There's plenty of blame to go around! I have been a "quit your job!" evangelist. I have hustled entrepreneurism in magazines; we even run a quit yer job column right here (and there's a good interview coming later today!). I have a great rationale for this position: it is that working conditions have turned to a state of serious suck over the last decade and many employers have demonstrated that they don't give a flying fig about workers, and the only way to even consider retirement in the future is either on your own dime or on the streets.
So yes, do it! And but also… The air in this bubble isn't being recycled very well. The biosphere is a little stinky! No offense to a smart little idea, but LaunchRock is what did me in, and now the NYC Startup Bus is driving over my soul on its way to SXSW.
LaunchRock is a startup that services startups with a jazzy signup-for-beta-invite page and… no, wait, that's it! LaunchRock is incredibly useful, in that you can keep track of all the startups that are about to startup! Like Elephant. What could it be? WHO KNOWS, let's sign up. I hope it's for dream journalling! Social networked dream journalling, man, I would almost pay money for that.
And if you're not glued to the live updates from the Startup Bus that is on its way to Austin, you are missing out. They are starting startups on the startup bus! It's been a tough morning, clearly:
8:57 a.m. — Buspreneurs are pitching their startup ideas, and other buspreneurs are trying to shoot them down. "The whole bar trivia thing isn't really monetized yet."
You know what I wish someone would start-up for me? A widget that would autorefresh that page in a window every 10 minutes so that I don't miss a single absurd word.
There's still good news about the bubble. Like, all my friends are going to get insane money to run their companies. Let's hope some of them show a return! There's going to be nothing sadder than a bunch of 34-year-olds that have given up and been worn down, wearing their kryptonite neck-irons of expansive bubble burn-rate in the isolation of their grey office cubicles.
Let's hope they remember the fun of the crazy times! We're living in a world where venture capitalists have the time to write blog posts about how to write email subject lines that will get them to open your email due to them not having any time.
Even the most zealous haven't forgotten that something killed the dinosaurs, is what the people who are down on this fun little segment of upturn say. Terrorism, swine flu 2.0, war, a derivatives market disaster, the elimination of government-run services, President Palin, something something China, all the palladium gets mined, Google gets MySpaced—who can tell in advance? The fun thing about our modern age is that the meteor is always already about to hit the roof of the bubble, it's just not identifiable until afterwards (hello, Nevada's housing market!), when we're picking up the pieces and working at Walgreen's.
Or you know what else might happen? Nothing! People might just keep making money in one company out of eight or whatever, and everything just shuffles along. The free market, baby.
All that being said, I bet if you wanted to put a little money into a smart and successful editorial company, drop me an email, I bet we could work something out. Couldn't we? While the incubators and angels are awesome—low-cost, high-adventure quotient, great schemes—the real future of startups isn't investment money. It's very little money, because the person with the big checkbook actually almost always turns out to be your boss.