Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Y Combinator reducing investments to $80K per startup, but including regular office hours from VCs

The article below is more evidence that the Web 2.0 bubble is bursting.  The first sign of a bubble was the production of the reality TV show:  Start-ups: Silicon Valley.  The second sign is the show is a bust.  Disclaimer:  I have never watched the show, nor do I ever plan to watch it.  So I have no idea if it becomes a game-changer like the Survivor series.  /double sarcasm  Why the double?  Because I think reality TV is a snoozer with no redeeming qualities.  Yet, I understand it's every producer's dream to drum up the next Survivor.

As someone who's been around since the late 1990's, I've seen this rodeo before.

As a fan of technology, and one who participated and even profited from it, I believe in the value of creative, disruptive innovation.  But history also shows the trajectory of that curve includes road kill littered in its path.  For instance, at the turn of the 20th century, there were thousands of American car companies--it was cutting edge technology then.  Today, there are 3--barely, and only after two of them needed bailouts in 2008.  But we needed that boom in cars--otherwise, we'd still be riding horses today.  It's analogous to the Dutch tulip mania of 1637, which was a bubble of immense proportions, but spawned the world's greatest flower market in Amsterdam.

So tech giants like Google, Apple, Paypal,, Oracle, Microsoft, and yes, even Facebook will survive and thrive.  A few more mid-tier companies and upstarts will kick down the doors, and fill out the infrastructure.  And dreamers will always point to these successes as guideposts to justify their dreams.  Good for them--we need dreamers.  But we also need those who successfully implement those dreams.

The "reality" is: most startups will be lab experiments gone wrong, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Those failures will fuel the next set of dreams.  You need the parasites to keep the eco-structure vibrant.  A cacophony of failures is necessary to subsidize the rare winners.  But as an investor, I'm passing.  Yes, that's cold and calculating on my part.  It's a splash of water in the face--a "taking away of the punch bowl."  But it's also a sober assessment, and that's the reality show in my world.

Creative destruction, bitchez!

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