In fact some blog just came out with the monthly buzzkill trend piece that’s all like “valuations are soaring,” “boom,” “burn,” “frenzy,” “Webvan.” I am not into it. Reality check-in, please! I remember when I discovered that soap bubbles come in a bottle. It was magical. You can use that little hook to fire a bazillion soapy orbs in a row, like you’re on the front lines of a war–in heaven! And you can also blow like, one big huge bubble that reflects rainbows! “Too much fun!” as my grandma used to say.
So: When you were a kid playing with bubbles, did you spend the whole time moping about how the bubbles were going to pop? Of course not! That would be ridiculous! You just thought about how you were rocking out with some soap bubbles and how sweet that was. And that’s exactly what we should be doing today. “Investing Like It’s 1999”? Um, I’m pretty sure the line is “party like it’s 1999.” Now that’s more like it!
This bubble’s not going to last forever. But while it does, you know there is an open bar somewhere! I went to a party last week where we pounded vodka from a bottle afixed with an LED marquee that was basically just scrolling SWAG.COM over and over, and that party was not even for a real start-up. Thanks to froth, 40 percent more people got to go to South By Southwest this year on their companies’ dimes–including yours truly! (By the way, Betabeat is available if anyone needs help burning through their rounds. Office-warming for Yogroupon, hyperlocal daily deals but only for yoga–Oh hi! Launch party for Y Dominator, the accelerator for people who have bought a domain name–I’m there!)
Other things to do during a tech bubble: Poker. Prada. Tweeting. Dropping out of school. Speaking on social media panels. CNN interviews. Getting named in the 10 Sexiest Web Geeks, the Playboys of Tech and the society pages of the New York Daily News. Getting a tagline, maybe “the kid that made Obama president.” Starting a company in 48 hours–on a bus! Making out at General Assembly! Never growing up! You can do all of these–but you have to act fast! Bubbles are about living in the moment.
Actually, my only complaint about this bubble is that it’s kind of tame! Where is our Stephen Paternot, founder of theglobe.com, who was dancing on a table in a Manhattan club with his model girlfriend when he told a CNN camera, “Got the girl. Got the money. Now I’m ready to live a disgusting, frivolous life”? Where is our Josh Harris, founder of Pseudo.com, who after collecting millions from investors started styling himself in public as “Luvvy,’’ a “demented clown with a high-pitched singsong voice” and held a 150-day artist party in his basement, which had a gun range? Sure, Color just raised $41 million–but is that anything compared to JustBalls.com, a site that sold balls, which received $13 million in funding in 2001? Step it up, New York! I know you have more swagger than this! And what’s this about entrepreneurs paying cheapo bucks to live in Bushwick or their friends’ living rooms? Bootstrapping=not swag. God, it’s like all the young, attractive, hard-working people in this industry are smoking pot when they should be doing coke. Let’s change that! The burn rate is too slow!
But what about when the bubble pops, you say? Not to worry: That will also be awesome! If you’re one of the casualties, think about how much street cred you’re going to get. And if you’re one of the survivors, think about how quickly all your competition will be wiped out. It’s like the dinosaurs–you’ll either die and be revered forever in movies, tattoos and the imagination of school children, or you’ll… evolve into birds. Yeah! This metaphor totally works! Google is like an EAGLE right now!
Plus, it’s annoying to be a tech entrepreneur who didn’t experience the first dot-com bubble. “When I was your age, we had so many parties that you didn’t know who the host was usually, and a server was a brillion dollars, and then my company went bankrupt in 200 days and I had to get a job at Microsoft, blah blah blah.” Shut up, Grandpa. Members of our generation are equally capable of blinding ourselves to reason and refusing self-criticism (not cool) in favor of the sweet daydreams of becoming quillionaires (cool). We are also
Okayyy, I’m having too much fun here. See you next week! Just remember: It’s better to pop than to fade away!