Beyond the bubble

Yesterday’s Observer column.

The bad news, therefore, is that we’re in a new technology bubble. If you are impolite enough to mention this in Silicon Valley at the moment, however, then people will cut you dead. That’s par for the bubble course. The folks who are caught up in one do not appreciate well-meaning attempts to rain on their parade. When the Celtic tiger was roaring in my beloved homeland, for example, a lone economist named Morgan Kelly dared to say that the tiger had no fur – and was roundly abused for his pains.

The good news is that when the current technology bubble pops there will be less collateral damage than last time. This is largely because it costs so much less to start a technology company nowadays and the funding models (and therefore the investment risks) are different…