David Makarechian came to Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, and on the latest Drinks With The Deal he said the “SPAC mania” of the past year has reminded him of the frenzy of the dot-com era. But, he said, this time around there’s substantially more variety in the kinds of deals in the market, and both companies and transactions are much larger.
Makarechian, the chair of the emerging technologies group at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and head of the firm’s northern California corporate department, added the demand for associates is similar. Even though firms have fewer associates per partner now than they did a generation ago, he said: “We still need lots of people. It’s not like the work has slowed down, but the configuration of people we have on these deals has changed.”
Makarechian also discussed his work with Silicon Catalyst, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based incubator focused on semiconductor companies. “Software can’t continue to eat the world unless you have the computing power to power it,” he said. “You can’t stop innovating on the hardware side because software has become more prevalent.” And he talked about Momentum, an O’Melveny initiative to work with smaller emerging tech companies.
Makarechian helped launched O’Melveny’s Singapore office in 2008 and spent the next five years practicing in the city, an experience that gave him a love for its street food, which he described as “amalgamation of Chinese, Indian, Malay and European all in one.” The first thing he does after landing in the city is to seek out a bowl of laksa, noodles in spicy coconut sauce, and some kaya toast with coconut palm spread.
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