Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
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?

  • 1
(Deleted comment)
I could see the bubble when I was finishing up undergrad in 99/00, when fistfuls of people around me were dropping out to enter the programming ranks, and there didn't seem to be any sustainability plans at the places they were going to. Perhaps why I ended up on the systems side.

But now what we are seeing is that a company like twitter can have massive reach and value while having far -fewer- employees than companies of the past, so they can afford to pay a lot of money to true talent.

So there might be a bit of a 'hire a ton of people, put them in the meat grinder, see what we get out in terms of product and in terms of employees we want to keep'.

  • 1