It seems that a slow-down in ping-pong table sales in Silicon Valley is now being viewed as the latest indicator of a general slow-down in the market.
No doubt the peak of the cycle is now behind us but that's no bad thing. Cycles are by their very nature....err... cyclical. As the steam comes out of the market there will be less competition and noise, and more of an open field for serious companies to grow. That probably means less time for ping-pong.
I remember the original dot-com bubble when foosball was the pastime of choice. When the bubble burst the foosball tables did not last long, having become symbols of a bubble-culture where 'success' had got just a bit too easy.
I wonder what will be next? Maybe darts?
Is the tech bubble popping? Ping pong offers an answer, and the tables are turning. “Last year, the first quarter was hot” for tables, says Mr. Ng, who thinks sales track the tech economy. Now “there’s a general slowdown.” In the first quarter of 2016, his table sales to companies fell 50% from the prior quarter. In that period, U.S. startup funding dropped 25%, says Dow Jones VentureSource, which tracks venture financing. The table-tennis indicator is a peek into Silicon Valley culture, in which the right to play ping pong on the job is sacrosanct. “If you don’t have a ping-pong table, you’re not a tech company,” says Sunil Rajasekar, chief technology officer at Lithium Technologies, a San Francisco software startup.