Name Dropping

In the world of venture capital/stock investing, those at a loss for words can always describe a new play as a cross between two winners.
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"You know, it's kind of like

Kana

(KANA)

meets

Blue Mountain Arts

."

"It's a cross between

Geocities

for email and

E.piphany

(EPNY)

for customer acquisition."

"It's son of

Vignette

(VIGN)

and

AOL

(AOL)

!"

Welcome to the new world of venture capital/stock investing, where the talk sounds like the dialogue of

The Player

, a movie where everyone was trying to find the latest cross breed of success.

These days there are so many

B2B plays and B2C plays that it is hard to distinguish yourself above the din. You have to be able to explain your concept in seconds, in a way that is clearly understandable to those in the industry who know what has good box office. A simple, "it's a cross between

Scient

(SCNT)

and

BroadVision

(BVSN) - Get Report

" will often provide just the kind of recognition that gets the body interested.

Yes, it has come down to

Player

-speak. We don't know which ones will win, but we know that one that can be explained in the context of other winners at least has a chance to be more than stillborn.

But be careful. When you hear that something has the "viral" growth of

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

with the "traction" of

Portal Software

(PRSF)

and the stickiness of

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

, you may be talking about the Bubonic Plague!

Random musings

: What the heck has gotten into

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

and

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

? It is like some mutual fund manager had a really good shopping experience this weekend ... or maybe, just maybe, everyone is reading

Helene Meisler and taking instant action.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long America Online, Yahoo!, Vignette, E.piphany and Portal Software. Cramer's fund also may be long or short certain stocks in his B2B rotisserie league or Red Hot index. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at

jjcletters@thestreet.com.