able to manage their business without government help. After all, if only 2 or 3 percent of a bank’s portfolio consists of bad loans, it should be easily able to handle that.3. The homeowner now has no mortgage to pay. What do you think the homeowner will do? Well, the homeowner has been struggling with bills for months, if not years. He has put off fixing the house, buying a car, buying clothes, taking a vacation, etc. Now that there is no mortgage to pay, he will be out there doing these things. He will be putting money into the system to catch up.
    HE WILL BE BUYING!!!If the homeowner puts some of the money in the bank, that will just give the bank more money to lend.4. For each loan paid off by the government, there will be one less home in foreclosure or looking to be sold. As the inventory of available homes goes down, the competition for the remaining homes goes up, and so will the price of homes.Now, I know that a lot of people will say that this will give money to flakes and people who don’t deserve it. Also they will ask how to choose these people and that those who don’t get their mortgage paid off will be angry.There needs to be some rules to the selection process.
    First, the homeowner must be living in the home, and should not own more than one home. Multiple homes can be a sign of an investor. This money should only go to families that earn their living from hard work and not investing.Second, the homeowner must be either in default, or have one of those bad loans where the interest rate has kept going up and is putting the homeowner in jeopardy. As fewer of these homeowners can be found, then the criteria can be expanded to include others.Third, the major breadwinner in the home must have a job. Why is this important? Because the purpose of this process is to have the homeowner stay in the home and use the money they were paying for the mortgage to buy other things.In conclusion, fix the problem from the bottom up. Don’t give money to banks so they can buy other banks and give big bonuses. Banks won’t spend money.

  9. Kris

    Thanks for your post. It’s good to get others’ opinions on financial issues.

  10. Kris

    Thanks for your post. It’s good to get others’ opinions on financial issues.

  11. PeeKa

    Check this out also!#…

  12. PeeKa

    Check this out also!#…

  13. Chris

    Nice article.
    Thanks for posting.

  14. Chris

    Nice article.
    Thanks for posting.

  15. Leah PettePiece

    “The Time Has Come”
    With my opologies to Lewis CarrollWhile all of the Worlds’ financial markets burn, it has set me thinking. Long ago as a child I was asked to memorize “The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll”, the words of the famous rhyme keep running through my head.” The Time has come, the Walrus said, To talk of many things: Of shoes..and ships and sealing wax—And why the sea is boiling hot—And weather pigs have wings.”
    Rather a trite comment on the state of affairs we as the United States, and most of the rest of the world find ourselves in. It is time indeed to speak of many things, who will starve, who will commit suicide, who will have the money to feed their children, who won’t—who will still see a silver lining to an otherwise dismal state of affairs and who will only see more clouds in an already stormy black sky.
    The world teeters on the brink of financial disaster…a loaf of bread here in the US costs on average $4.00, in India it is more than one days wages. The credit markets have dried up and the unsecured debts of ordinary people are astronomical, we have set up an entire society who depends on credit and has not a single idea how to live on what they earn.
    Granted, this is some what everyone’s problem, but most importantly it is the problem of the working man or woman, we are the ones that will feel the crunch of this false economy. Having once been a business person I can tell you that most small business run on lines of credit, now that the reality of this economic crisis reaches the rest of the world we can clearly see that the inflated prices of physical property, homes and business has come home to roost and we see that nothings will ever be the same again. A house I once purchased for a mere $32,000 in the early 70’s sold last year again for half a million…any business person can tell you that that is an outrageous amount of money for a home that was originally built in the late 1930’s.
    Any ordinary businessman would also tell you that while you may think that your grandmothers gold watch should be worth $1500 in reality it is only worth whatever the buyer is willing to pay.
    How did we get to such a place, if you take the time to read Lewis Carroll’s Walrus piece you will see that we got here because we are a nation of followers. If person A pays $500,000 for a home that was built for $125,000 and person B follows that lead, soon we have an economy which is built on sand, lots and lots of sand. Unlike the Walrus, we can’t fathom a way to get seven maids with seven brooms to mop the sand away. What we got instead is a “Bailout” that really won’t do the job. We were as common Joe Six Pack American’s snookered! The trillion dollars of bailout cash won’t help, because the problem is systemic! Like a disease the United States became egregious the more we tried to keep up with the Jones the worse the problem became.
    Now we are faced with grave concerns, we have come to the point where we must face the inevitable; we are going to be gobbled up like the oysters in the poem. Oh perhaps, not literally boiled in oil and eaten, but we will be gobbled up by the system that we created as each of us followed along believing the dream that things were ok, that property was indeed worth such outrageous prices, that every one could have a part of the American Dream Pie. We dear family, Joe Six Pack, are dinner just like the oysters in the Walrus, soon they…The powers that be will order up a loaf of bread, some vinegar and pepper and begin to feed on the bones of our financial fantasy!
    Sadly just like the oysters we will have been ignorant of the facts! In the end of the poem the Walrus pretends sadness for the oysters, but when the Carpenter decides the walk is done and asks the oysters what they think…”the answer came there none—and this was scarcely odd because they’d eaten everyone!”
    We dear public have been lied too, over and over again until we actually believed the lie, we took the bait right up to the last minute, we believed that the “Bailout” was good for everyone but especially for main street…alas now the tip of the truth begins to appear, the truth is that once again those who have the most win! Our economy and that of much of the world is in a serious decline and still the powers that be continue with the lie…”This is NOT a depression” one analyst said this morning, and “We are facing hard times ahead, but don’t worry Mr. and Mrs. Joe Six Pack, we are rushing that order for rose colored glasses, you should be receiving yours shortly in the mail for a small shipping fee of 700 Trillion dollars!

  16. Leah PettePiece

    “The Time Has Come”
    With my opologies to Lewis CarrollWhile all of the Worlds’ financial markets burn, it has set me thinking. Long ago as a child I was asked to memorize “The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll”, the words of the famous rhyme keep running through my head.” The Time has come, the Walrus said, To talk of many things: Of shoes..and ships and sealing wax—And why the sea is boiling hot—And weather pigs have wings.”
    Rather a trite comment on the state of affairs we as the United States, and most of the rest of the world find ourselves in. It is time indeed to speak of many things, who will starve, who will commit suicide, who will have the money to feed their children, who won’t—who will still see a silver lining to an otherwise dismal state of affairs and who will only see more clouds in an already stormy black sky.
    The world teeters on the brink of financial disaster…a loaf of bread here in the US costs on average $4.00, in India it is more than one days wages. The credit markets have dried up and the unsecured debts of ordinary people are astronomical, we have set up an entire society who depends on credit and has not a single idea how to live on what they earn.
    Granted, this is some what everyone’s problem, but most importantly it is the problem of the working man or woman, we are the ones that will feel the crunch of this false economy. Having once been a business person I can tell you that most small business run on lines of credit, now that the reality of this economic crisis reaches the rest of the world we can clearly see that the inflated prices of physical property, homes and business has come home to roost and we see that nothings will ever be the same again. A house I once purchased for a mere $32,000 in the early 70’s sold last year again for half a million…any business person can tell you that that is an outrageous amount of money for a home that was originally built in the late 1930’s.
    Any ordinary businessman would also tell you that while you may think that your grandmothers gold watch should be worth $1500 in reality it is only worth whatever the buyer is willing to pay.
    How did we get to such a place, if you take the time to read Lewis Carroll’s Walrus piece you will see that we got here because we are a nation of followers. If person A pays $500,000 for a home that was built for $125,000 and person B follows that lead, soon we have an economy which is built on sand, lots and lots of sand. Unlike the Walrus, we can’t fathom a way to get seven maids with seven brooms to mop the sand away. What we got instead is a “Bailout” that really won’t do the job. We were as common Joe Six Pack American’s snookered! The trillion dollars of bailout cash won’t help, because the problem is systemic! Like a disease the United States became egregious the more we tried to keep up with the Jones the worse the problem became.
    Now we are faced with grave concerns, we have come to the point where we must face the inevitable; we are going to be gobbled up like the oysters in the poem. Oh perhaps, not literally boiled in oil and eaten, but we will be gobbled up by the system that we created as each of us followed along believing the dream that things were ok, that property was indeed worth such outrageous prices, that every one could have a part of the American Dream Pie. We dear family, Joe Six Pack, are dinner just like the oysters in the Walrus, soon they…The powers that be will order up a loaf of bread, some vinegar and pepper and begin to feed on the bones of our financial fantasy!
    Sadly just like the oysters we will have been ignorant of the facts! In the end of the poem the Walrus pretends sadness for the oysters, but when the Carpenter decides the walk is done and asks the oysters what they think…”the answer came there none—and this was scarcely odd because they’d eaten everyone!”
    We dear public have been lied too, over and over again until we actually believed the lie, we took the bait right up to the last minute, we believed that the “Bailout” was good for everyone but especially for main street…alas now the tip of the truth begins to appear, the truth is that once again those who have the most win! Our economy and that of much of the world is in a serious decline and still the powers that be continue with the lie…”This is NOT a depression” one analyst said this morning, and “We are facing hard times ahead, but don’t worry Mr. and Mrs. Joe Six Pack, we are rushing that order for rose colored glasses, you should be receiving yours shortly in the mail for a small shipping fee of 700 Trillion dollars!

  17. Software as Services mobile ed

    […] economic stormclouds lower overhead — as Vembu himself spelled out in a blog post last week on Surviving the Financial Crisis: “Companies that have a strong balance sheet (we prefer zero debt), and the ability to adapt and […]

  18. Software as Services mobile ed

    […] economic stormclouds lower overhead — as Vembu himself spelled out in a blog post last week on Surviving the Financial Crisis: “Companies that have a strong balance sheet (we prefer zero debt), and the ability to adapt and […]

  19. Steve Wolff

    If the government paid 25 % of every house hold in americas mortgage, wouldn’t that put the money in the banks that need it? Then they could re-figure the American peoples mortgage payments to reflect the lower balance and make the payments lower leaving more cash in their pockets. Then if they changed the mark down rule that would enhance the balance sheets of the banks. Wouldn’t that cost less than 750 billion?

  20. Steve Wolff

    If the government paid 25 % of every house hold in americas mortgage, wouldn’t that put the money in the banks that need it? Then they could re-figure the American peoples mortgage payments to reflect the lower balance and make the payments lower leaving more cash in their pockets. Then if they changed the mark down rule that would enhance the balance sheets of the banks. Wouldn’t that cost less than 750 billion?

  21. Blended Families

    Blended families, along with every other sector of the country, will probably feel the negative impact of the meltdown on Wall Street. No one is immune to the fallout that has caused the federal government to step in with a multi billion dollar bailout to stabilize financial markets and prevent a total collapse.In these times of financial crisis, Blended-Families.com offers some strategies to help families take action and feel more in control of their destiny as this economic nightmare plays itself out.

  22. Blended Families

    Blended families, along with every other sector of the country, will probably feel the negative impact of the meltdown on Wall Street. No one is immune to the fallout that has caused the federal government to step in with a multi billion dollar bailout to stabilize financial markets and prevent a total collapse.In these times of financial crisis, Blended-Families.com offers some strategies to help families take action and feel more in control of their destiny as this economic nightmare plays itself out.

  23. BN Customer

    Just thought you would be interested…tonight I tried to use a $30 VISA gift card at the Barnes & Noble on South 76th street and they said it was now a courtesy to take gift cards and would only take it for half the amount.I found that hard to believe and even the manager did not dispute it. So this is what I wrote to the company and the BBB.Tonight, Saturday, 9/27/08 at 9:30pm, I went to the Barnes & Noble tonight in Milwaukee (the store on south 76th Street) and tried to use my $30 VISA gift card. The clerk at the store told me they cannot check balances (VISA website says Barnes and Noble can) and then he said they are “doing me a favor” by accepting the gift card.Is the economy such that your VISA gift cards are not valid and Barnes & Noble has a new policy of not accepting them? Of the $30 dollar gift card, they only would take $16 of it and made me pay cash for the rest.So I am sitting here with a $14 VISA gift card. My questions? Is there now a list of stores that still accept VISA gift cards or due to the financial crisis the country is facing, that you can only get 50cents on the dollar for gift cards now at such places as Barnes & Noble in Milwaukee.I wrote the Better Business Bureau and VISA to see if they might know about Barnes and Nobles new 50cents on the dollar acceptance of gift cards.When I questioned it to the clerk, he said I was rude and a moron. Then asked me to leave the store. I had to even ask for my $3 change from the cash sale…guess they even try to keep a person’s change there too now that things are so bad. lol

  24. BN Customer

    Just thought you would be interested…tonight I tried to use a $30 VISA gift card at the Barnes & Noble on South 76th street and they said it was now a courtesy to take gift cards and would only take it for half the amount.I found that hard to believe and even the manager did not dispute it. So this is what I wrote to the company and the BBB.Tonight, Saturday, 9/27/08 at 9:30pm, I went to the Barnes & Noble tonight in Milwaukee (the store on south 76th Street) and tried to use my $30 VISA gift card. The clerk at the store told me they cannot check balances (VISA website says Barnes and Noble can) and then he said they are “doing me a favor” by accepting the gift card.Is the economy such that your VISA gift cards are not valid and Barnes & Noble has a new policy of not accepting them? Of the $30 dollar gift card, they only would take $16 of it and made me pay cash for the rest.So I am sitting here with a $14 VISA gift card. My questions? Is there now a list of stores that still accept VISA gift cards or due to the financial crisis the country is facing, that you can only get 50cents on the dollar for gift cards now at such places as Barnes & Noble in Milwaukee.I wrote the Better Business Bureau and VISA to see if they might know about Barnes and Nobles new 50cents on the dollar acceptance of gift cards.When I questioned it to the clerk, he said I was rude and a moron. Then asked me to leave the store. I had to even ask for my $3 change from the cash sale…guess they even try to keep a person’s change there too now that things are so bad. lol

  25. Abhinav

    This is an era of versatility, blends, quality, creativity, innovation, changes and of how we are prepared to adapt to such changes. Major investment banks like Lehman brothers, Merrill Lynch, American International Group etc. down in the dust only gives further importance to the intangibles, qualitative, indirect & transforming!Only if we could align these intangibles strategically with the tangibles & quantitative profits!To Read More Visit:#…

  26. Abhinav

    This is an era of versatility, blends, quality, creativity, innovation, changes and of how we are prepared to adapt to such changes. Major investment banks like Lehman brothers, Merrill Lynch, American International Group etc. down in the dust only gives further importance to the intangibles, qualitative, indirect & transforming!Only if we could align these intangibles strategically with the tangibles & quantitative profits!To Read More Visit:#…

  27. Heather

    Though it might be tough to find a bright side during the economic crisis at hand, this blog post gives some good tips for using this as an opportunity for positive change. Dr. Toni Galardi coined this as a “LifeQuake™” and talks about looking on the bright side – i.e, no money to dine out means more meals spent at home with the family and downsizing to a smaller house means living in closer quarters and getting to know your loved ones better. Check it out for inspiration: http://lifequake.blogspot.com/.

  28. Heather

    Though it might be tough to find a bright side during the economic crisis at hand, this blog post gives some good tips for using this as an opportunity for positive change. Dr. Toni Galardi coined this as a “LifeQuake™” and talks about looking on the bright side – i.e, no money to dine out means more meals spent at home with the family and downsizing to a smaller house means living in closer quarters and getting to know your loved ones better. Check it out for inspiration: http://lifequake.blogspot.com/.

  29. Pramod

    Its the wisdom of a wise man. As usual. 🙂

  30. Pramod

    Its the wisdom of a wise man. As usual. 🙂

  31. SEO Blog

    A Half Dozen Random Thoughts from the World of Tech News…Posted by randfish After a long trip out of town, I&#39m back in Seattle and reading the tech news roundups…

  32. SEO Blog

    A Half Dozen Random Thoughts from the World of Tech News…Posted by randfish After a long trip out of town, I&#39m back in Seattle and reading the tech news roundups…

  33. How Software Can Be Resilient

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  34. How Software Can Be Resilient

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  37. Krish

    Very well said.

  38. Krish

    Very well said.