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Silicon Valley Navigates Changing Economic Landscape

While manufacturing has taken a noticeable hit during the recent financial upheaval, the technology sectors of Silicon Valley have fared better -- while acknowledging that the future economic picture is anything but clear. Spencer Michels reports.

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  • SPENCER MICHELS, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Twenty-two stories above San Francisco Bay, in a conference room of the venture capital firm Crosslink, a software entrepreneur is pleading his case for financing in troubled times to a couple of the firm's partners.

  • VENTURE CAPITALIST:

    And what are the milestones that you think you could achieve? In what time frame? How long would the $1.5 million last? What are the milestones you could achieve?

  • ASHOK NARASIMHAN, Startup CEO:

    I would say the $1.5 million would last — I'm going to be a little conservative, because I always know that things don't quite work the way you expect them to — nine months.

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    Ashok Narasimhan's new venture, called Cinch, is an online service for businesses to reward customer loyalty. He has been through economic downturns before and survived. And he thinks he, and Silicon Valley — which has been a major growth engine for the American economy — will survive the turmoil on Wall Street.

  • ASHOK NARASIMHAN:

    But the good news is that it doesn't translate into the doom-and-gloom scenario that is there in the general economy. That's my belief.

    But I'm not a venture capitalist. But from an entrepreneur's point of view, I'm not hitting the panic button.

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    While the venture capitalists Narasimhan is asking for money are being more careful than before, Peter Rip, a general partner, sees some bright spots for the tech sector.

  • PETER RIP, Venture Capitalist:

    It's the sector where the U.S. is still — still has an advantage on a worldwide basis. So, in the short term, yes, everyone's boat is going down in the water, but, ultimately, the growth sectors tend to recover faster.

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