Is the Nasdaq leading startups into trouble?
New York-based venture capitalist Fred Wilson is worried: "The Nasdaq is down 9% for the year. Inflation is up. Growth is down. Stagflation is looming," he writes on his blog, A VC in NYC. He then ticks off several other signs of a fragile economy before noting that the venture-capital market is "white hot." Not only are startups getting valued more highly in venture deals, but more venture capital funds are being formed and raising larger amounts of money. Wilson's conclusion: "This can last for a while, but not forever."

His question has kicked off a debate among his readers over the true relationship between the Nasdaq and venture capital. The academic answer, according to a paper published in the Yale School of Management is that there has been a "significant correlation" between the two. Perhaps there's a reason for Wilson's observation that the two have become disconnected -- the study observed venture capital returns from 1987 to 1999, the period of tech's last big bubble. And most of Wilson's readers feel that today's profit-conscious Internet rally is different from the "greed bubble" of the late '90s. "The fact that investors this time 'round are maintaining a laser-sharp focus on monetization makes a burst less likely," writes one optimist. This calls out for fresh studies.

Is tech heading for trouble -- or are things really different this time? Leave a comment below.
Posted by Oliver Ryan 5:59 PM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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