Albert Qian
October 30, 2014

Curatti Social Media Recap 2014: #8 – The Bubble Begins to Show

We’re in the final quarter of 2014, which means there are less than 90 days until the New Year and the celebration of a new year on its way. 2014 has been yet another banner yearfor social media, digital marketing, and the era of curation as the companies surrounding the trend make waves. For the next 10 weeks, we’ll be counting down the events of the year and looking at how each of these events presents a key and critical takeaway for what matters in marketing, and more. Today we move into #8 and the re-emergence of a new kind of bubble. 

Famed philosopher, essayist, and poet George Santayana’s quote “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it” is an axiom that is repeated ad nauseum in every spectrum of the world. Humans after all are infallible and the course of civilization has been written with a constant of patterns marked primarily by cycles. Each cycle begins with renewed hope, a boom, and is followed by a bust, catching analysts in its wake who wonder what could have happened in order for the calamity of lost jobs, empty office buildings, and lower purchasing power to be avoided.

As we hit the fifth year since the Great Recession, the economy is showing signs of booming again, and in the digital marketing and high tech space, boom is an understatement with a shortage of STEM workers creating a worldwide call for technical talent and non-profits urging school districts on all levels to begin the teaching of programming, digital marketing, big data, and more. On the talent side, demand is hot, but on the supply side, the types of companies coming to fruition are just as hot, if not hotter and downright interesting. Apps such as Secret (Anonymous sharing between connections) or Yo (simply sending “Yo” to your friends, an app that began as a joke but later raised $1.5 million dollars) have littered the headlines this year marking a renewed interest in technology as well as worries that Silicon Valley and the tech community are on the heels of yet another tech bubble similar to 1999.

2505079988_efced6fde1-1The bubble however, is not only in the technologies appearing, but also in the personality of the Valley. It’s known that San Francisco is now one of the most expensive places to live in the world due to the tech boom, and previously well-off folks now struggle to get by in a city that becoming more and more gentrified every month. Ride-sharing company Uber is facing allegations of sexual assaults from riders while Netscape investor and now venture capitalist Marc Andreessen is now sounding off on Twitter about the egregious burn rates at startups – suggesting that boom times are back and that the most accessible venture capital in history is being taken advantage of to rates that might not make much business sense.

The Curatti Takeaway

No man is an island, and for your business, what happens around the world does impact you. In the Silicon Valley ecosystem, a company burning its money should be worrisome because it suggests that we could be in yet another pattern of boom and bust. As adopters of technology specifically for business, it is important to remember how technology evolves, adapts, changes, and shapes our day-to-day work, and what might be gone tomorrow due to economic reasons or simple human foolishness. This will definitely be something to watch for 2015, so hold on tight — this ride could be just beginning.


Image attribution: “1963… lady, bubble, river – Melvin Sokolovsky” by James Vaughan. Creative Commons.

Photo Clinique via Flickr