Tuck a packet of Kleenex into your suit pocket, it's investor conference time.
You can count on hearing a few sob stories this week as the
Robertson Stephens Tech 2001 Conference
takes shape in San Francisco. In the natural progression of loss, last year's winter conference hit during the dizzy inebriation of the market before the Internet music died, as pricey companies led to shock, sticker and otherwise.
Midcorrection last fall, these sorts of conferences were a denial-fest, as investors tried to reassure themselves that the technology arena was full of bargains, not corpses. As the grieving process gets into full swing, this week's Robbie conference will provide tear-jerking renditions of a December and January gone sour, an economy that baffles even the best of businesses and a handful of stiff upper lips who say they are above the fray.
Don't believe them.
Robertson Stephens kicks things off with a harmless Monday, featuring capital-spending secure
, the recently
. If your delicate constitution can take it, sit through the financial woes of fiscally insecure private bandwidth provider
, the headcount
reductions of Internet consulting firm
Dram-market grousing of
softer trading environment of
Things get hot Tuesday as the once and future kings hold court. Everyone has a lot of explaining to do, and Tuesday will be a good day to get a handle on
plans to maintain growth,
ability to digest a few years of
money catching up to its mouth and
ability to move beyond "It" Girl status into a seasoned performer.
Take out your hankie for
fan club member
yet another opportunity to drown the market in
its sorrows, along with communications equipment and optical
Get in touch with your inner rubber-necker by checking out mobile communications application developer
, recently relieved of
several top managers, and B2B player
, which is grappling with some
interesting connections at the moment.
Thursday, the conference wraps up with another chance for
to go hang-gliding off a cliff
as it did last week at the
Banc of America Securities
conference when CEO Henry Nicholas talked about a sales slowdown. Luckily for other tech investors, Robbie's Tech 2001 features no CEO breakfast or lunch speeches, keeping extreme statements to a minimum.