Back in January 2011, right after Goldman Sachs invested $450 million of its own capital in Facebook, I was asked to comment on this and other hot investment news for The Atlantic article called "Facebook, Twitter and Groupon: The Next Economy or the Next Tech Bubble? "
What I can say now is that after a truly grim decade of lackluster VC performance, venture funds are poised to generate better returns over the next 10 years. That's because social media investing is gaining traction as white-hot companies like Twitter and Facebook show they are truly successful businesses that have fundamental value and are capable of making money.
This fact is what's causing some to say, "There is no bubble, period." At least not now.
We're actually at the very early stages of massive and global business process re-engineering, driven in part by social media working its way into the enterprise at a rapid pace.
This new wave of re-tooling corporations and organizations is what's pushing both the need and the innovation for highly calibrated analytics companies, social CRM software, geo-location expansion, integrated gaming platforms for consumer brands, and extending 'couponing' into the B2B space, just to name a few.
Add to that Social TV and the revenue possibilities of combining Social Shopping and we're just scratching the surface of the innovation tsunami that is being unleashed. And funded. And traded on the secondary market.
Then there's this head-turning announcement. Yahoo just bought the company IntoNow for a price close to $20 million -- and Facebook and Twitter were also looking to buy the startup, according to TechCrunch. Users of IntoNow's iPhone app can "check-in" to TV programs the way Foursquare users "check-in" to restaurants and bars. Like iPhone app Shazam, which can listen to the a song that's playing and tell you its title, IntoNow listens to the TV show and identifies it.
IntoNow was just 12 weeks old.
And who needs an IPO event when the secondary markets are on fire? Announcements about a closed-end mutual fund to offer retail investors access to primary and secondary market trading of fast-growing private companies was made in Silicon Valley in January. Even 'big daddy' JPMorgan Chase announced plans for a new $1.2 billion dollar fund to invest in the hot social media sector, brimming with Internet companies like Facebook and Twitter.
This blazing hot social media sector is luring investors and sparking astounding, eye-popping innovation practically every day -- a good sign for consumers and businesses going forward.
Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit, Inc. and the co-author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She is a professional speaker and also teaches Executive Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org