There’s a bad news tech story floating around that’s getting spun idiotically as a good news story. Some San Francisco consultancy says that 93 dot-coms have closed down since the beginning of the year. The good news is supposedly that that’s down from the 345 that folded in same period as last year, and the 862 that folded the year before.
What seems to have eluded both InformationWeek (where the story originated) and the AP (which picked it up), is that the dot-com world is hardly the target-rich environment that it was two years ago. Yes, the number of failures is down dramatically; it apparently hasn’t occurred to anyone connected with this story that there are a hell of a lot fewer companies available today to fail.
Let’s put it this way. There are 25 people in a room, and 15 of them die on the first day. Ten more die on the second day. By this consultancy’s reckoning, the second day represents progress, since fewer people died that day than on the first day.