Even the NYTimes believes they must stop believing.
SAN FRANCISCO — Another couple of days like this and the great tech bubble of 2012 might recede into history. Several companies that were supposed to be the foundation of a new Internet era plummeted this week as analysts and investors downgraded their dreams. There were instant echoes of the crash of 2000, when the money stopped flowing, the dot-coms crumbled and Silicon Valley devolved into recriminations and lawsuits.
Social Media presented themselves persuasively as agents of persuasion and their inventors sold sand to the Sauds and ice to the Aleuts, most amazingly, persuasion to persuaders. As the Times notes:
The issues facing each tumbling company are slightly different. But they all have the problem of selling something — imaginary tractors, Internet films, discount deals or, in Facebook’s case, someone “liking” a product — that is not quite real and perhaps less than essential.
“. . . not quite real and perhaps less than essential.”
Persuaders typically try to move Other Guys to TACTs that are sometimes Not Quite Real and almost always something Less Than Essential, but this might be the first time in civilization that somebody sold something Not Quite Real to the mavens who played the Not Quite Real Box and Plays on the great unwashed mass of Other Guys. Skinning the skinners. Tricking the magicians.
Man. This is persuasion High Art.