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Media The Almighty Buck

Red Herring Comes Back 110

alinv writes "Red Herring, once the hype bible of the Valley VC economy, has made a comeback. The site was relaunched today. They are trying to pitch the site as an Economist-style, no-bylines gig. More details on the buyout by a French company and relaunch plans here."
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Red Herring Comes Back

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  • by DCheesi ( 150068 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:09AM (#7054396) Homepage
    Red Herring is right. I bet they led a lot of people down the garden path in their previous incarnation.
  • DotCom comeback? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by masouds ( 451077 )
    I wonder whether this is a dotcom comeback, along with Redhat posting positive results.
    Then again, Red Hat isn't a dotcom :-)
    • It's even more ironic than you think. Take this headline from their website:

      Can a dead cat bounce?

      For everyone but its fanatical users, Napster has been an endless series of headaches. First it was the recording industry, whose five major labels - BMG, Sony, the Universal Music Group, EMI, and the Warner Music Group - cried copyright infringement and forced Napster to shutter its music file-swapping service in 2001.

      Looks like they are trying to go back three years ago ;-)
  • by Unknown Poltroon ( 31628 ) * <> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:13AM (#7054431)
    I think this magazine is drawing us away from a more important inssue.
  • by 0a100b ( 456593 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:15AM (#7054445)
    We should start calling the site Freedom Herring.
  • Back from the dead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mnmlst ( 599134 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:18AM (#7054483) Homepage Journal
    Having suffered through an attempt to launch a in the Spring of 2002, I find this reappearance bittersweet. Let me tell ya, in the Spring of 2002, it looked like a fellow Slashdotter was correct in believing that all the Venture Capitalists had participated in a mass suicide two years earlier. I don't think ANYTHING could get funded at that time other than a successful, working prototype of one of those silly devices that appear in IBM's ads. One of my fellow board members described things perfectly during an interchange between us: Me- "How did we go from these guys funding sock puppets and companies that literally burned piles of cash on Super Bowl ads to being unable to fund ANYTHING?" Him- "VC's are conservative sheep. They only do EXACTLY what all the other sheep are doing." And at that time, the other sheep weren't funding anything. Let's hope this "reappearance of the Red Herring" bodes well for the future. Kind of like the groundhog not seeing his shadow.
    • I've hear it described that VC operate in only one of two modes: extreme fear or extreme greed. This combined with a herd mentality may explain a lot of the craziness on the part of VC funding over the last few years.
    • In Boston, the VC market is back to what it was just before the late-90s insanity. I guess the Valley has been slower to get out of the funk than Boston has...

  • Now that it's French the name shoudl no longer be pronounce Red HER-ring but Red Her-RING.

    OK, it's not that funny, but when I hear it in my head it makes me giggle.

  • by jurasource ( 568039 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:20AM (#7054503)

    I wonder what'll happen to my subscription, I got a letter a while back saying that for every issue of Red Herring I was still to receive, I'd get 1.9 (!) copies of Business 2.0 instead.

    Actually I find Business 2.0 more readable, and frankly more interesting

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I for one welcome our renewed, maritime overlords!
  • Sounds fishy...
  • I just hope... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by esconsult1 ( 203878 ) * on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:29AM (#7054582) Homepage Journal
    Gosh darn it!

    I just hope they won't be as arrogant as they used to be before. I think that almost every slashdotter would agree with me that the level or arrogance coming out of Red Herring during the dot-com boom, probably surpassed the arrogance and self-righteousness that comes out of Wired.

    Damn! I'd better stop reading both those magazines.

    • by Jaywalk ( 94910 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:45AM (#7054682) Homepage
      I just hope they won't be as arrogant as they used to be before.
      Less arrogant now they're owned by the French?
    • I just hope they won't be as arrogant as they used to be before.

      Indeed! I for one am confident that the French buyout will temper any arrogant and self-righteous behavior.
    • Re:I just hope... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by freeworld ( 672950 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:54AM (#7054747)
      It was arrogant, but I thought, in a good way. They did a good job of calling useless companies, like Napster, on their BS. It wasn't mindless cheerleading, like The Industry Standard (whose website was still promising they'd deliver "what you need to succeed in this competitive world" AFTER they had gone bankrupt). Their arena was venture capital; I never found another magazine with that exclusive focus. They also did a good job of focusing on emerging markets, like the Middle East.

      Now, their fulfillment department--that was arrogant. I had considered re-starting my subscription in their dying days, but then I received a letter one day saying something like, "I no longer have time to continue asking you to renew. Either do so or we'll remove you from our list." Let's hope this incarnation of Red Herring has a more, eh, mature management.

  • ...than the French?

    A more interesting question is what the under/over line is for the Euro collapsing. Given that France and German are blithely ignoring the deficit constraints required by the Euro agreement [], it's only a matter of time. By then, all investments outside France, even in a failed American dot-com magazine, will look farsighted.

    Primates capitulards et tou-jours en quete de harengs.
  • by MP3Chuck ( 652277 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:52AM (#7054730) Homepage Journal
    Won't be relaunched for long...
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pathetic Coward ( 33033 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @10:57AM (#7054776)
    So, what news will they cover? The latest outsourcing to Bangalore? What to do while waiting in the unemployment line? What homeless shelters have the least cockroaches?h
    • So, what news will they cover? ... What homeless shelters have the least cockroaches?

      Maybe they could print hilarious examples of "grammar gone awry"? Makes me laugh.
    • What homeless shelters have the least cockroaches?

      Fewest cockroaches. Cockroaches are discrete. And, by that, I don't mean that they can keep secrets.
  • Once again, some corporation is trying to make money off of a recognized name. I'm so tired of the Breck commercials on the radio. But, Packard Bell made a good run of it with their bargain priced PC's! One thing's for sure, the new Red Herring will never be like the original. (Not that I really liked it.)
  • I now see more content on FuckedCompany.
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @11:43AM (#7055194) Homepage Journal
    Sure, Red Herring got pretty arrogant back in its first incarnation. But RH was the best place to track what was going on in the Dot-Com economy. I thought the journalistic quality was pretty good, especially considering the alternatives at the time.

    Now Red Herring is back, and it seems to be the whipping boy for the Dot-Com era. We can all remember back to those days and blame all the hype and excesses and idiocy of that time on one magazine. But let's be honest - a lot of people bought into the hype in those years, and it wasn't just the writers and editors at Red Herring. In fact, a lot of their articles were pretty sceptical.

    If Red Herring's re-emergence means that seed investors are slowly edging back into the technology field, so much the better for those of us who do work in the tech world. I for one like it when there are multiple sources of information and multiple viewpoints. Schadenfreude only gets you so far.

    • While I agree that back in the day, Red Herring was *definitely* hopped up on the ol' Kool-Aid, they really got their act together during the dying days of the dot-com boom (say, their last year of publishing).

      I've never seen a magazine before or since that managed such a tight focus on the *business* of technology, and that really kept to the cutting edge. At that point, it was a much better magazine than it ever had been before, which was just when they decided to pull the plug.

      It really doesn't deserve
      • they really got their act together during the dying days of the dot-com boom (say, their last year of publishing)

        That's so true. I remember seeing some of the headlines in the last few months of their existence, and thinking, "Damn, they sure aren't afraid to bite the hand that feeds them." They also had some really good writers, and the amount of actual facts they got their hands on seemed to be much better (again, in their end-game) than any of the other tech mags.

        I for one hope that the new endeavor

  • At least Red Herring is not selling 40 lb bags of dogfood with free shipping. Then, we'd know for sure they weren't in this for the long haul.

    No bylines? Isn't that just a license to spew? Who is their audience, and who do they think will pay for advertising? How do they plan on gaining credibility? For that matter, who would want to write for them? They mentioned a selection of freelance authors. Are they writing nothing but editorials? I hope it's not another Advertisers don't like
  • Who knew there was a faction of the Viet Cong in the Valley?
  • I personally am glad that they are back. Yes they were arrogant when they could afford to be, but they still had a valuable angle on the investment scene. Also from the perspective of someone in technology interested in seeking funding, which I was two years ago, one could glean a lot of the trends, the players, as well as do's and don'ts. Reading Red Herring beat the heck out of Motley Fool, TheStreet, CBS Marketwatch and most other investment sites in this way. And it was just out and out more interesting
  • by Aetrix ( 258562 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @12:49PM (#7055885) Homepage
    Red Herring has their own NYTimes entry point/partner link:


    I guess we can stop abusing &partner=GOOGLE now.
  • Maybe it should be titled "Red Harangue"...
  • Did you notice the url ? It says .aspx (, meaning the site is running on ASP.NET! :-)
  • From Alwayson Network:
    Forget about VC (until you don't need it) []

    bernard Lunn [Concordia Consulting LLC] | POSTED: 09.18.03 @05:26

    In case you still have any illusions about writing a business plan and getting a few million dollars of venture capital, here is the wake up call. It won?t happen. Period.

    OK, maybe you think, ?I can get angel money to build the prototype and then get some money to get it to market.? Sorry, that used to be true but the goal post just got moved again.

    Bottom line article sum

    • Wow, one could almost taste the bile you must have been choking back as you typed that...

      Just as a datapoint, according to the most recent surveys by Fenwick and West the SV venture market is picking up again. The bottom was probably Q1 of this year, in the past quarter the number of down rounds decreased and the number of companies getting seed and A round funding increased.

      VCs move in herds, and at the moment the herd is breaking out its checkbook again. BTW, Mr. Lunn is full of it. I know from perso
      • Please post the name of your new . . . venture.

        Or do we have to wait until reveals it?

        Are you the 5th, 8th, or 10th company in your technology space?

        So you think you've been anointed by the VCs as THE NEXT BIG THING. Well, Renaissance Ventures apparently still thinks SCO is the NEXT BIG THING, too. Perhaps your backers are just as good at picking winners.

        There was once a time when people were impressed by what VCs consider the NEXT BIG THING. That time is considered ancient history by

        • So you got yourself a contract? Congratulations.

          You sound like a 16 year old who heard about all the musicians who've decided to do without record labels and said "What clu3l3ss luz3rz, all the more money for m3!"

          Your position with respect to what's in your contract is also similar.

          If you're lucky, you'll get the money and a VC willing to work his Roladex (it will not be a contacts database) for you. And if you actually manage to build a real company with real products that people will be buying. . . you

  • Red Herring is back? It's official then, the second dotcom bubble has begun. SELL YOUR TECH STOCKS BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats