For the last few weeks I’ve been inundated with news stories in my Twitter feed about a new app, Yo. I like to be on the cutting edge of technology and finally gave in a clicked on a story about this amazing app. What I found both amused and frightened me. I can sum of the app succinctly, with a single touch you can send someone the word “Yo.” Stephen Colbert does a great job explaining this stunning new technology:
As underwhelming as this concept sounds, the company is being heralded as the future by some, including a columnist for Forbes who says:
Forbes’s Anthony Wing Kosner believes the app has huge potential. “If a ‘Yo’ could also contain a link, the impact would be huge” Kosner says.
He adds: “Consider the meaning of a ‘yo’ with a map location, with a web address, with a song or a YouTube video? The ability to shout out the immediate context is what Twitter is supposed to be for, but who wants to bother crafting 140 characters anymore?”
While not huge, the company has raised $1 million to further develop the app.
In my opinion Yo is among the dumbest things I’ve heard since the height of the last tech bubble, anyone remember Pets.com (by the way, pets.com wasn’t actually a terrible idea)? If Yo is a proxy for the caliber of company getting funded today, we are in trouble. Tech Boom 2.0 will surely end in Tech Bust 2.0.
I do think that this tech boom is different, but it has parallels to the last one (Uber with an $18 billion valuation?). There is no doubt that there are legit companies creating real value and that I have no doubt will be around a decade from now, but it does feel like we are hitting the froth stage of this market. With that said, the froth stage can last longer than anyone thinks (remember the relentless tech stocks of the late nineties?).
Yo is most certainly a fad and a company that will not be around (at least in its present form) in a few years, but does Yo represent the beginning of the end of this second great tech boom?
Only time will tell and I’m not rooting for any bust in tech – it’s my favorite pastime!
Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MPAS, AIF