Niklas Zennström: Why Undervaluation Is the Bigger Problem

Whenever the tech bubble question comes up, as it does with regularity, it sparks a debate about the definition of a bubble, or what qualifies as overvaluation. When I hear this debate, I focus less on the word “bubble” and more on the word “we.” Are we talking about the full sweep of the global technology industry, or about an important but highly specific subsection in Silicon Valley?

This is in part because of my own natural bias. As a Swede who co-founded Skype and is an investor at Atomico helping companies outside Silicon Valley to scale, I have always felt that more attention should be paid to entrepreneurs from places like Stockholm, Shanghai and São Paolo who are taking on and disrupting huge global industries.

But leaving my personal feelings aside, it’s also a serious point that has ramifications across the world for entrepreneurs, investors and governments alike. In contrast to the debate about overvaluation in Silicon Valley, until the past few years the problem elsewhere has been precisely the opposite — undervaluation.

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