Is There a Tech Bubble?
Â In the last (pre-drinking) session at the D: All Things DigitalÂ conference at the Terranea resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California on Wednesday, we heard fromÂ Â Marc Andreessen, co-founder of venture capital firmÂ Andreessen Horowitz, and founder of Netscape and various other tech start-ups. Chatting him up: Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the session: Marc simply doesnâ€™t agree that thereâ€™s a tech bubble, and in fact says there is plenty of evidence that the public markets actually hate tech stocks right now.Â Â
. . . Â but New York Magazine in a feature called “Bubble Vision” Â has a different take:
Three years after the subprime-mortgage marketâ€™s stupendous bursting, suspiciously explosive growth is everywhere again.
Groupon’s Worth: 1,400% Increase Since April 2010
The Chicago start-up made $760 million in 2010, but how much bigger is the market for daily-deal promotions? Talk is the company will go public at a price more than ten times its $1.35 billion valuation from last year.
Tim Pawlenty Hype: 339% Since December 2010
The Intrade futures-prediction site has already seen a number of bubbles pop in its 2012-Republican-presidential-nominee market. The former Minnesota governor is the latest to ride the wave.
College Costs: 30% Yearly Since 1980
Since 1980, the average cost of college tuition and fees has grown nearly tenfold, far outpacing inflation.
Web 2.0 Valuations: 450% Since Initial Valuations
LinkedInâ€™s hyped IPO was the first of many expected from social-media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and games-maker Zynga, all of whom have already seen their private valuations explode. (The number above represents the increase in estimated value of those four companies combined.)
Gold Prices: 45% Yearly Since 2001
When the economic outlook is uncertain, investors buy up precious metals, which they hope will retain their value in the event of fiscal calamity.
Calling Things “Bubbles”: 20% Yearly Since 2004
According to Google Trends, search traffic for the wordÂ bubbleÂ (excluding searches for â€śbubble wrapâ€ť) is up almost 150 percent since Google began tracking search data.
Chinese Housing Prices: 35% Yearly Since 2007
Despite estimates that there are perhaps 64 million empty apartments in China, prices in urban centers continue to rise.
Prices of Rare-Earth Metals: 330% Yearly Since 2004
The need for these materials, used in high-tech products, has been growing for years. But fears that China will hoard its supply are pushing prices even higher.
Silver Prices: 74% Yearly Since 2001