The Last True Believer

Undaunted by the tech slump, Softbank's Masayoshi Son is thinking bigger than ever

In this season of dot-com lynchings on Wall Street, a little bit of gallows humor goes a long way. It was the inspiration for a five-minute video spoof of the popular ER TV medical drama that Softbank Corp.'s top venture-capital partners presented to 150 investors at an autumn gathering in San Francisco. The patient: One sick puppy of a dot-com outfit suffering from fast cash burn, high employee turnover, and panic stock selling by insiders.

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