Is Silicon Valley Funding the Wrong Stuff?

Social networks that allow you to send only the message “Yo” to your contacts. Food-delivery services valued at $400 million. Startups that deliver rolls of quarters to your home (just $27 for $20 in change!).

It isn’t hard, looking at a lineup like this, to conclude that Silicon Valley has jumped the shark. The entire Bay Area appears to have given up on solving anything but its own problems: those afflicting the same 20-somethings who are building these startups.

That’s a pretty cynical take on what’s going on in technology. And what about Google or Facebook or Uber, all of which have transformed or probably will transform entire industries?

But, to my surprise, the partners of one Silicon Valley venture-capital firm made the very same case to me: That their kind had lost its way—and, in the world of startups, money wasn’t flowing where it should anymore.

“Do you believe there is more innovation today than 20 years ago?” asks Yatin Mundkur, a partner at Artiman, in Palo Alto, Calif.

Mr. Mundkur doesn’t mean innovation in the areas of same-day delivery or “anonymish” social networks that seem to have more novelty value than staying power. Both of those categories are red-hot right now.

Related Posts

  • 53
    Tags: money, facebook
  • 48
    Will people get troubles with Google Glass ? On Friday night, I was assaulted while walking down the sidewalk in the Mission District of San Francisco. A colleague and I had just finished covering a march in protest of a Google employee who had recently evicted several tenants after buying…
    Tags: google, area, wrong, will
  • 47
    Onstage at TED2014, Charlie Rose interviews Google CEO Larry Page about his far-off vision for the company. It includes aerial bikeways and internet balloons … and then it gets even more interesting, as Page talks through the company’s recent acquisition of Deep Mind, an AI that is learning some surprising…
    Tags: going, google
  • 46
    When Gabriel Weinberg launched a search engine in 2008, plenty of people thought he was insane. How could DuckDuckGo, a tiny, Philadelphia-based startup, go up against Google? One way, he wagered, was by respecting user privacy. Six years later, we're living in the post-Snowden era, and the idea doesn't seem…
    Tags: years, google