The tough times for venture capitalists in the US persist.
The first three months of this year marked the slowest opening quarter to any year since 1993. The $3.6bn raised for new funds was down 31 per cent from the same time last year, and the 32 funds marked a 44 per cent decline, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association (pdf).
The sluggish opening to the year is probably the result of the stubbornly closed public markets. “Many firms have been waiting until the exit market improves before embarking upon their fundraising efforts,” said NVCA president Mark Heesen. “This wait has been considerably longer than many firms anticipated.”
The debut of Apple’s iPad, along with Thursday’s disclosure of new rules preventing developers from writing in more languages Apple doesn’t like, has rekindled what had seemed a settled debate about the comparative virtues of open and closed technology platforms.
The New York Times weighed in with a column Sunday saying the boom in iPhone apps proved that an environment closely policed by one benevolent master could provide healthy progress, reversing prior assumptions. Earlier, Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain and Cory Doctorow, among others, had complained that the iPad was far too restrictive and would hinder innovation in software.
But few on either side have pointed to the impact of cybercrime on the success of Apple’s strategy. Guardian technology editor Charles Arthur is an exception: He recently argued that the disastrous state of security on Windows machines provides a compelling reason for the iPad’s existence.