OK, you're right, it IS a bubble

It's all over, says Marc Andreessen. Or is it?

[IMPORTANT WARNING: What follows is satire. I'm NOT being serious. Except for one paragraph at the very end. See if you can spot that one.]

When I first started this blog four months ago, one of the first substantive posts I wrote was called "Bubbles on the brain".

In it, I attempted to use "logic" to explain the reasons we are most likely not in another dot com bubble.

Since that time, talk of a new dot com bubble or Web 2.0 bubble or Internet bubble has only escalated in volume and intensity.

OK.

You're right.

It's a bubble.

A huge, massive, inflating bubble.

We're all doomed.

Doomed, I say!

DOOMED!

It can't last.

It won't last.

It can't won't not last.

Here we sit, with over $7 billion in venture funding this year chasing exactly zero good ideas.

Paid keyword ads? All BS. Once users figure out those things on the side of the page aren't natural search results, that's it, no more click-throughs. Pop goes the souffle.

Ad targeting? Snort. The creme de la creme for Internet advertising, so to speak, is those acne cream banner ads you see all over Facebook. That's it. That's the best Internet advertising will ever be. Get used to the bottom of the barrel, suckers.

Subscription fees? Premium services? Ecommerce? Sponsorships? Mobile advertising? Mobile fee-based services? New hosting models? Video advertising? Music subscription services? In-game advertising? Massively multiplayer games? Digital gifts? Affiliate bounties? HA! Don't make me laugh. Oh, wait -- YOU JUST DID.

So people everywhere are flocking to these newfangled trendoid web sites by the tens of millions and spend hundreds of millions or billions of hours on them every month. So what. It's all a big fad. Think hula hoops. Pet rocks. The macarena. The clock is ticking, and the 15 minutes is almost up.

Move along, move along, nothing to see here.

These are not the droids you're looking for.

Venture capitalists? All stupid, and unnecessary to boot. Everyone knows that you shouldn't need to raise more than $5.37 in loose change to start a new web business. I mean, c'mon.

Entrepreneurs? Smoking dope. What are they thinking? Why aren't they all working for Apple, helping to build a fatter Nano? What's wrong with them? Potsmoking, mussed-hair, rooftop party-going, trendy glasses-wearing, sandal-clad, Red Bull-snorting, laid-getting wankers, the lot of 'em. The sooner they realize the world never changes and there are no new opportunities to pursue, the better.

Facebook apps? Good God. So they spread virally to millions of users in a matter of weeks. Not worth anything. Everyone knows that. Can't possibly build a business. I mean, don't you realize what else can spread to millions of people in a matter of weeks? Do you want to catch any of those? I don't think so!

Call off the dogs.

It's all over.

Stick a fork in it.

It has ceased to be.

The metabolically-differenced lady has sung.

Right now this industry is just like Wile E. Coyote in the old Road Runner cartoons, ran out over the edge of the cliff, hanging in midair, gravity just about to kick in.

Think Acme servers.

Where's it all going from here?

Now that I've raised a monster Series C round for my own company, all other funding of all other startups will immediately cease. No new competitors to my company need be started. There's certainly no major opportunity in what we're doing; why go after your fair share of a $0 dollar market?

Further, now that my company is in a rapid viral growth loop, will all the users please stop using anything new that comes along. And while you're at it, stop using most everything else also, please. Cut it out with the fads already. Posthaste. Chop chop.

Venture capitalists, I don't think I need to tell you what to do. OK, I do. Hand back the money you've raised from LPs. Quickly. Quietly. OK, now step away. Don't make any sudden moves. Back out of the office park, slowly, slowly. Hey, look at the bright side -- carried interest finally getting taxed properly won't affect you anymore! And now you will have time to play 250 rounds of golf a year instead of just 225, and you can focus on getting your Porsche 911's retrofitted to run on ethanol.

All you other startups funded in the last three years? Punt. Now. Liquidate the company -- get whatever cash you can for the Aeron chairs and the foosball tables and the lava lamps and the RAID arrays and shut down now, hand the cash back to the investors, preferably on fire, and leave town, head down, in shame. All those young programmers and product managers can go get jobs in retail footwear where they belong.

You big companies -- you eBays, you Yahoos, you Googles, you Amazons? Yes, and you, Microsoft? Think the new new B2B -- back to boring. What's with all these new products? The world is confusing enough. Shut 'em down and let's go back to the good old days: Windows ME, Mac OS 9, dialup modems, and 640 megabytes ought to be enough for everyone. You're just screwing us all over with all this new fancy broadband video-enabled phone-call-making wifi web-based lightweight touch-interface gorgeous long-battery-life flimflam -- just look at how you keep dropping the damn prices. I knew I'd be better off not buying any of it, ever. The class action lawsuits are in the mail. And for God's sake, raise your dividends -- what, you think there's any growth left in this industry? Fools. When the great shareholder revolt comes, you'll be first up against the wall.

You wanton scribblers of what will now once again be referred to as the "press", as everyone suddenly goes back to reading the news on smudgy-inked paper -- start cranking up the I told you so stories. You know you've been wanting to tell 'em -- here's your big chance! Pulitzer is waiting.

The sooner we all get back to 2003, when the few surviving companies had huge giant markets all to themselves, with no competition anywhere in sight, because everyone knew the world had come to an end, the better.

I will accept your applause and gratitude in the form of immediate compliance.

Thank you.

Read more at Marc Andreessen's blog.

About the author

    Marc Andreessen is the chair of Opsware and cofounder of Ning, a consumer Internet company. He is best known as a cofounder of Netscape Communications Corporation and co-author of Mosaic, the first widely-used web browser. This is a repost of writings from his blog at blog.pmarca.com.

     

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