Caroline McCarthy of CNET listened to IAC founder and Chairman Barry Diller speak at South by Southwest on Monday. She says Diller provided “a bit of blunt, curmudgeonly insight for a conference best-known as a hub of the young, wide-eyed, and exuberant.”
Diller was asked on stage about the presence of a tech bubble.
“Well, we’re puffing it up pretty nicely,” Diller said, calling the multibillion-dollar valuations of companies with high user engagement but unproven long-term revenue “mathematically insane.” But maybe that’s just how it works: “And the thing is, money chases things, and in this world right now the most interesting place in the world to be is in the invention of things, and the reason for that is that it’s now possible.” He mentioned recent revolutions in online video and mobile technology, among other things. “The fact that money chases it isn’t really that interesting. What is interesting is how much sheer invention is going on. The result of it is that valuations, for a period of time, get absurd.”
He had more to say: “All the money that’s going to be lost is money that can be lost by people who can lose money, so who cares?”
CNN/Money has video footage of Diller’s talk, if you’d like to hear his inflections and the crowd response.