Kevin O'Connor Talks Tech Bubbles, Social Media Hype And More (VIDEO)
Wondering whether we're in the midst of another tech bubble?
Veteran entrepreneur Kevin O'Connor, who survived the dot-com collapse of the 1990s, suggests the warning signs won't come from the financial press or seasoned industry analysts; they'll come from the fashion magazines.
O'Connor, co-founder of DoubleClick, an Internet ad company Google purchased for $3.1 billion in 2007, and CEO of FindTheBest.com, recalls he grew concerned about a bubble when glossy magazines started asking startup CEOs for interviews and luxury hotel staffers could recognize him by sight. These were indications, he says, that members of the general public had become venture capitalists.
"I knew we were in trouble in 2000 when I was traveling in the airport and every magazine -- W, Cosmopolitan, you name it -- was all about the Internet," he said. "They were taking geeks and making them rockstars, and even taking goobers like me to lunch."
"I walked into the Four Seasons and the concierge knew me. He said he'd bought stock in my company," O'Connor added. "When people who shouldn't be speculating speculate, it's never good."
"I don't think it's anything quite like the last one. In the last one, you didn't have to have a real product or a real concept or any revenues to go public," he explained. "Now, the companies going public are real: They have substantial revenues, they're proven and there's clearly huge demand for this stuff."
However, there's a new social media movement O'Connor admits he just doesn't get: checking in using location-based services, such as Foursquare. He also calls social media marketing the most overhyped trend in tech.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, O'Connor shared his take on the qualities necessary to be a successful tech entrepreneur, the question he always asks a potential hire, what could cause a tech bubble and more. See his answers in the video above.