|The WSJ posted a great piece today about Silicon Valley’s unique barometers for predicting a bubble burst. The article accurately points to key indicators that were abundant during the dot.com era. Silly names, ridiculous company services (like this one highlighted in TechCrunch’s complimentary post titled “Bubble Indicators.”), recycled dot.com ideas that flopped, and over funding in saturated sectors.|
There are still several more indicators that have yet to surface, including:
- Absence of office space
- Extremely tight housing/rental market in and around Silicon Valley/SF
- Job-seeking nomads descending in droves into Silicon Valley/SF
- Entry-level candidates demanding company perks typically reserved for senior staff or management
- Excessive burn rates by startups on marketing
Thankfully, the dot.com/stock market meltdown resulted in tighter controls and public skepticism that largely prevents companies that have zero revenues from going IPO en mass.
A perusal of TechCrunch’s company archives show that since around mid-2005 about 1,800 startups have been profiled. It would be interesting to find out the percentage of these that are actually making money. Further, many more startups exist that weren’t able to make the cut into TechCrunch, so we clearly have a lot of fledgling companies looking to gain traction, user adoption, and revenues or that are hoping to be acquired by a deep pocketed, white knight.