No foosball, no hiring spree. Today's startups are smaller, leaner, faster

What's the status of Startup Nation? Fledgling tech companies are smaller, more numerous and a bit crazier if you ask top executives and investors gathered at the Supernova 2009 technology conference in San Francisco this week. Prominent angel investor and venture capitalist Dave McClure puts it this way during a panel discussion. "There is a lot of experimentation happening at incubator and seed level but less on the Series A level," says McClure, referring to the first significant venture funding round.

At the same time, startups are running leaner, meaner and more aggressively. Says Rashmi Sinha, founder and CEO of online slide-presentation company Slideshare, "You can take very little money to try out an idea."