swombat.com

daily articles for founders

Don Dodge on the tech bubble  

One major difference between the dot com bubble of 2000 and the current situation is who will be hurt when it bursts. Back in 2000 crazy companies with minimal revenue and zero profit were going IPO on the public stock markets. Inexperienced retail investors were spending their life savings buying up these stocks. They got slaughtered. Today these companies are private. Very experienced professional investors are buying positions. When the bubble bursts these guys will get hurt, but don't cry for them. Their net worth might drop from $100M to $90M, or from $1 Billion to $900 million. Wah, wah, wah. Nobody cares. Not even the investors losing the money. They are professionals and know it is part of the process.

This is true for now, but we're only at the beginning of this bubble, and before it pops, it may well affect public markets too. In fact, some recent high-profile filings are unprofitable or barely breaking even, so one could argue that the bubble is getting to the public markets already.

That said, Don's advice to entrepreneurs is spot on, at least for those in the right place:

So, there you have it. Don't worry about a tech bubble. Take advantage of it. Start a company and build it as fast as you can. In the end investors will make millions or maybe lose some. But you will have the experience of a lifetime. Go for it!

Bear in mind, however, that no bubble ever looked like the last one.

More from the library:
Taking responsibility
Three types of acquisitions
How to find and recruit a killer advisory board
Google Analytics Alternative