Remember when Netscape went public in 1995, kicking off a torrent of investment in new Internet companies that lasted for five years? Well, now we’re waiting for another Netscape-caliber IPO: the first public stock offering by Facebook, which is expected to come sometime next year. The deal will no doubt value the company at tens of billions of dollars, or more, and make many, many people into multi-millionaires, if not billionaires.
Except this IPO will spell the end of the party, not the beginning. I’m convinced that the frothiness we’re seeing right now in Silicon Valley cannot last. And it won’t last, I believe, past the point at which Facebook finally sells shares to the public.