Front-page story in the New York Times today about the latest Internet bubble – and the debate over whether comparisons to the first dot-com bust are legit. With excerpts like this from the Times story, how could they not be?
Twitter, a company in San Francisco that lets users alert friends to what they are doing at any given moment over their mobile phones, recently raised an undisclosed amount of financing. Its co-founder and creative director, Biz Stone, says that the company was not currently focused on making money and that no one in the company was even working on how to do so. “At the moment, we’re focused on growing our network and our user experience,” he said. “When you have a lot of traffic, there’s always a clear business model.”
Build traffic and revenues will follow. Where have we heard that before? I remember interviewing Eric Schmidt sometime in the late ’90s. He was still running Novell at the time (still a couple of years from joining Google as CEO, which easily qualifies as Best Career Move Ever), and I asked him his thoughts on the then-bubble. “The thing about bubbles,” he said, “is they all burst eventually.”