1991 was not a great year for engineering graduates. During 1991, many engineering graduates were lucky to have any job offer in hand upon graduation. Things got better though as the years passed. 1999 was a great year for graduating b-school students that went into mangement consulting, where many got hefty signing bonuses and/or full tuition paid for. That same year, however, was a pretty bad year for associates entering the venture capital space. With the bubble, many of those vintage 1999 venture capital folks got toasted a few years later - some left the space not having closed a single deal. Some watched their firms implode after having long histories in the business. 2001 to 2002 was also a bad year for startups drawing venture capital - many venture lawyers were reporting 2x to 4x ratchets on deal terms, not to mention the bankruptcies.
In business, the "business cycle" matters quite a bit. One needs to be very sensitive to it and try to work with the trend. I feel fortunate for taking leave from the telecom space in 1999 and shifting to the software sector. I've been shifting back my focus as of recent, but the telecom and software markets are converging. While those in telecom and media may refer to Web 2.0 as broadband and Web 3.0 as 10 gigabits a second whereas by contrast those in the software industry may characterize Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 as a collaborative and interactive eras of the Internet, deals like Cisco acquiring Scientific Atlanta will likely affect how people both communicate and use the Internet. Vintage 2005 and 2006 software & communications mergers will be memorable.
Changing gears a bit, only in the past year have I started to better appreciate how important year/vintage affects wine. In retrospect, this almost seems obvious as weather affects grapes which affects wine quality. Nevertheless, in the past I have often selected wine primarily based on grape type, geography, or past experience with a wine maker and largely ignored vintage.
Well, my wife found this very cool 2-page chart for selecting wines based on vintage and region (and ignoring wine maker). This may be an easier task for some as compared to trying to remember individual wine makers, doing a lot of guessing on wine quality based on bottle art, etc. I have not verified the accuracy of the chart, but its gives a snapshot view why more knowledgeable wine enthusiasts like 2003 Rhone wines, 2000 Bordeaux wines, etc. and avoid 2002 Rhone wines (my wife and I became a bunch of winos over the Thanksgiving holiday) ...