Are we in a bubble?
Technology, like any industry in a ‘healthy’ economy is cyclical. Recently, the media has been spilling a lot of ink about technology’s recent upswing, labeling it a bubble. While not unjustified, the language is a bit strong.
Recently, VC’s have been handing out money like it’s water (easy for me to say as an outsider looking in). They seem to be willing to invest in anyone with past successes or a reasonably good idea for a consumer-based technology. This marks a shift from the last boom, where anything related to the internet was considered gold. Now it’s all about users and engagement.
Jonathon Kaplan, the creator of Cisco’s Flip, announced that his grilled cheese scheme has raised $10 million. Now, I like grilled cheese as much as the next person, but it’s hard to believe that it’s worth $10 million no matter how 2.0 it is.
On the bright side of this technology upswing is the number of smart people attracted to technology who may have just turned up their noses at it for dignified finance positions. Similarly organizations are springing up to support the talent and ideas (and to get a slice). In New York we have General Assembly, which is an organization that supports startups by providing business and technology insight as well as precious office space. For us lay people, it also offers seminars on all things tech. Across the country there are groups that bring together smart people with relevant skills to stimulate ideas.
Who knows how long this boom will last, well, maybe Schumpeter and his gale knows, but I am excited to see what comes from these great minds, especially after the funding stops.
Business Week is more eloquent than I: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_17/b4225060960537_page_3.htm