There Is Definitely A Web 2.0 Bubble Going On
This is it. The definitive sign of a bubble. I’m calling a top right here.
Check out this article in the International Herald Tribune about a Web 2.0 bubble in Silicon Valley evoking a sense of “deja-vu”. The story starts off with an anecdote about Right Media, a startup that was recently acquired by Yahoo! for 800 million.
Go ahead and read the whole article, if you want, social networking, Facebook, yada yada yada.
Now check out the caption beneath the very first photograph:
Right Media, co-founded by Brian O’Kelley, was valued at $200 billion when Yahoo invested in 2006. Six months later, it was worth $850 million when Yahoo bought it.
Read that again. See the typo? Valued at $200 billion and then worth less when it was bought?
I’m sorry – but I had to read this caption twice before I realized the mistake. But truth be told – on top of the fact that the company quadrupled in price in less than six months – and everything else in the article – and how mainstream news only picks up on bubbles when they’re about to burst – for the typo of $200 billion vs. $200 million to slip through the copy editor’s eye implies valuations are truly insane.… to where something as ludriculous as $200 billion doesn’t seem glaringly wrong.
Here are some other choice quotes to chew on:
“There’s definitely a lot of betting going on, and it’s not rational,” said Tim O’Reilly, a technology conference promoter and book publisher… when the bubble inevitably pops, he said, “there are going to be a lot of people out of work again.”
“We are almost going back to year 2000-types of errors,” said Aaron Kessler of Piper Jaffray. Internet companies, he added, “are buying users instead of revenue and profitability.”
Bubble. I’m through with the “is there… or isn’t there?” debates. I believe it’s right here, right now. The only question is what, if anything, do we do about it. End of line, look out below, sell, sell, sell.
Update: Turns out this article was a New York Times one that just went live this morning. Valleywag is linking to the Herald Tribune version, with nary a mention of the typo – which is still freaking there.