Dotcom bubbles, plural

First consider this bubble which one would have thought was a salutary lesson:

What I take away from that is that there were many impractical people who could talk the talk like a Carly Fiorina or Elizabeth Holmes and they were in vogue at that time, so people who maybe should not have invested … did.

We’ve all seen bubbles. One mini-bubble I was able to observe close up was in Western Australia in the Christmas to New Year period 1986 to 1987, in Fremantle:

The record shows the races were later than our visit, so we must have watched the challenger series. Fremantle, a very rough working class town with much violence, had been tarted up and the police presence was phenomenal, keeping the locals away from the action, especially in parks and gardens. I think this was the first time in my life I’d really seen a state-supported unreality at first hand.

Those were the Bob Hawke Labor days and the one talking the talk was Alan Bond.

You’ll see Millionaire’s Row there, where hyperinflated house and condo prices were the rule and it was thus up and down the coast – Sun City was another built on spec, not solely on the basis of the America’s Cup but there was a correlation.

Pretty area south of there, the wine area and so on, it stood on its own merits, but Freo was not exactly the most salubrious, except as a port.  It may have been all right had the Cup been won but it never even looked like it would be.

Yet the partying went on feverishly into the night, I met all sorts in that balmy, sundrenched dock area, we got into one of the American team parties and the booze flowed.  There was a lot of BS spoken by many people.

$AUD80 it cost to go out on one of the spectator boats to see the yachts at a distance, my mate would not pay that, I did once before prices tumbled to about $20.  Everything was on spec, all predicated on one tiny little detail – Australia winning.

As with the climate scam, AI and self-driving vehicles, there’s an awful lot of unreality going on:

From what I can gather, young nerdy types, essentially lefty ‘ideas people’ with little through-skill, less business acumen and a lot of hype, convinced people through risibly named crowdfunding and/or finding investors to fuel ideas, especially app making, which explains the maniacal pressure put on customers to ‘get the app’, which I steadfastly resist afap.  How many others resist an app for security reasons?

There’s unfortunately this horrible reality thing and the ability to do something in one market does not translate into another, plus times change and a ‘bubble atmosphere’ can quickly have people abandoning ideas for harsh reality, including investors. In this one:

… what seemed a going concern, based on the hype, struck that reality barrier again:

A skeleton crew remains at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco as Starsky co-founders Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, chief executive officer, and Kartik Tiwari, chief technology officer, continue to seek a buyer for the four-year startup.

Part of that is the competition and where investors see the return as coming from but a major factor is those who ‘talk the talk’ and in a different climate, fail to convince.

Not exactly the same thing but in Russia, the reality bubble I lived in where I was in high demand within a local republic – and that did not diminish over the journey – was not the same reality envisioned in Moscow and the two Russian entities eventually clashed, with things going historically.

That is – within a normal society of the time, it might have been ok, there was always such work for me but behind the scenes, there was a constant cold war going on between various republics and Moscow’s desire to teach uppity republics some realities – foreigners just got caught up in it.

The influence of my parents, practical people, was that I wasn’t particularly starry eyed but when things started going swimmingly for some time and there was much goodwill, little things like Moscow’s reasserting control were not foremost as a factor in my future planning, yet it had the department I worked in dissolved within one year and the heads reassigned to the state university – things like that.

The AI and self-drive things are so intrinsically flawed anyway, plus we’re coming into a time of reckoning – 2020 – and a lot of nervous people means things will fold when in better times they might not have.  You’d really only invest in a tried and tested sure bet these days, not in ‘ideas people’ with the gift of the gab.

[H/T Chuckles]

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