Would A Greentech Bubble Be Such A Bad Thing?

from the maybe-not dept

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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Wyatt, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 8:13am

    Kewl

    It would be nice to see the same things happen in this area as happened in Silicon Valley. We could really use a new infusion of good ideas to help save the world from our stupidity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 8:17am

    Re: Kewl

    We could really use a new infusion of good ideas to help save the world from our stupidity.

    Its not stupidity that is causing us to consume resources faster than they can be replaced, it is overpopulation.

    The ONLY to solve that problem is to get rid of excess population. The good news is we only need to kill off about 70-80% of the population.

     

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  3.  
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    Alexander Fairley, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 8:30am

    Some other benefits to bubbles...

    Not only do bubbles let a lot of solutions be attempted quickly, the companies that fail tend to auction off all of their expensive capital equipment cheaply, allowing the initial investment to be rolled over into more capable hands...

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: Kewl

    "The good news is we only need to kill off about 70-80% of the population."

    Well, the Bushies are off to a good start on reaching that goal. I finally understand their strategy! :(

     

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  5.  
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    vin, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 9:06am

    lets start with people like anonymous coward

    overpopulation is certainly a problem, but clearly not the only problem. killing people, or even the slightly more humane Chinese policiy of forced abortions, obviously don't really work. There are many possible aspects to the solution, like a change in consumption patterns, efficiency technological breakthroughs, alternate energy sources, and an eventual reduction in population. There is still enough ecosystem left, that if we were to even just hold our level of ecological destruction at current levels, we would be OK for a little while, long enough to continue to innovate and change social persepctives on affluency, as is currently happening. the change to a smaller population can be a transition rather than a holocaust

     

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  6.  
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    Wyatt, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 9:11am

    LOL

    Yeah, no kidding. Killing all them Iraqis has got us off to a good start.

    There are plenty of ways to solve the problem. For instance, space travel. Build a ship to hold millions of people and send it off into space to look for another earth. Once there we can kill all the aliens and take the world. Bush can and will lead the way in that endeavor.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Kewl

    >>"We could really use a new infusion of good ideas to help save the world from our stupidity."

    >"Its not stupidity that is causing us to consume resources faster than they can be replaced, it is overpopulation."

    Can we instead use the term "disconnectedness?" Stupidity doesn't address the heart of the issue, which is that we have become poorly connected, and insulated from each other and what we're creating, particularly in the west.

    Reconnecting is important, and one promise of the net is not just downloading goat porn, but its facilitation of dialog.

    I fundamentally disagree that large numbers of people on this planet must be extinguished for the planet to thrive. We just cannot continue down the same path, pretending that we can grow our economy and use of resources forever.

    This recognition and reconnection will clearly will happen after the tipping point of destruction, at the latest. Can we help to avoid things getting that far before we wake up to the changes required?

    Look at reconnecting with each other, with your community, and with your planet. Pass it on!
    http://thegreatturning.net/

     

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  8.  
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    vin, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 9:40am

    overpopulation

    there is no doubt that there is a finite limit of the number of people that can exist sustainably in the world, as there is a finite amount of energy the Earth absorbs from the sun. there are other practical limits as well, and I really don't think that everyone hopping on the Internet and talking about things is going to solve actual problems of overconsumption or overpopulation. Reconnecting to nature and each other is great but the problem with that it is espoused by ridiculous hippies who can't seem to grasp actual problems. that does NOT mean I am advocating the holocaust solution as above, it just means that anyone who thinks they have the "one solution" is a retard

     

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  9.  
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    jerko, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Kewl

    Why don't you get the ball rolling for us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 9:51am

    Save yourself

    The earth doesn't need saving. It's quite capable
    of existing on its own and free of humans. It did
    so for a very long time and probably will again.

    Population is a self-limiting problem. Once the
    population is too large there is famine, disease and
    war.

    The environmental movement is human centric,
    trying to maintain the status quo. All the while
    denying that humans are a part of nature, not
    seperate from it. More adaptable than dinosaurs,
    perhaps.

    That said...

    I hate waste. If we could just reduce the wasteful
    consumption it would go a long way to improving
    the situation and maybe reducing the suffering.
    (Although I fear it is inevitable.) Waste is evil, doubly
    evil if it's done knowingly to prop up a sagging ego.

    I do what I can. I've a small efficient house and
    car that gets 50mpg. Frankly, I'd sick and tired of
    being chastized by failed politicians living in mansions
    and rock stars who own six private jets... both of
    whom stand to profit from the hysteria they foment.

     

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  11.  
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    uh no way, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 10:21am

    there is one solution

    continue the trend of gayification, will fix any population problem!

     

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  12.  
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    sp, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 10:23am

    southpark did it...

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 10:58am

    Re: lets start with people like anonymous coward

    Thats a ridiculous comment, population expansion is exponential, look at demographic transition data, there is no concievable way to plateau population expansion, furthermore, if you enter a period of population growth decline the world will have more older people than young, exacerbating the "aging population" problem. Honestly the best thing would be a disaster to wipe out alot of people, as long as Im not in it... ;)

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: lets start with people like anonymous cowa

    furthermore, if you enter a period of population growth decline the world will have more older people than young, exacerbating the "aging population" problem.

    Not if the population decline was the result of institutionalized geriatricide.

     

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  15.  
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    Wyatt, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: lets start with people like anonymous

    Bleh..

    "Hey guys, here’s the plan. We get all the old people in the world and string em up. They won’t mind, they lived long enough. Think of the children."

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 1:28pm

    Geriatricide

    Obviously it's time to redefine what it means to retire.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Charles Griswold, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 4:21pm

    Getting Rid of People

    There are a lot of people who are saying that the world would be better off with a lot fewer people. My take on this issue: OK, why don't those people commit mass suicide? Then the rest of us can see if that makes the world a better place.

    No? Yeah, I didn't think so. It's funny how said people usually blithely assume that they will be among the 10% (or less) of the population that is left after the troublesome masses die.

     

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  18.  
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    allan newman, May 2nd, 2007 @ 4:39pm

    overpopulation

    even if overpopulation is a problem, killing people isnt going to do anything. All the extra corpses would just lead to zombies and such.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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