In this weekend’s New York Times magazine, Talk columnist Andrew Goldman (or The Softer Side of Deborah Soloman, as we like to think of him) sits down Marc Andreessen, poster VC for the current boom, to ask if it’s really more like a bubble. Mr. Andreessen offers a resounding no, emphasizing his oft-stated theory that tech stocks are undervalued in the long-term:
“If you compare how big industrial companies like G.E. are valued compared with big tech companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Google and Apple, tech stocks have never been valued more poorly in comparison. So not only is there no bubble — these prices are reflective of the fact that the market still hates tech. This bubble talk is about everybody being unbelievably psychologically scarred from 10 years ago.”
But for anyone still searching for a leading indicator of bubble trouble, says Mr. Andreessen, wither the MBAs go, trouble seems to follow.
“There was a point in the late ’90s where all the graduating M.B.A.’s wanted to start companies in Silicon Valley, and for the most part they were not actually qualified to do it. They brought the whole sideshow of the hype and parties and all that crap. M.B.A. graduating classes are actually a reliable contrary indicator: if they all want to go into investment banking, there’s going to be a financial crisis. If they want to go into tech, that means a bubble is forming.”
Hey, it’s not like Peter Thiel has the monopoly on entrepreneurial disdain for institutionalized learning.