A decade and a half after the dot-com bubble burst, the finally hit a new intraday high this past week, eclipsing its tech-bubble era levels for the first time. With fresh records, however, came fresh concerns that another bubble could be brewing in the tech sector.
And according to legendary tech investor Roger McNamee, a "giant bubble" is indeed forming in tech, but that's not necessarily a bad sign for the economy.
In an interview on CNBC's "Fast Money" this week, McNamee—who co-founded venture capital firm Elevation Partners—said the market is currently "climbing a wall of worry," and that it should see a correction.
"It's been seven years since the last correction," he said. "It now appears that it's likely to come from some source we're not thinking about."
Despite his anxiety over a potential correction and its unforeseen causes, the "giant bubble" forming in the tech market could actually end up being a "positive for the economy" on the whole, he said.
McNamee explained his provocative thesis by examining the tech companies that are currently attracting the most capital, and therefore inflating the bubble, in the private and public markets. According to him, those companies aren't built on "phony" fundamentals, but instead are the result of an industry transformed by the smartphone.
Indeed, mobile computing is creating sweeping change in many industries as varied as food delivery, retail and gaming. As a result, McNamee believes the current tech rally is built on a sturdier foundation than its predecessor.
"We've seen what Uber and Lyft are doing relative to transportation, what Airbnb is doing relative to lodging, what Fitbit is trying to do relative to wellness. Those are all very real business opportunities," he said.
Meanwhile, investors are rewarding those companies with an influx of capital. Airbnb is reportedly looking to raise a new round of financing at a $24 billion valuation. Uber could be valued at more double that amount, according to reports about its next funding round.
In the public market, activity tracking company Fitbit jumped 50 percent this week on the first day of its initial public offering.
McNamee said the problem for some tech investors is that many "have forgotten that markets are volatile, and that very few business opportunities grow straight to the sky." McNamee estimated that of the 125 Uber-like companies currently seeking funding, "most of those will probably work out poorly for the people putting the money up."
And while that could end up being an issue for early investors in some companies, McNamee said the new era of tech will prove to be a positive for the economy on the whole.
"We've built almost every great industry in America on the backs of a financial bubble. And the only people who get hurt from it are the speculators," he said. "The economy gets left with a new industry, and I think the same thing is going to happen here."