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.
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