Every time I come to San Francisco, I always count the number of billboards on highway 101 advertising pure-play .com companies. I use it as a straw poll to measure if we’re in a bubble or not. In 1999-2000, billboards were the way to advertise your new Internet company, almost like a vanity play. Yesterday night, driving from SFO to downtown San Francisco, I saw many telco and hardware manufacturer billboards but I only saw one from a pure-play: video search engine Blinkx.com.
Update: the New York Times talks about a related topic, “Silicon Valley Start-Ups Awash in Dollars, Again“, this morning.