Friday, May 20, 2011

Don't Call it a Comeback!

Yesterday on Wall Street, online business networking site LinkedIn's initial public offering met with a frenzied level of success not seen since Google went public seven years ago. Shares that were initially valued at $45 one point went all the way up to $122.70 before finally closing at $94.25. By the time the final bell was rung at the end of the day the company was valued at $9 billion.

The runaway market success of the popular website that allows professionals to post resumes and network with one another, has some analysts harkening back to those halycon days of the late 1990s. A decade or more ago, Internet IPOs regularly made billions for companies whose business plans seemed to mainly consisted of having acquired venture capital.

With other Internet sensations such as Twitter, Zynga and Facebook yet to go public there is among some, the impending feeling that we are on the verge of another tech industry boom. And you know what? They might be right.

With Amazon e-books now outselling print editions and hundreds of thousand of jobs being created in the Silicon Valley it does appear that there is some wind blowing in the sails of the good ship technology again.

But as we know from the sporting world, some comebacks succeed, while others. . . Well remember Sugar Ray Leonard's 1997 comeback bout against Hector Camacho in Atlantic City? Just have a look at the photo on the left and you can see how well that one went.

The question we will all have to wait to learn the answer to, is whether the industry has taken heed of some of the hard lessons learned last time around when the bubble burst.

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