Our Web 2.0 conference is prompting all sorts of people to declare that the Bubble-with-a-capital-B is back, Web 2.0 is over, and here we go again. The only problem with this is, if everyone agrees it’s a bubble, then it isn’t a bubble.
The conference does, as Om notes, remind me of conferences in earlier days, but the comparison for me is how many people are actively looking for investments, and are willing to make speculative investments based on cool tech instead of clear markets. It’s a mistake, though, to say that the exuberance of 1999/2000 is back, or anywhere near it. That’s the easy story, the thing we want not to happen again (given the scale of the wipeout when that bubble burst) and want to be able to warn against. The easy story assumes, though, that everyone here has already forgotten what happened so recently.
The excitement here is weird to see. It does make me wonder what’s to come. But I think it’s too early to declare a bubble, just because investors are excited again. Investors get excited professionally; bubbles require much more pervasive delusions.