Tag: internet bubble

Here Comes Another Bubble…

Brilliant. Hilarious. Deja Vu?

H/t to Kara Swisher. Some will say it’s too soon for another, and others (including myself) will reply that cycles are moving faster. Is Charles MacKay’s seminal work still relevant today?

UPDATE: Video edited, much to the chagrin of the overtly politically correct.

Web 2.0 – Hype v. Innovation

There’s an interesting conversation that’s been taking place over the last twelve hours regarding recent innovations in the Web 2.0 space, or the lack thereof.

It started with John Heileman of New York Magazine taking a few swipes at the hype, which was quickly picked up after Fred Wilson made it clear some of the article got his goat. Steve Rubel followed up, and despite the fact that I’ve had a tough time following Mr. Rubel’s ramblings about Google Reader/Gmail as groundbreaking “research tools” yada yada, I have to give a general thumbs up to his prognosis – there is a lot of Kool-Aid hitting the gullet, and a dearth of “wow.” The few bright lights in the bunch are hardly world changing either – Twitter, for example, may be nifty, but as Richard McManus put it:

“Twitter, which Steve mentioned, is one – albeit it is still extremely niche and no mainstream people I know use it.”

My personal opinion: Twitter is a great platform, but Richard is spot on. I was skeptical at first, and then got an explanation. I embraced it, installing plugins for this blog, applets for my Blackberry, and Twitterific for the desktop. But Twitter is a social app, meaning you need your friends on it for it to be either fun or even remotely effective as a communications platform. Unfortunately, all my friends are those same mainstream kind of folks, and despite prodding some to join none saw any long-term value. Throw in the fact that I’m no groupie (meaning I quickly dumped my follow list as I personally knew none of the people I was following), and the rest is history.


This is classic hype: a article in VentureBeat this morning that exclaims in the most recent blown-out headline that Facebook may now be worth $100 billion (go look for it…I just couldnt bear to link). It was worth just $15 billion a few days ago, and only a billion a year ago. And nothing has changed for this enterprise other than the fact that they have many more users who either a) are too poor to turn advertising dollars spent into consumer purchases made or b) spend so much time on the internet that they are completely oblivious to any and all web advertising. That, or they’re like me…they have money to spend, but clean out their cookies with ever increasing frequency. The really sad part about this – nobody but the digeratti will ever even read it, and even if a major publication does pick up on it (like so many do nowadays), the general populous doesn’t care one iota. All it’s going to do is make them aware that they need to clean out their cookies more often!

I know why it was written – the author wanted some traffic – that traffic begets ad dollars. A ridiculous headline is a sure fire way to get there – write some complete bull about a system wholly dependent on advertising so you can get some advertising revenue yourself. Doesn’t seem like there is much value add to me.

I guess it’s fun for some, but…

I was bored with Facebook in about a day – to me it was AOL on steroids. I tired of Twitter in a few months – it’s useful but extremely distracting. MySpace…a bid childish. Meebo – neat, but isn’t “everywhere” IM access what phone-based apps are for? Tumblr – clean and simple, but so is a WordPress install. I could go on and on, but I don’t have much in the way of ads on this site.

How about showing me something that actually helps me get work done, makes me money, for goodness sakes…catches me more fish. Take some of these information technologies and point out how they apply to an industry sector I’m interested in – securities arbitrage, corporate-owned life insurance, distressed and/or hard-to-price assets, composites and extrusion, far-east import/export, or the promise of nuclear fusion reactors the size of air conditioning compressors. That would be innovation.

Gotta go…I’ve got a phone call (remember those?).

Changing the world: one app, one bubble, one ID, and one margin call at a time

Having 2,000 feed items stuffed in one’s reader when returning from even the shortest vacation has me thinking about how to put said reader on vacation as well.

  • MySpace and Facebook apps suck. That’s not what they really said, but The Silicon Alley Insider did point out how little they might really be worth. I’ve got no experience with MySpace apps, and my only brush with Facebook apps was getting some notification that a friend had installed one and I should do the same. My first impression – I’m getting spammed (and others share that feeling). I would never react to such a notice again, even if I was an active Facebook user. Hence, they are worthless to me too (or maybe I’m just worthless to marketers). Also of note: based on their numbers Facebook should be worth something in the neighborhood of $850 million.
  • The New York Times infers that things are getting overheated in Silicon Valley. I disagree – I think a lot more bets are being placed on a lot more companies, and I suspect those bets are generally a lot smaller than post-Bubble 1.0. There may be a lot of duplication of effort going on, but the best execution in each category is going to turn out a winner. The money is just trying to find each of those winners. Meanwhile, TechDirt had its take on the Dallas Cowboys backing out of a domain purchase, but I says its a simple matter of the rest of the world not paying much attention to the chaos.
  • Commodities traders are in short supply. As a general rule, the commodities business also retains far fewer numbers than its big sister on the securities end. I think the actual registered headcount via the CFTC is less than 200K, while the NASD numbers hover around 800K. Someone throw me a bone on those numbers (and if anyone needs a Series 3/30, drop me a line).
  • OpenID gets a victory in the fight against phishing, as well as some competition. I think the first part is great – now the challenge is getting anyone and everyone to embrace Information Cards. On the latter, I’m going to bet it’s a non-starter – too little, too late. Despite being widely embraced, even OpenID is having slow goings regarding consumption (both in systems and people). More power to SlashID if they can be more effective on that end, but I’m skeptical.
  • After consuming this, I dropped TechMeme from my reading list. I guess I can just read each of these every morning from here on out. That, by the way, is a joke.
  • Seems that debt problems extend beyond the government, those bought out, and even mortgagees. I thought much of the last year’s rally was purely cash-driven, but I guess I was wrong. Personally, I only use my margin account for short selling.

I think that covers last week.

As Tech Heats Up, Sages Dust Off Bubble Indicators

Goofy names and free food I remember – free vodka shots at industry conferences I don’t.

Top ten eleven signs there might be an internet bubble

It’s eleven so Letterman doesn’t sue for trademark infringement.

11. A search engine says their products are more stimulating than coffee.

10. Everyone is talking about advertising.

9. A website that bashes other websites actually has some traffic.

8. Someone throws free money at engineers, while someone else makes engineering free.

7. Stories come out comparing the latest internet revolution to George Orwell’s classic 1984, and The Wall Street Journal covers it.

6. You read a blog headline, and immediate think…”they’re bashing MySpace, so they must be about to plug Facebook.”

5. CMGI is sucking wind.

4. Studies are published touting newfound, widespread application usage, when it’s really just soccer moms using webmail.

3. A guy sells his company and then outlines why there is an internet bubble.

2. Henry Blodget is saying something.


1. The internet is officially proclaimed better than sex.