In the technology world, no question comes up more frequently these days than—"Are we in a bubble?" And while it's not up to us at CNBC to answer that question, we do sometimes happen upon little nuggets—data, anecdotes, tweets and the occasional wild party that can possibly help others make their own assessments. When we do, we'll share them in a little column we're calling: "Bubble watch?"
On a recent afternoon, a fancy car rolled up outside one of the many co-working space cafes in downtown San Francisco to pick up a passenger. This wasn't just any ordinary fancy car. It was a 2014 Bentley Mulsanne, which—fully equipped with a champagne cooler, backseat picnic trays that double as WiFi-enabled iPad work stations and heated massage chairs—sells for about $400,000. And this wasn't your typical Bentley passenger. It was a tech reporter—this tech reporter.
Welcome to San Francisco in 2014. Some people have turned their own autos into taxis, others are working on driverless cars, and a precious few can afford to throw down the equivalent of a seed financing round on a Bentley. There's no shortage of freshly minted multimillionaires in the area, a result of blockbuster initial public offerings from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so the 95-year-old automaker has come to the right place.