Whether you’re on Team Andreessen, who held that we weren’t in a tech bubble at the AllThingsD conference, or the now revised Team Arrington (“All signs point to a real bubble, probably starting later this year when a lot more companies start to go public.”), there’s no denying post Groupon S-1 drop that we’re in a bubble of people talking about whether or not we’re in a tech bubble.
Hence Venture Crapital, an HTML5 game built at TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon by Dmitri Cherniak, Adrian Sanders, Wylie Conlon and Chris Bliss. The game, whose creators mostly work at startups themselves, lets you role play an early-stage VC with millions in your piggybank to throw at startups based on TechCrunch headlines. The goal is to sell before each bubble pops, making a return so you can throw more money. You know, sort of like a real life investor.
The most impressive part of the game is that it actual company information from Crunchbase. Creator Dmitri Cherniak explains the game mechanics behind it:
“Basically the small companies start off with a small radius, but have a fast growth rate because they are super agile. If you invest in them early, you’ll get better returns. The ones that turn green mean they are growing, the ones that are red, are slowing down their growth and you’ll start to lose money.
Once you have money invested, it shows you the total amount you have vested in that company. If you click on a bubble you’ve invested in, you get back all that money. But if it is gets too big, it’ll pop and you’ll lose it all. If a lot of them start to pop, then a whole bunch more will pop too, like a real bubble.
Each time you throw you invest a half million. If you miss a bubble, you lose that money. That’s part of the game element. If you run out of money, you have to start over. The banner at the bottom generates news stories, which affect how the bubbles grow too. Bad news means bad growth, Good news means good news for the company its about.”
Brilliant. Also: You can watch the team tell me that their closest competitor is eBay below and follow them for updates at @VentureCrap.