There have been a lot of these articles lately, and in the past year, the feeling of frenzy has accelerated in the Bay Area. Thousand page issues of Red Herring or the Industry Standard no longer appear in mailboxes, but the tech blogosphere is far more profilic than these mags combined.
So, here’s my two cents about the great questions: 1. Is there a bubble? and 2. Are things different this time? I think they can be answered through another question, “Who is chasing whom?” If founders are chasing investors, then there’s no bubble. But if it’s the other way around, and investors are looking for an entry into nearly every single start up idea out there, then we’ve got a problem. And from anecdotal evidence alone, I think we’re in the latter case. I definitely fall in with the bullish “Winter is coming” folks.
Part of me wonders where the money and people are going to flow next. From the late 90s to now, the pattern was tech boom then bust, and housing boom then bust, and now we’re in tech boom mode again. What worries me most is the mass migration that happened around 2001, the last time the bubble popped. Ninety percent of my friends left the Bay Area during that time (heck, even I left the Bay Area during that time). This is a transient place, but when leaving becomes the dominant mode, will I be left behind here with my non-profit friends and other perma-native-locals?