free html hit counter If You Lived Through the Last Bubble.... - John Battelle's Search Blog

If You Lived Through the Last Bubble….

By - September 29, 2004

paulgraham_1813_17896Read Paul Graham on What the Bubble Got Right.

The fact is, despite all the nonsense we heard during the Bubble about the “new economy,” there was a core of truth. You need that to get a really big bubble: you need to have something solid at the center, so that even smart people are sucked in. (Isaac Newton and Jonathan Swift both lost money in the South Sea Bubble of 1720.)

Now the pendulum has swung the other way. Now anything that became fashionable during the Bubble is ipso facto unfashionable. But that’s a mistake– an even bigger mistake than believing what everyone was saying in 1999. Over the long term, what the Bubble got right will be more important than what it got wrong.

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3 thoughts on “If You Lived Through the Last Bubble….

  1. Tom Norian says:

    Not sure the pendulum has swung back in stock prices in a Warren Buffett, Phil Gramm, or even “long sled slope” Charlie Munger sort of way.

    But its apparent to me, that if you really hope to make money off of commerce, not via promotion and cashing out into the welcoming arms of optomistic buyers, that today is a far better time to enter the internet buisness than the past.

    A moral buisness owner* won’t fare as well as one willing to take what he could in the past, selling optomism to retiree’s via mutual funds directed by good looking well educated, well spoken kids following the commonly accepted academic tehoriors of that time. (mora in that they would never expects more than the dicounted cash flow, less risk adjusted discount of the time valud of money)

  2. Tom Norian says:

    Well, I mispelled a bunch. “moral” in particular.

    One can be an oportunist and a capitalist on the internet offering true access to goods and services far easier than four years ago, with far less need to invent new wheels. I supspect, we’ll get a “Mrs. Fields Cookies” syndrome, where a “Famoous Amos” cracked open the idea but other followed. Personally, I’d put “Starbucks” as the company that took up the space that Amos cracked years before. Is that personal luxury, retail roll out sort of thing now and example for greased skids with low overhead today?

    Strikes me that individuals are now incredibly enabled. However, the egalitarianess of access will make the vast majority of us not sufficiently talented to use the tools in ways that will stand above the others.

    Talent isn’t distributed in an egalitarian way, and I don’t think most of us really have that extrodinary marketing flair.

  3. Tim B. says:

    Like most very smart people I’ve met, Paul Graham has 1/3 brilliant ideas, and 2/3 really stupid ideas.

    Recognizing an important trend turns out to be easier than figuring out how to profit from it. The mistake investors always seem to make is to take the trend too literally. .. I think the Internet will have great effects, and that what we’ve seen so far is nothing compared to what’s coming. But most of the winners will only indirectly be Internet companies; for every Google there will be ten JetBlues.

    is a good insight.

    A 26 year old may not be very good at managing people or dealing with the SEC. Those require experience. But those are also commodities, which can be handed off to some lieutenant.

    is very naive, at best.

    The whole thing reads like a new futurism manifesto, and we all know what that led to.

    Sorry Paul, but while nerds have a lot to contribute, they will not rule the earth.