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Bubbling up in the valley  

Another article pointing to an emerging bubble.

One Benchmark partner, Bill Gurley, wouldn't have it. "No need to talk to those guys," he told Mr. Kalanick. "Let's get the deal done here." After two days of wooing, Benchmark provided nearly $12 million in capital for a 20% stake in Uber, pegging its valuation at $60 million.

To be fair, Uber is making money, but a $60m valuation means they would need something like a $600m exit. Is there such a big market for luxury cabs? If not, Uber will have to do some serious pivoting, or find an exceptionally irrational acquirer.

Such overnight success stories are becoming more common. At a Los Angeles "Startup Weekend" in February, Bo Fishback pitched his young company for all of one minute. Its product is Zaarly, a mobile application that asks users to name what they need quickly (from a personal assistant to a dog-walker), then brokers the transaction based on what users are willing to pay.

After the brief presentation, actress Demi Moore tweeted about the company. She noted that "everything has a price!"—a reference to her role in the film "Indecent Proposal," about a man's $1 million offer to borrow a stranger's wife for a night. Within 48 hours, Zaarly raised its first seed round of $1 million. Among those piling into the deal, according to Mr. Fishback: Ms. Moore's husband, the actor Ashton Kutcher, and Lightbank, a venture fund created by the founders of online-coupon giant Groupon.

Is it a Bubble? Is it a Boom? Is there a difference (considering the natural propensity of the free market for boom/bust cycles)?

The madness hasn't reached the public market (or the rest of the world) yet, but with IPO season on the way, we should get there soon. Once everyone is bought into the system, once the bottom rungs of the pyramid are filled up, then it will call come crashing down as usual (if it is a bubble).

I think the only question that remains at this point is, what will we call this one? It's not strictly a web 2.0 bubble. Maybe the social bubble? The Facebook bubble? Facebubble?

More from the library:
Productised services: #3: The best of both worlds
The Startup resume
Dealing with micro-burn-out