Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

The Deja Vu is getting a little stifling...

Yesterday was a bit disconcerting, when I put two elements together.

First, I was meeting with my accountant, and we got talking about Querki, and my moderate aversion to taking VC money. I've been through a *lot* of startups (Querki it, depending on how you count is, about the eighth one I've worked for), and The Money has been the downfall of several of them. This was particularly acute after the Tech Bubble of the late 90s, when the money flowed back out even faster than it had flowed in. I remarked that we seem to be getting echoes of that: pretty much everyone is talking about the amount of Stupid Money being poured into tech right now, with VCs investing tens of millions of dollars based on Powerpoint decks and precious little due diligence.

Then in the evening, I was listening to Marketplace on NPR, and they had an article on the fact that programming is basically the one field that is paying well and reliably right now, so people are diving into it left and right. It is, once again, no longer a craft for those who are passionate: since the industry needs programmers desperately, loads of people are starting to get into the field, and are being hired for handsome salaries. I am reminded of some of the "Architects" I used to work with who had about as much experience as I had as a junior software engineer.

And y'know, this is all beginning to sound disturbingly familiar. I haven't dug into it enough to know how deeply history is repeating itself, but it is beginning to feel a *lot* like 1999 again to me. Mind, I doubt that we're going to see another Pets.com Superbowl incident -- people don't tend to make the *same* mistakes with millions of dollars on the line -- but the broad sense of a bubble inflating is getting overwhelming again. Having lived through the nuclear winter of 2002, I hope that I'm wrong, but I suspect I'm at least partly right.

What's your sense? Does it look sustainable to you, or is this another capital-induced bubble driving irrational euphoria?
Tags: programming
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