Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Whack Job ~ by Gina Larson

The wallop that the telcom sector took on Wednesday, September 5th from Wall Street didn't end after the bell. Deutch telecom analyst, Gary Jacobi, had more doom and gloom to report to a crowd who came out after hours to MurphGuide's Telecom Industry Network event at Busker Brown's. The equity analyst didn't have too much optimism about the short-term future of the industry, but out of the 80+ attendees, I didn't see anyone crying in their beer. 

Instead, Jacob Cane, a principal with BTP, was waxing nostalgic about the past prices that telcos were able to charge for bundled services. "Last year, customers with dedicated lines were worth about $350. Now they are worth about $150. And DSL customers who were worth about $1,000 last year aren't worth anything today," he lamented. Jacob and I agreed that part of the blame lies with investors whose over-exuberance drove prices up last year. 

While the attendees talked shop they kicked back with one of the many beers on tap at the classic mid-town pub. Amongst a crowd heavy with Lucent and Verizon representation was Margaret Walsh, a principal with R&W Analysis, which does consulting work for telecom companies. Patrick Wolff and Christopher Sacco from the Waltham, Mass-based company GiantLoop were also out meeting and greeting with industry folks. 

The suit and tie crowd was a departure from the usual group that Sean Murphy woos to his MurphGuide events. Sean told me that this is the first B2B event his company has organized. In the past, he has put together cruises around Manhattan and has even organized a cross-Atlantic tour to Ireland. "I was always the ring-leader in college," he says. "I was always good at bringing people together." Could this be New York's next schmooze-master?