Saturday, 21 May 2011

Tech Bubble 2.0, Wall Streets concern, given its record of getting things wrong, is no reason to worry

"Tech Bubble 2.0? Maybe. But many in the venture capital community have rebuffed that notion, saying that important lessons have been learned since the first bubble in the late 1990s. In other words: This time, it's different."


Firstly let us make one thing very clear. The Dot Com bubble of 2000 never really happened, not the way the media reported it. Certainly there was a collapse in stock prices around a cluster of Internet companies. But this was not because the companies themselves were weak. Rather the collapse was a fiction created by a Wall Street out of control, one that three masses of money too early and pulled the money out a few years later when the largest transformation in communications since the printed word didn't fully form in two years. The Dot Com bomb was entirely due to the greed and stupidity of people on Wall Street.

After this so called collapse the Internet, freed of so much influence from the parasite class, was able to enter its true golden age. After the Dot Com collapsed we saw the rise of blogging, social network sites, the creation of Facebook, podcasting, video sharing, music downloads, and now geosocial. If Wall Street was with it or not the Internet rapidly moved from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 in large part by collective work of millions.

After Wall Street declared the Internet dead Wikipedia create the largest single store of information in world history through crowd sourcing, a Harvard undergrad made a company that now has 600 million members, Google's stock went public (and despite fears of another collapse back then) the stock and company is doing fine.

The Internet is not a fad. Nor is it really possible to value the contribution the Internet will place upon humanity. Asking how much the collection of Interent companies are actually worth long term would be like asking how much the first 100 printing presses of 50 steam engines would be worth to the world economy. In reality these innovations were worth more than the entire wealth of the planet at that time.

But that is not to say there is no danger of a short term collapse, there very much is such a danger. Not because of the firms themselves but because, as we should all know by now, Wall Street is dominated by a lot of disturbed drug addicted sex addict trying to steal as much money as they can who use masses of technology they are either too stupid or too drug out to understand. Its very likely they will dump masses of money in to new firms and as soon as the herd instinct changes pull it out in mass.

But the Internet itself will survive. In face as we saw from things like Wikipedia, Linux, and blogging the Internet is driven by a much bigger collective event than the money on Wall Street. The Web was actually better off after all the investors left in 2001. Freed of the pressure of bag men who didn't understand the industry people who did understand the web were free to actually built a better web.

Imagine if the investment houses has remain around, had bought out Wikipedia, all the blogging sites, and the social networks. Do you think crowd sourcing, creative commons, or citizen journalism would have gotten anywhere? I doubt it.

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