Chadwick Matlin has been contributing some great coverage of the local start-up scene to outlets like Fortune and Bloomberg, but his recent piece on the alternative Silicon Alley job fair is the kind of blithe bubble talk that does nobody any good.
“To review: that’s two job fairs in three months, featuring nearly 200 startups combined, all of them looking to hire 3,000 miles away from Silicon Valley. It is time to stop looking for indicators of a tech bubble. We’re not going to get one better than that.”
Two events in a city of eight million people attracting a total of maybe 2,000 candidates. The boy who cried bubble is going to have to do better than that.
For some reason Matlin finds it telling the engineers were in demand at the event, while MBA’s were not. “Marketing and business development gigs were harder to come by, suggesting a scene flooded with early-stage companies that had no use for those pesky employees who actually figure out how to make money.”
Start-ups aren’t looking for biz dev types because their is a surfeit of them. Good coders, on the other hand, are hard to come by. And great engineering matched with a smart product is going to lead to a lasting business more often than a web app with a slick marketing team.
Right now almost all the money pouring into these early stage start-ups comes from angel investors and venture capital firms. It’s their job to back ideas, take risks and fail often. That’s the model that gave us Intel, Google and Facebook. Until we start seeing companies wooing engineers with the promise of a quick IPO, it’s a facile fallacy to compare today’s tech sector with it’s dot-com ancestor.