In the twelve months running up to Facebook’s IPO there was a big debate about whether or not the tech industry was in another bubble.After Facebook, Groupon, and Zynga all crashed, it sure seemed like that theory was validated. After all, their valuations got inflated and then very quickly deflated.
Marc Andreessen, whose venture firm Andreessen Horowitz helped contribute to the inflation of the so-called tech bubble, insists there was no tech bubble. Speaking at the DealBook conference, Andreessen said it’s actually the opposite. He thinks we’re in a tech depression.
Just because three or four tech companies went public and then crashed doesn’t mean we were or are in a tech bubble, says Andreessen, who is a board member at Facebook.
In fact, if you look at the valuations of tech companies as a whole, they are ridiculously, low says Andreessen. Citing Google, he said the search business has something like a 10 PE, and investors are implying that Android, YouTube, and Chrome have zero value.
He says the valuations of tech companies are like steel mills that are about to go out of business.
He believes there is still a hang over from the 2000 tech bubble. He thinks the public still doesn’t trust tech companies. “That’s what we’re fighting in the Valley,” says Andreessen. “No one believes, no one wants to believe.” That’s why he’s encouraging companies to delay their IPOs for as long as possible.