While I’m not yet done “snorkeling in the swamp” -- Paul’s term for what covering the tech industry has become-- I can certainly think of more fun times to be a tech reporter.

I started covering tech in the dot com bubble when the possibilities seemed limitless. Even the downturn was at least fascinating to cover-- watching the winners and losers get sorted out, and all those MBA grads leave town. The best time to cover this industry was the rise of Web 2.0. On a macro level, few people believed the consumer Web was a viable strategy, and even fewer would invest in it. So the entrepreneurs in that era built things they felt should exist. It was as pure as this multi-billion dollar machine for creating companies has ever felt.

Then came the unicorn era, which was at least interesting because it was unlike anything in Valley history...