We Are In a Bubble

In Vanity Fair, Nick Bilton tackles the never-ending debate to determine whether or not the tech industry is in another bubble, and explains why “countless people from all over want this to be a bubble and they want it to burst.” While our industry is subject to the same cyclical swings as others, it’s important to note the differences between now and when we were partying in 1999: There are way more customers on the Internet, the big players have massive reach and very real revenues, technology is now much better able to support our ideas, and mobile has turned the Internet into a non-stop, always-on money machine. That said, we are in another bubble. But this time it’s not a financial bubble. It’s a psychological one. The psychological bubble makes you think that because you can code a photo app or design an algorithm to get me to the airport a little quicker, that also qualifies you as an expert on every other topic. The psychological bubble prevents you from seeing what role timing and serendipity play in your bombastic financial success. The psychological bubble makes you forget what I always like to remind people about the Internet business: Showing up at a gold rush with a shovel and a pan doesn’t make you a genius.

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