Paul Kedrosky highlights a key point all the way at the end of an article in the new business magazine, Portfolio, about the the growing interest from venture capital investors in "green tech" or "clean tech." What Kedrosky notes is Kleiner Perkins partner Ray Lane saying he expects there to eventually be a "bubble" in the space, as too much money starts chasing deals. Lane notes that a bubble can be bad for late investors, but usually works out for early investors. However, he misses the more important point about what bubbles mean for everyone else. As we've noted in the past, while bubbles may be bad for investors who pick the wrong players, overall, they can be very good for innovation. That's because investment bubbles allow for an awful lot of excess cash to be thrown at a large variety of attempts to innovate in a certain area. In other words, they allow a lot of ideas to be tried in a very short period of time to see what sticks. Obviously, lots of them will fail, but a few key ideas tend to survive and make it through. That's competition at its best -- and the net result is that some really innovative ideas are developed, tested and proved (or disproved) very quickly. While it may not work out for some of the investors in the space, the net result in terms of innovation can be quite beneficial.
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