US VC guru John Doerr has publicly apologised for labelling the internet "the largest legal creation of wealth in the history of the planet" - and thus helping to spark the dotcom's boom-and-bust gold rush.
Doerr, the partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who backed Netscape and Amazon, now believes the remarks may have helped trigger the get-rich-quick credo of internet startups.
"I'm here today with something of an apology," he told a gathering of congressional Democrats and technology industry leaders meeting in San Francisco over the weekend.
By billing wealth over innovation, Doerr says, his oft-repeated quote helped fuel the dotcom frenzy instead of providing the painstaking care and nurture of fledgling technology that would have better served the industry.
He also thinks the present downturn won't ease for another 12 months.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Doerr predicted the technology recession that has spread to Europe and Asia and could spark a broad-based recession throughout the general economy.
He contended that companies are overreacting to bad economic news, and, partly as a result, he doesn't expect a turnaround until "the middle of 2002 with a lot of pain between now and then".
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