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« Can Spam | Main | Operation Shoe Fly »

Jun 16, 2004

Comments

Paul

Just a note Jeff...in Germany you HAVE to register with the locals whenever moving to a new town. Man I love some things about Germany!

Travis

Greatly enjoy reading your blog each day for some of that main dish. Given your role as a VC what are your thoughts on the amount of capital required to build a software business? Obviously, it depends but wondering if you have any rule of thumb.

jeff

Paul,
that's exactly what I don't understand about Germany, the citizens get up in arms about privacy issues yet don't question the notion of their government tracking them. It just doesn't make sense, but then again, these are the same professional beaurocrats that think the way to spur employment is to limit the number of hours people can work, and tell business when they can open and for how long (I saw that the German high court recently upheld the authority of local governments to mandate that stores not open on Sundays).

jeff

Travis,
the answer "it depends" probably is the right answer, but I've come to believe that an enterprise software company shouldn't consume more than $20 of investor capital to get profitable. Of course, there are examples of very successful companies that take more or much less, but my rule of thumb is $20m.

Paul

Jeff, I totally agree with your comments about Germany. Yet, it really is just general beauracracy we see everywhere. Ever been to Bergen County, NJ where I grew up. Blue Laws? Still can't open stores there on Sundays! Not very different to Germany.

jn

paul,
that's an interesting observation. The Blue Laws that you are referring to are rooted in the U.S. Puritanical past, when local governments aimed to regulate behavior that amounted to moral sins committed on the Sabbath. The termperance movements of the late 1800's brought them back, especially in the Bible belt of the south, where they were concerned about the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes on Sundays. I have to say that I would find it hard to believe that the German laws are an attempt to regulate morality, they seem more akin to simply regulating behavior!

The courts have upheld them for the same reason that the German high court upheld yours, citing the right of local governments to regulate local commerce. Being an advocate of states rights myself, I'd be hard pressed to disagree with that notion!

Paul

Man, I just want to shop on Sundays if I like! :-)

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