If you're worried that we're in another tech bubble — and there is some evidence we are — then this chart might scare the pants off you. (It's from Biriny Associates via Mashable.)
Those blue bars, indicating the total value of tech IPOs, seem to show an identical pattern happening today as happened 12 years ago. A massive peak, in 1999/2012, followed by a sharp decline in 2000/2013.
If you were born prior to 1980, then the first tech bubble — the so-called dot-com boom — is viscerally seared into your inner lizard brain: it was a terrifying period in which the economy collapsed seemingly overnight, all because Silicon Valley entrepreneurs peddled companies with no revenue (but lots of users!) into the IPO markets. The period was rounded out by the fall of the World Trade Center towers in a terrorist attack.
No one wants to go back there.
And, if you look closely at the chart, it appears we are not actually headed back there. That's because the blue bars are not as important on this chart as the green arrows are. The blue bars measure dollar volume. The green arrows measure total count of IPOs. In 2000, 200 tech companies went public.
In 2013, only 1/10th of that number have staged an IPO.
That does not look like a tech bubble.
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