Tech Bubble? Or Can Software Eat Bubbles Too?


village mobile
Cell phones bring empowerment to Nepalese women – bubble or breakthrough?
Source: Khabar South Asia

Summary: Valuations of public and private technology companies have been quite high in recent months, and many have asked whether we are in a tech bubble. Certainly, general optimism about the promise of tech has driven up prices for many undeserving companies. But while we must all think critically about valuations and have financial discipline, let’s not mistake uncertainty about how to price fundamentally new products and business models – and the accompanying volatility – with speculative excess. 

 

“For how much?

This is a common question in the tech world these days. Even those of us that lived and worked through 1999, who know the key role that technology plays in the economy and in people’s lives, have been raising our eyebrows at recent  valuations in both the private and public sphere:

  • Funding rounds of private companies like Dropbox, AirBnB, and Uber (rumored) that valued those companies at $10 billion each
  • Facebook recent acquisitions of WhatsApp for $19 billion and Oculus for $2 billion, both companies with very little to no revenue
  • Twitter’s $13 billion, and FireEye’s and Tablueau’s ~$2 billion IPO valuations which all jumped 70%+ higher in their first trading day, even though none of these companies was or still is profitable

So, are we in a tech bubble?

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