This time is different

I don’t read local Slovenian news a lot, but when I do, all I read is about austerity measures, economic decline and rising unemployment. From our local standpoint it is hard to grasp, that across the pond “the roaring nineties” are back and that we are once again witnessing wealth creation on a gigantic scale. Zemanta is an american company that only happens to have technical development in Slovenia, so at the moment we are very much thrilled by the opportunities present in the USA market, where companies with 13 engineers are worth 1B$ and Apple has enough money in his coffers to buy each of 20.000 square kilometers of Slovenia including all the buildings.

Ever since the Tulip mania in the 17th century, whenever there are prolonged times of rising economy, people start to claim that “this time is different” and that some fundamentals of economy such as technology, political conditions, or whatever has changed and that we have reached something that “looks like a permanently high plateau“. But as Shakespeare, Greek tragedians, and Epic of Gilgamesh have shown to us time and again human nature does not change and after every period of rapid growth, the crash is inevitable.

Thirteen years ago I was a passionate reader of BusinessWeek which was one of the premiere loudmouths of the first dotcom bubble. Everything comes to Slovenia with at least two years of delay so when I started to work on my first startup in the summer of 1999, our hopes were immediately squandered by the technology bubble burst of 2000. So while I don’t believe that the current economical boom in technology sector is any different than previous ones, I’m quite hopeful that “this time it will be different” at least for me. Zemanta has just celebrated its fifth birthday and in this five years we have discovered a business model that works and weathered some rough times. This makes me confident that we are ready to seize the opportunity that the current boom is offering to us.

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