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Bill Gurley at the 2013 GeekWire Summit. (Photo by Eugene Hsu)
Bill Gurley at the 2013 GeekWire Summit. (Photo by Eugene Hsu)

It’s been a tough week to be a technology investor, as virtually every giant across the industry has taken a hit.

Netflix has fallen 13 percent over the past five days, Facebook 6.2 percent and Twitter more than 10 percent, dipping below its IPO price. Even at the top of the chain, the indomitable Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Google are all down.

For at least one tech investing guru, this seems to bring back painful memories of past collapses.

Bill Gurley, one of the Silicon Valley’s most prolific investors, a backer of companies including Uber and Snapchat, has been sounding alarms for a while now. As venture capital money pours in and startup valuations soar impossibly high, he’s pretty certain another tech crash is coming.

And yesterday, he said via Twitter this may be remembered as an “inflection point” when investors began looking at startups differently.

For years, investors have been willing to pump money into companies that are able to show growth, even if they’re not showing profits. According to data from KPMG and CB Insights, U.S. venture funding peaked just over $56 billion in 2014. In 2015, it’s on pace to pass $70 billion.

Credit: KPMG and CB Insights
Credit: KPMG and CB Insights

But Gurley says that could be about to change, and not everyone will be ready for the new reality.

Certainly, his doomsday outlook isn’t shared across the industry. Even the question of whether we’re in a bubble at all is up for debate.

But just having someone like Gurley paint the picture of what could happen if this week’s dip turns into something more is enough to send shivers down the industry’s back.

Anyone who was around tech when the last big bubble burst has a war story to tell. Whether it’s all the Microsoft shareholders who saw their holdings cut in half around 2000, or Concur, the $8.3 billion software giant that was left just fighting to stay alive.

Gurley’s messages went out to the new generation of entrepreneurs who may not remember the last time.

Here’s his Twitter rant in its entirety:


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