I’ve heard people wonder if we’re in a bubble with regard to startups. Is it as bad as the 2000 dot-com bubble? Might it actually be worse? I thought it would be worthwhile to look at the available data to see if we can figure this out with more than just a personal opinion. So I asked our engineering team at Google Ventures to dig into the bubble question and find out what the data say. In this post, I’ll share what I learned.
Back in the late 1990s, venture capitalists got very excited about the Internet. A whole lot of money was poured into some companies that failed rather spectacularly, and a lot of people lost a lot of money.
Fast forward to 2015. If you read the headlines about multi-billion-dollar valuations for companies like Uber (one of our portfolio companies), Airbnb and Dropbox, it’s easy to see why some people are feeling antsy. Is everyone irrationally excited about new platforms and economic models in the same way folks were excited in 1999? Or is this different? There are two sides to the case.