We have shared a curious observation for a few years now. When the leading company in the hottest sector goes public, it usually marks an important inflection point.
The AOL Time Warner merger in 2000, still the largest ever, culminated in the dotcom bust; the Blackstone IPO in 2007 presaged the Great Recession; and Glencore’s 2011 listing marked the peak in the commodity super-cycle. As a rule, insiders sell at the top.
By this reckoning, we believed Uber’s IPO, the most highly valued US startup, would kick off Silicon Valley’s endgame. “The longer Uber stays private,” we wrote in June 2016, “the longer the length of this bull market.”
Uber went public on May 10, 2019. Then its shares quickly fell over 40 percent. WeWork’s listing was pulled. A fair few unicorn valuations cratered. For a time, it appeared Silicon Valley’s party was ending. Our call captured imagination, but we were wrong.
The Nasdaq kept rallying, gaining 26 percent by the time the pand