That captures the general climate of AlwaysOn's Venture Summit West at the posh Pacific-facing Ritz Carlton here in Half Moon Bay.
Several panelists, including Benchmark Capital partner Bill Gurley, Tim Draper of Draper, Fisher, Jurvetson, Angel Investors' founder Ron Conway and Sun Microsystems co-founder and serial entrepreneur Andy Bechtolscheim, acknowledged there may be a bubble yet that doesn't mean some investments won't pay off.
"What leads us to the question 's there a Bubble 2.0 is the question, is there a business model?" noted Samir Arora, venture capitalist and executive, adding this is not being asked enough recently.
Tim Draper noted the requirements of Sarbanes Oxley have made it far more difficult for companies to go public in a timely manner, in the five to seven years that used to be routine. Because it costs $3 million or so to fulfill the regulatory requirements now, many companies will take a decade or more to reach their IPO benchmarks.
In a separate panel, Bill Gurley said some of the current flock of companies are doing very well by most any standards, thank you very much. His example, Second Life, the parallel world company on whose board he sits. Linden Labs, the Second Life company, is bringing $5 million a month in revenue, has a user base that's two-thirds international and one-third U.S., and fully 43% of its members make a profit net of fees on their Second Life commerce.
Andy Bechtolsheim said the quality of the business idea, followed by the quality of the team, were prime investment considerations for any investment; and Conway said only time would how much the current trend of investing may be a bubble.
But that doesn't mean investors and entrepreneurs must not heed the risks of a potential bubble meltdown.
After all, one of the famous bumper stickers seen shortly after the Internet Crash in Palo Alto, at the center of Silicon Valley's startup community, was "Lord, please give me just one more bubble."
This time, presumably, we'll be all the wiser. Right.>