Will the Web 2.0 bubble burst?
Tech bubbles are predictable, and the inevitable burst may not be bad
I n recent months, an come in. These players under- These players are so good at
increasing number of tech- stand the technology but also marketing themselves and their
nology analysts and pundits have enough marketing skills products that they are able to
have started to sound the and salesmanship to build generate irrational exuberance.
alarm that we are on the products that people actually But all these people are
cusp of another technology want, and they can start real really supplying is a lot of hot
bubble burst—in this case, buzz around a new technology. air. And you know what hap-
the Web 2.0 bubble. If you This leads to the equilibrium pens to bubbles when they
expect me to disagree with point for technology and mar- get too full of hot air. Pop.
these pundits, guess again. keting. This is also the stage in But the bubble burst isn’t
Of course another bub- a technology bubble where the always a bad thing. For the
ble burst is coming. biggest, best and most endur- technologies involved, it can
All this talk about bubbles ing solutions are created. be a cleansing experience.
got me thinking about Unfortunately, this is also With all the hype and hot
the classic cycles of busts.
Because when you analyze
past technology bubbles,
you always see the same Keep an eye on your
progression from pure tech- bubble cycles and know
nology to pure marketing.
By paying attention to this when to avoid the hot air.
progression, you might even
be able to tell when a bubble
is getting too big for its own the stage in which the people air removed, the technology
good and is likely to burst. who are all marketing and can settle down to doing
So how does one begin no technology decide that it’s its intended job. After all,
to build a bubble? At the time to get in on the action. despite the damage of the
beginning of a bubble, it’s You know who these “entre- dot-com bust, e-commerce is
all technology. This is the preneurs” are. These are the doing just fine.
point of entry of inven- snake oil salespeople, those So keep an eye on your bub-tors. At this end of the who talk a good game and ble cycles and know when to
spectrum, the participants can convince anyone from avoid the hot air. And, remem-are brilliant technologically venture capitalists to the press ber: Somewhere out there
but have no marketing to the general public that they right now is a technology-savvy
skills whatsoever. The only have the biggest, coolest, most and marketing-weak inventor
people paying attention to important new thing out there. who is starting the first puffs
their breakthroughs are So what if their product for a whole new tech bubble. ´
those with similar techno- doesn’t do anything or has no
logical inclinations. way to actually make money, Chief Technology Analyst Jim
The next phase is where or is a bad version of another Rapoza can be reached at jim.
innovative entrepreneurs product that’s already out there?