There may or may not be a bubble in Internet startup valuations. But one thing in which there is definitely a bubble is in talk by journalists, investors and anyone else looking to raise their online profile through constant punditry about bubbles.
A recent Google News keyword search for instances of “Internet” and “bubble” unearthed 960 links. Facebook, Twitter and Zynga are bubbles, said one. Is Yelp: the dot com bubble part deux? asked another. One more asked: Is Twitter the harbinger of the second bubble?
Pe HUB likes to talk about bubbles too. Connie Loizos drew a lot of commentary after publishing an interview in which Mark Cuban, who made his billions on Broadcast.com during the last bubble, compared the current cycle to something more like pyramid scheme. Greylock’s planned $1 billion new fund is the latest sign of an Internet bubble, wrote Mark Boslet.
It’s easy to dismiss some of the pontificating as merely symptomatic of a repetitive business news cycle in which journalists routinely hype a company early in its existence, then, when it gains traction and Wall Street favor, decry it as overvalued. But upon perusing some of the bubble-related pontifications, it became clear that much of the analysis goes beyond that formulaic approach.