Hey, maybe those blissful bubble parties at Dolores Park knew something that we didn't! According to venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, there isn't a bubble, after all! EVERYTHING IS FINE KEEP SPENDING MONEY.
On Monday, Andreessen Horowitz, the VC firm founded by Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen (you know, the guy who said that Airbnbing your place and driving your car for Uber will make you rich) posted a PowerPoint deck basically explaining that all this bubble talk was pure hogwash.
Let's take a look at it, shall we?
An investor in companies like Twitter, Airbnb, Jawbone, Foursquare, Soylent, Buzzfeed, and tons of other start-ups that sound like ones a character on a shitty USA Network sitcom might have worked at before he got fired and started getting in touch with what really matters, Andreessen Horowitz argues in the deck that "It's different this time," referring to the dot com crash of the early 2000s.
Some of the reasons why they say "it's different" include that "people are spending (lots of) money online," that we shouldn't worry about so-called "unicorns" (start-ups that have raised a $1 billion valuation or more) because they're dwarfed by Facebook, and that it's never been cheaper to create a tech company.
The Silicon Valley Business Journal doesn't seem so convinced, responding that:
...one factor that isn't mentioned in their presentation, but AngelList CEO Naval Ravikant reminded us of last week, is that all of this growth in tech companies has come during an unprecedented period of easy money coming from the world's central bankers.
If there is a correction coming, it may not be limited to the tech sector, as it mostly was 15 years ago. But that won't make it much less painful for all involved.
And at some point, unless we are witnessing the creation of a big new, endless private market for unicorn stocks, these multibillion-dollar upstarts will have to validate their valuations with public investors.
Andreessen Horowitz's rosy view of the current state of affairs also contrasts sharply with that of investor Mark Cuban, who says that this bubble is actually worse than the last one, or Bill Gurley, who said that “I think you’re going to see a lot of failure in 2015."