Want To Know If Another Tech Bubble Will Pop? Look To Sales Of Ping Pong Tables

May 4, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Zusha Elinson wondered if the key to understanding the short-term future of the tech industry was to look at sales of ping-pong tables:

  • For tech companies having ping-pong tables is a sign that they are a different and distinct place to work.
  • When companies struggle to find funding or are uncertain about their future, it makes sense that expenditures on the tables – which can be very expensive and have little resale value – fall.
  • The ping-pong table industry saw a 50% drop in sales in Q1 2016. Over the same quarter startup funding decreased by 25%.
  • Until 2014 Twitter was a big purchaser of ping-pong tables. Since then the company has run into financial trouble.
  • Intel stopped buying the tables last year. Last month 12,000 employees were laid off.
  • No one really remembers when perennially crisis-ridden Yahoo last purchased a ping-pong table.
  • Google, on the other hand, which saw an increase in profits in the latest quarter, recently made a big order for them.
  • The tables will probably only work as a financial indicator in the short-term. During the previous tech-bubble it was pool, not ping-pong tables, that startups kept around for their employees.
  • They seem to have realized, however, that not only are ping-pong tables cheaper, they can also double as meeting tables in a pinch.

Read what ping-pong table manufacturers think about all this, and other details here.

Source: The Wall Street Journal