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Dot-Com Craze Peaked 10 Years Ago This Week

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the irrational-exuberance dept.

Businesses 192

netbuzz writes "When the NASDAQ stock index hit its all-time high of 5,133 on March 10, 2000, it had more than doubled in a year and the dot-com bubble was already leaking in a big way. A week later the NASDAQ had fallen 9 percent. A year later it was below 2000. Gone were such poster children of the era as Pets.com, Kozmo, and — who could forget? — Whoopi Goldberg's Flooz. Here's a look back."

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I'm just waiting on this .info thing to peak (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419358)

GoDaddy said these .info domains were the future! And they let me have one for the low low price of $1.99!

Re:I'm just waiting on this .info thing to peak (1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419752)

Feh. GoDaddy has horrible tech support, and just offer a generally shoddy product. I use Proud Domains [prouddomains.com] , and have been super happy with the service they provide. I would recommend them to anyone looking for hosting.

Re:I'm just waiting on this .info thing to peak (2, Informative)

thzinc (679235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420346)

Just for your information, Proud Domains is using Wild West Domains, a sister company of GoDaddy [godaddy.com] , to register and manage your domains. Granted, the support you're getting is likely from people employed by or running Proud, but the actual product is still a GoDaddy-managed item. IAAWWDR (Wild West Domains Reseller)

Re:I'm just waiting on this .info thing to peak (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420478)

It's possible that I just caught them at a bad time, but I had a horrible experience when I went straight through GoDaddy. Issues with my website randomly being unavailable, FTP problems, database crashes...I don't know what was going on, but since I went through Proud Domains I haven't had a single problem ::knock on wood::. Not sure if it's because it is handled by different people or what, but I haven't had the problems I did when I was registered directly through GoDaddy.

Re:I'm just waiting on this .info thing to peak (4, Interesting)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420514)

This is the funniest post I've seen in a while.

Proud Domains is a reseller. Your real registrar is Wild West Domains. Which does not exist as a separate physical entity from GoDaddy.com (just a separate corporate entity).

What's funnier is that the support number on Proud Domains is a 480 number, which probably takes you straight to GoDaddy's support team. Except they're not allowed to say they're GoDaddy when providing you with support if you call into that number.

I know because I've been on the other end of that support line.

I'm glad you're super happy with the support they provide and their non-shoddy products. But you are using GoDaddy.

So does anyone want to buy (2, Funny)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419374)

15,000 Flooz notes? Going cheap! I'll trade for a pets.com sock-puppet...

Re:So does anyone want to buy (2, Funny)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419552)

Sorry, no deal. My pets.com new-in-box sockpuppet is part of the centerpiece of my collection...

Re:So does anyone want to buy (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420584)

done. Though you may wish to wash my sock-puppet before touching it...

Flooz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419384)

Who could forget Flooz? Me. Until right this instance. Thanks a lot, Slashdot, I was happier NOT remembering!

What is Up with Go.com? (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419390)

Okay on the list they have go.com as #8 biggest flop. I go to www.go.com and sure enough it looks like I just typed in the wrong URL and got some domain parking crap. And yet, on Alexa it's ranked 15th in the United States [alexa.com] . Is Alexa horribly flawed or what is going on with www.go.com? How does a site that looks like that still rank number 15 in the United States? It's above Bing, CNN, Flickr and Wordpress. Huh?

Re:What is Up with Go.com? (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419438)

Looks like you have yourself a Hijacker. Check your DNS.

Re:What is Up with Go.com? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419464)

Go.com is home to things like ESPN.

Re:What is Up with Go.com? (2, Informative)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420282)

Yeah, it's part of the Disney behemoth.

Re:What is Up with Go.com? (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419556)

Take a closer look at the page? Does it say Disney on it?

Many of Disney's properties have their web presence on go.com. For instance:

http://abc.go.com/ [go.com]

(and someone already pointed out ESPN)

Re:What is Up with Go.com? (2, Interesting)

Jer (18391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419794)

Wow - that is an ugly site.

But even though it looks like "domain parking crap" it does appear that that it is the main page for the Disney-owned "go.com". They just slapped an ugly page on the front and I guess they assume no one will ever visit it.

Re:What is Up with Go.com? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420398)

How does a site that looks like that still rank number 15 in the United States?

Looks like what - clean and clearly organized? Why do you find that a problem?

Programmers where like Rock Stars... (3, Interesting)

acomj (20611) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419408)

Jobs where plentiful, signing bonuses common, stock options flowed like champagne......

I miss it.

Then company I worked for had an all hands meeting and then proceed to hand out unemployment forms.. We weren't even a dot com, but lack of investment killed them.

Like waking from a wonderful dream....

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (2, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419488)

At least you got to experience those "golden years", I was still in school when the dot bomb hit. Admittedly I decided not to go directly from high school to the job market because I was convinced the whole thing would blow up, but what I didn't know was that entering the job market in the post-bomb years with no experience and straight out of college meant most employers would assume I was just another one of those "hey, there's gold in them thar intarwebs" guys who was just trying to make lots of money.

Sadly I knew as a kid (as in, by the early 90s) that I wanted to be a programmer/developer and first started coding a couple of years earlier at age 8, didn't help one bit since every employer assumed I hadn't even known what a computer was until 1999 or so, spent 2.5 years doing first and second line tech support for ISPs before getting a "real" job. :(

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419710)

I do first and second line tech support you insensitive clod!

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (2, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419820)

Pretty much the same thing happened with me. I entered college in Fall 2009. I had known since I was playing on my Commodore 10 years earlier that I wanted to be a programmer when I grew up. There were tech firm recruiters coming in talking to the CompSci majors promising all sorts of great things. To me I was like "Hey - I wasn't expecting this, but damn this programming thing might actually turn out to be even more awesome.". The speakers were even saying things like "I could probably place most of you in a positino with just the month or two worth of college you have taken so far".

Fast forward to Fall 2003 when I graduated - nobody seemed to be hiring. On the off chance that you found somewhere hiring they wanted a resume that was 10 pages long detailing decades of experience. I ended up taking a job teaching at a certificate factory - almost felt guilty teaching these kids these classes for "certificates" that would be even less useful than the degree I had.

After a year of teaching I ended up getting a job as a trainer with a local government office - which is how I basically weaseled into my "real" job. They had programmers, but had very high experience requirements for hiring new ones. Took about 2 years, but through that long worth of talking, conversing, etc, they finally got the hint that I actually could code and knew what I was doing (plus was that I knew mostly newer stuff - Java, C, C++, PHP, etc - compared to the COBOL that their existing programmers knew). So eventually my supervisors promoted me to a programmer just because they already knew me. 2 years in that and I was able to move up to project manager.

Thankfully if I ever have to leave here my resume is now sufficiently padded with some good experience, but for a while I was afraid that I'd be working at McDonalds to pay off my student loans.

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420296)

I entered college in Fall 2009...Fast forward to Fall 2003 when I graduated...

Back to the future!

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (2, Funny)

Mursk (928595) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420360)

Post worded as intended

Are you sure? :P

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31420378)

Did you use a special flux capacitor to enter college in 2009 and graduate in 2003? Please send a schematic and code samples to Anonymous Copy Editor @ programmers_where_like_Sock_Tarts

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (5, Interesting)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420118)

I had a similar, unfortunate, experience.

I studied computer science because I loved using computers since I was in first grade, even though I never owned one until a few months before graduating HS. There was just something about their flexibility, and capacity for automating tasks that appealed to me.

When I chose CS as my major in college, my friends were all telling me that I only needed to study for a couple of years, apply for a few jobs, get competing offers with huge salaries and signing bonuses, and I would be set. This was based on the experiences of their older brothers, cousins, etc. As a result, I thought nothing about all the loans I was taking out to attend university. It wasn't that I was greedy, I just couldn't get a full scholarship, and my parents couldn't afford to give me a dime, so if I was going to continue my education instead of working right out of HS, I would need a lot of loans.

Then the bust happend, and I spent my summer of 2001 working helpdesk for a government agency. In 2002, I couldn't even get a summer job, and lived off $250 a month leftover from my loans that year, with $200 going toward rent, ~$35 toward utilities, and ~$15 toward food. Not even a fast food joint would hire me. In 2003 I didn't even bother looking for a job, because it was preferrable to be scraping by and deal with more debt when I graduated than to face the impossibility of finding a job. When I graduated in 2004, I jumped at the first job I could get, which was desktop/server administration, intranet maintenance, and helpdesk in a 3-man IT shop for a very non-technical company. It paid the bills for 3 years, and allowed me to support my wife while she attended university. Toward the end of the third year, I was offered my first development job, working for a small company that was bought (a week later) by a mega-multinational.

Now things have turned around, I am earning twice what I was earning at my first job out of college, and my $105,000 in school debt is well under control. My wife graduated from school, and is earning a very nice sum too. Sure, she has $40,000 in school debt, but five years of scraping by together has taught us how to live well below our means; and with our combined salaries (and no kids) we have considerable means.

If the "golden years" never occured, I would have ended up working at a video store straight out of HS, spending all my money on video games, and living with my parents. I never got to experience the era, but it gave me the courage to take a bold risk and become the first person within my family (immediate and extended) to attend college. Sure, it was a rocky road, hiking through the rubble that was the dot-com bust, but I made it through in the end.

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420454)

You want a nice job out of college? Have experience. Do internships. Experience, experience and internships. Also, experience. And internships seldom hurt.

I did 3 internships over 4 summers and worked on an academic website during the school year. There was some big-name experience there: IBM offers a few good internship programs. I won't tell you how much I'm making now; you'd be aghast.

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420496)

Well, good luck finding internships when companies are in that "We won't hire anyone with less than ten years of experience" phase that practically all of them were in after the dot bomb. Oh, I'm sure in certain places there were still jobs and internships for those without experience but around here it seemed like everyone just stopped hiring completely for a few years (of course, in reality they did hire people, they just preferred to hire people they knew were reliable and who had solid experience which meant jobs weren't really "on the market" in the same way as they normally are).

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419490)

It's actually how I got into the industry, barely being qualified at the time, but they couldn't find anyone else. Luckily, I work for the government... er, I mean a large bank and have had a secure job ever since. I barely got a taste of the awesomeness that was being an IT worker before it all disappeared.

I've been considering going into alternative energy or some other kind of "green" job. IT salaries are completely stagnant (not that I'm saying we don't make good livings - we do), and with competition from India they're likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. What are other folks' take on this? I like to have an upward direction, but once you hit about $100k/yr (maybe 120k in the Bay Area) there's no where else to go, it seems.

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31420042)

I'm on track to make about $200,000 this year, given the current state of my stock options. It's been improving steadily, actually. I'm 3 years out of college. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this sort of money. Yeah, yeah, savings; my personal savings rate is like 75%, it's ridiculous.

I'm a software engineer, though, not just $IT_GUY, and I'm working on stuff that's actually making a difference to our customers.

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419548)

Then other companies started sending jobs overseas.....

The smart few went into defense - security clearance needed. unfortunately, the secret is out and getting a job at a defense contractor is extremely competitive. I know people and I can't get in.,p/>Serves me right for following my passion. I should have went to medical school.

WE ARE STILL ROCK STARS! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419640)

I am a Ruby on Rails developer, and I AM A ROCK STAR. You think you know CRUD? Nuh uh! Me, RoR and ActiveRecord will kick your pathetic ass, because not only are we ROCK STARS, but we are CODE NINJAS.

See my fedora? Yeah, you do, bitch. It shows I'm real. I'm only 18 and haven't been to university, and my startup has no real customers, but me and AJAX will whoop your ass and make you worship DHH.

BRING IT.

Re:WE ARE STILL ROCK STARS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419782)

I hate to break this to you, but RoR dev is just another term for "Can't handle Java Enterprise."

Unless you're using JRuby.

Re:WE ARE STILL ROCK STARS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31420288)

I hate to break this to you, but he was making a joke.

Unless you were as well.

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419658)

Rockstars? Oh yeah? Where were my groupies?

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419732)

that happened to me too except they also gave us $8,500 each and then booted us out the door. not all bad.

Re:Programmers where like Rock Stars... (2, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419852)

Dream time. Cue didgeridoo and rock paintings.

Even in Northern Virginia there was mania. One afternoon on my way home from work, I saw a plane fly by trailing a banner "Cool Internet Jobs at UUNet". Searchlights played in the evening over Tyson's corner. There was also a helicopter trailing a big sign for some tech company... I want to say HP, but I don't exactly recall.

Alas, the ISP I worked for was acquired by a boring telecom, which raised our pay a bit but didn't fill our parking lot with Ferraris.

The post 911 "security boom" in the DC area was much better for me; but it had its own problems. What's next?

I did... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419448)

I forgot Whoopi Goldberg's Flooz until now

dot com business model (no, not the ??? one) (3, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419456)

Let's sell dimes for a nickel and make it up in volume......

FF to 2020 (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419528)

Let's sell dimes for a nickel and make it up in volume......

dot.bank model: Let's sell dimes for a nickel and make it up in bailouts...

Re:FF to 2020 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419698)

More like lend dimes to niggers and make it up in lulz

Re:FF to 2020 (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419706)

Nononono. It's pocket the dimes, claim you lost quarters and then whine for bailouts. And when you got it, you again pocket the dimes... it's self sustaining from there.

the dotcom boom (3, Interesting)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419492)

How many people went from paper millionaires to "LOL..wut?" during this time?

The only good thing about the .bomb was that it separated the wheat from the chaff, in that all the little monkeyboys who thought getting their MCSE meant $85k+/yr are no longer in the industry, for the most part.

Basically, after the .bomb, the only people left were the good ones.

Re:the dotcom boom (5, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419644)

Actually, my experience from working tech support here in Sweden in the years after the dot bomb was that a lot of the incompetent ones entrenched themselves in "safe" positions and focused on job security and climbing the corporate ladder, it's amazing how many completely inept "senior" sysadmins there are that need to call in an expensive consultant just to make basic configuration changes to systems that they're supposed to be experts on.

Re:the dotcom boom (3, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419656)

Where is this wonderful meritocracy you live in, and can I move there?

Re:the dotcom boom (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419724)

Interesting, these comments. Either y'all are really jaded, or I've been really lucky. In my experience working at a few different companies, the "bad" employees made themselves known to mgmt and the other staff via their poor IT skills (and, in almost every single case, lack of desire to improve said skills) and usually, poor inter-personal skills.

They were lazy and looking to make a quick buck. When said buck got a lot harder to make, they moved on to the next "get rich quick" scheme. Of course, if they'd bothered to put any effort into their former job(s) at all, they would have been ok.

Re:the dotcom boom (2, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419774)

Heh, I was only partly serious. The boom did weed out some of the codemonkeys, of course, but you only need to look at thedailywtf.com [thedailywtf.com] to see there are still some real idiots in our profession.

Re:the dotcom boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419726)

Most definitely not in this country.

Re:the dotcom boom (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419982)

The only good thing about the .bomb was that it separated the wheat from the chaff, in that all the little monkeyboys who thought getting their MCSE meant $85k+/yr are no longer in the industry, for the most part.

Wrong. We're still in the industry, we're just no longer in the country. (G'day, mate!).

But the MCSE was particularly valuable in my case - when time came to downsize the division, people with MCSE's were kept so the company could keep their Gold Partner status, which requires a certain number of certified people. So it didn't get me a job, but it allowed me to keep one. It puts you in a commodities market, but it can sometimes keep you away from those dangerous and horrible deep fryers.

Are the MCSE's intrinsically valuable? Probably not, it's a comedy. Invoking the Power of Certification is usually good for a face plant.

Re:the dotcom boom (2, Informative)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420116)

Basically, after the .bomb, the only people left were the good ones.

HAHAHA no... [thedailywtf.com]

Re:the dotcom boom (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420466)

On the bright side, these paper millions did result in one of the most unintentionally hilarious essays [linuxtoday.com] ever written. So, it wasn't a total loss.

Ha, My .com artifacts lasted longer... (5, Funny)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419514)

I still have, in my office, my pets.com sock puppet (still in box), the business cards for Petopia.com's CEO and CFO, my webvan box, and most precious, the receipt for 1 pack of lifesavers (5 flavor, $.48) delivered by Webvan for no-charge.

Ahh, those were good times...

Re:Ha, My .com artifacts lasted longer... (5, Funny)

longacre (1090157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419638)

1 pack of lifesavers (5 flavor, $.48) delivered by Webvan for no-charge.

The dotcom implosion can actually be traced back to this particular transaction. Way to go.

Re:Ha, My .com artifacts lasted longer... (2, Funny)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419910)

You're welcome!

Seriously, the office of grad students I was in, we made it our DUTY to help the dumb net companies implode. EG, we were really really good at exploiting ValueAmerica, and everytime Webvan had 2L bottles of diet coke on special, we'd order a ton delivered to our door...

Re:Ha, My .com artifacts lasted longer... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420540)

Amusingly enough, Amazon is in grocery delivery in Seattle. But they're smart enough for a $40 minimum order and free delivery only over $80. When I use them I tend to order 12 packs until I hit the magic 80.

And (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419532)

Idiots like Harry Dent predicted that the NASDAQ would be 20,000 by now.

Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (4, Interesting)

cytoman (792326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419550)

I hate being reminded of the dot com bubble. I had some good money in blue chip stocks and good mutual funds. I saw people making money like crazy all around me by investing in mutual funds that were heavily into tech stocks. So I took out a huge portion of my money and transferred it to the tech mutual funds and very soon after, the bubble burst. I had the misfortune of buying at the peak of the bubble and lost a very large amount of hard earned money. I don't know when I'll get over that.

Re:Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419596)

Hey, can you let us know when and where you're investing next? I need to know what to sell.

Re:Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419670)

It depends: Did you do the same thing in mortgage banking a couple of years ago?

And you've learned some important lessons about investing, like:
1. Don't trust hype.
2. No, really, don't trust hype.
3. If you invest on momentum, you've probably already missed the boat.
4. Profitable companies are better investments than unprofitable companies for a reason.
5. Don't be afraid to be conservative. You might not make as much as the folks who risk a lot, but you're much more likely to hang onto your cash.

Re:Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (1)

cytoman (792326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419812)

After being burnt like that, I have become overly conservative in my investments and have gone to the other extreme - now I own 90% of my investments in treasury bonds. At least I know that there will be something there for me when I retire.

Re:Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31420062)

now I own 90% of my investments in treasury bonds. At least I know that there will be something there for me when I retire.

Are you sure?

Teasury bonds (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31420178)

You do realize the US is close to bankrupt right? I would diversify fast if I were you...a good mix of international and US mutual funds would be good.

Re:Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (2, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420218)

I'm going to assume you weren't shooting for a "+1 Funny" and just say that the dollar's looking pretty weak lately. However, not being an expert, all I can suggest is to fill the pantry and buy gold and silver when everything goes to hell!

Re:Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419980)

Yup, and we'll do it again.

The response to every one of your excellent points with..

"With greater risks come greater rewards."

And what better way to risk than by breaking the law? The government will reward you by bailing your ass out! As long as you're still rich.

Re:Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420134)

Keep in mind that the coming Green-Tech stock bubble will be a lot like the dot-com one. Make sure you bail out at the right time.

Re:Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (1)

cytoman (792326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419876)

This damn thread is bringing back all my deep and buried nightmarish memories - I lost of huge amount of money buying things at cyberrebate.com . Do you guys remember that company? Pay an insane amount of money upfront and get it all back as rebate a few months later - it worked well for the first few things I bought and then, when I went all in for the big ticket items, the company went under.

Re:Being naive, I lost a lot of money that year (1)

monoi (811392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420176)

Have you ever considered a career as a canary in a coal mine? You'd make millions.

Kozmo.com (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419566)

Seems like we have these retrospectives on the dot-com bubble every 1-2 years - guess it's being driven by all the still-unemployed programmers.

I will mention (as I do in every dot-com retrospective thread) a bunch of my coworkers did their best to bankrupt Kozmo.com - unintentionally, of course. But with no minimum charge, it was the "go to" place whenever anyone was jonesing for a pint of Ben and Jerry's or even a Snickers bar.

Oh, and we can't have one of these threads without mentioning Eazel!

It's amazing how so many of these companies had no business plan whatsoever. It's REALLY amazing that, back then, some people were actually defending this practice! People who asked "what's the long term business plan" were ridiculed as being small minded or being guilty of outmoded thinking.

Re:Kozmo.com (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419730)

Really, the business plan that worked for most .com businesses and still do, is get bought out. Really, get a million or two for the founders and give the employees early retirement. Plus, if you said "Hey, I founded YouTube" you can bet that you'd get a job, even though YouTube is chronically unprofitable.

Re:Kozmo.com (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419918)

"Get bought out" is not a business plan, it's an exit plan.

A business plan is "I'm going to do X, Y and Z. It will cost N (expenditure and arithmetic to prove it) and produce a product which can be sold for A (show arithmetic to prove it). Selling this product B number of times per week (show arithmetic to demonstrate this is realistic) will generate a gross profit of C. Heck, even if I only sell this product (B/2) times per week I'll cover my costs.

Competitors include Rod, Jane and Freddy - all of whom are making strong profits, which proves that in principle that such a business can work. But I'm better than all of them because my costs will be lower and I don't smell of old socks."

Re:Kozmo.com (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419966)

But that doesn't work when it comes to most internet systems. Its a lot easier and generally more successful if you want to make the most money to find a niche, fill it, offer your company up for sale, until it sells use ad revenue to keep up until they sell to MS, Amazon, Google, etc.

Yeah, its not a long term plan but its been a pretty successful plan, just ask the founders of YouTube, Neopets, Picasa, and any number of sites or products acquired.

Re:Kozmo.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31420060)

You're not that new around here, but in the dot-com era, "get bought out" or at least "IPO!" WAS the business plan.

See: underpants gnomes

Re:Kozmo.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31420576)

"I'm going to do create a business. It will cost 5 million (4 people full time) and produce a company which can be sold for 10 million (2x what I paid into it). Selling this company once (2x) will generate a gross profit of 5 million. Heck, even if I only sell this product once ever I'll cover my costs."

There are people out there that do JUST that...

Re:Kozmo.com (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420250)

Really, the business plan that worked for most .com businesses and still do, is get bought out.

You'll want to do an IPO before you get bought out. If you've got the right business concept to get caught up in a market craze, you can print your own money. E.g., have a Green-Tech startup in a few years. You'll have your IPO buy-out money before Wall Street figures out that Green Tech doesn't work.

Re:Kozmo.com (4, Funny)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419738)

But now we have companies with down-to-earth business plans - like twitter.

Re:Kozmo.com (3, Insightful)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419956)

But now we have companies with down-to-earth business plans - like twitter.

And large banks.
And airlines.
And auto manufacturers.
And newspapers.
And publishers.
And Malls/retail.

God, I just got myself depressed again.

Re:Kozmo.com (2, Funny)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420066)

And newspapers.

Did you mean to make this plural?

When you don't make anything... (4, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420074)

When you don't have a manufacturing sector, it's hard to create actual wealth. When corporate structures have co-opted your government into forcing you to compete with third world wages and shifted the tax burden from the richest to the middle class, it's impossible.

Hey, welcome to 18th Century France! I can't wait to see what happens next...

Re:When you don't make anything... (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420404)

I can't wait to see what happens next...

Me too! Heads on pikes in my lifetime? FUCKING STOKED!

Re:Kozmo.com (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420186)

Actually, you laugh, but....

Twitter's business plan involves keeping expenses low and profiting on margin.

Most of the companies that died when the bubble burst were doing things that could not be maintained under any circumstances. Companies would actually PAY YOU 50 cents an hour to run a banner bar when they weren't making that much money on the ads you were ignoring, or deliver your groceries to you without charging for shipping and with no order minimum, or buy million-dollar ads in the Superbowl that didn't even mention their company or what they did.

Compared to that, Twitter is a marvel of planning and execution. I'm not saying in the real world it is, but compared to the companies that died with the bubble, they are. And they'll probably do OK.

Where were YOU when the bomb dropped? (1)

greywire (78262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419600)

Yeah it was good times. I was making more money than I had ever made, we had catered lunches in the office every day, and we got to go to events at the beach (it was an "extreme sports" website).

And then come monday we are told not to even report to work and that we'd be turned away if we did. Nice! Guess they thought we would loot the office or something. I wouldn't have minded taking one of those $500 Aeron chairs home...

Re:Where were YOU when the bomb dropped? (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419704)

I'm pretty sure that I was head of IT for a non-profit medical marijuana club in San Francisco.

Re:Where were YOU when the bomb dropped? (2, Funny)

greywire (78262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420024)

Pretty sure?

Must have been some good sh!t...

Re:Where were YOU when the bomb dropped? (3, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420474)

Hehe, yeah, just a little joke. In reality, we had a state of the art integrated membership, document management, inventory, and point of sales system, hosted on a server with encrypted hard drives, in a locked and booby trapped closet, with hidden kill switches placed in strategic locations around the club, at foot level so we could kick them if the cops threw us up against the wall. Stoned or not, it was some of my best work. :)

Re:Where were YOU when the bomb dropped? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419798)

That's what you get for slacking and not coming in on weekends.

Re:Where were YOU when the bomb dropped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419832)

I was working as a highly paid consultant and lost a bunch in my portfolio because I wasn't paying attention. Normally, I'd sell after a 10% drop in any stock off the peak regardless of the reason. I didn't this time because I believed in the company.

As an example, I purchased 10,000 shrs of SUNW in 1993 at $3.12. In 2000, it closed at $97.25. I didn't sell until 5 yrs later with an annualized gain of 23%. Not bad until you look at the real dollars involved. At the peek, I had a 3100% gain. Yes, I'm an idiot.

Anyone got me bet for stupidity? I was feeling good and purchased a new car.

Bill Joy, you suck.

Re:Where were YOU when the bomb dropped? (3, Interesting)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419970)

Saw the ship sinking, jumped it and went on extended cheap backpacking. Rode out good part of the bust. Good times.

Re:Where were YOU when the bomb dropped? (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420158)

Definitely good times. And I can't even talk about the stuff we did without implicating myself and a bunch of coworkers in unethical behavior. And, one day, it was just over. I ended up working in a parking lot and becoming one of the used bookstore's best customers. I've never quite gotten back there...

Re:Where were YOU when the bomb dropped? (1)

greywire (78262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420436)

Funny, after a couple short odd web design jobs I couldn't get anything going, so I worked in a used bookstore for a while. Well, not used, but highly discounted.

Now, on the weekends, I had money to enjoy all the boozin' and drugs I cared to partake of.

Since then I've slowly climbed back up and beyond, started a family, and stopped enjoying my weekends.. :)

Still exist (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419612)

It's okay to sell products for less than what they cost you, because that will bring you lots of customers.

And really, its ok for the founders, they get lots of money. Look at YouTube.

It was a year... (1, Interesting)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419618)

that everyone thought he/she was a software developer.

Note, Y2K was also adding gasoline to a fire.

Funny, the dot-com bubble still lives on: we are still marketing (i.e. exploiting) the same ideas generated from those days (1997-2000). It's 2010, same ideas, just different hardware (multicore cpus, gigabit networks, 3G/WiFi access). Times has changed, but have stayed the same.

SFgirl, chronicling the dot-com boom 10 years ago (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419712)

For those of you who weren't there, see SFgirl [archive.org] , the web site for dot-com party girls. [archive.org]

Here's the dot-com party list for one week [archive.org] , ten years ago.

Typical party review [archive.org] : Mediaplex.com [mediaplex.com]

Always one for a free night time invite into the SFMOMA, sfboy lined up with the rest of the VC bottom feeders and various webtrash last Wednesday evening to try his hand at the new phenomenon sweeping the city called "Let the Dot Coms Pay for Your Drinks". Inadequate staff with bad planning only worked to our advantage as CM slipped past the guestlist list like a bad desktop application business plan past an overzealous venture capitalist. Once inside sfboy experienced the largest spread of food yet to feed the frothing crowds shoved uncomfortably into a small room. Picture fields of ahi, buckets of fresh smoked salmon, oysters galore, cheese from every udder imaginable, sushi, dumplings, and chocolates, oh my! Add several ornate ice sculptures with internal martinis luges and you've got a real crowd pleaser! Hear, Hear, my stomach cries for Mediaplex! Take me in nightly, feed me completely, shower me with your VC cash!

Inside the museum itself child labor laws were overlooked at several dozen grommets flipped, spun and generally amused the masses with what appeared to be an orphanage filled with circus rats in training. I promptly notified the proper authorities.

Sfboy relunctantly admits that he has no idea what Mediaplex pretends to posses as a business model but he wishes them well in their attempts to create a virtual circus accompanied by a fine buffet.

Party Bill: $100,000
Clowns: 100
Professional Clowns: 25
Bars: 4
Party size: 650

Wow! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419848)

I appreciate the non-FUD related articles that kdawson has been posting. Keep up the good work!

Ahhhh, dot.com (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31419908)

I spent the dot.com time in a bank auditing company. So I had a perfect view when the whole crap started to crash and burn.

Assessment of risk was completely off the bat. Everyone thought the internet is the next big thing. That really will take off. Everyone will buy everything online. Soon. Any time now. It's so much easier. And with a concentrated storage, logistics and delivery, you simply HAVE to be cheaper (overhead-wise) than everyone else, and computers are cheaper than brick-and-mortar stores, and no shop rents, and and and... it just MUST be a huge thing! And those loans, they will pay for themselves. Easily. They have no expense, you see? They can all invest it in their computers. And stuff. And what they need. And marketing is so big, it just HAS to take off like crazy!

Believe it or not, THAT was actually the reasoning behind the unsecured multi million loans! Everyone was so hyped up about how easily they should be able to recover their investments. Hell, NOT throwing money at them would have been so stupid because everyone else did it and you just can't stay out of it because then your revenue would be lower and nobody would give you money (sounds familiar? It reminds me a lot of the current "we had to do those high risk businesses because else we could not offer those insane interest rates and if we didn't, nobody would have invested with us... It's the same bull all over again).

What appearantly everyone failed (or refused) to see was that a lot of these people had little more than a pipe dream for a business plan and no experience with running a business whatsoever. We'll certainly hear a lot of stories of people who worked at dot.com businesses at the time. Tell me: These were startups, right? How many had expensive paid-by-company lunches or parties? What cars did your bosses drive, at company expense? Where was your office, and how was it furnished? What PR stunts did you stage?

That's not how you "invest" money. That's how you squander it. And that's what made the bubble burst.

same today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31419924)

I dunno. I see the same things today. Every little niche in the computing world seems to be filled at an ever-increasing speed. Often by 20-somethings that have nothing to lose. Nothing wrong with that. But I still can't see how they're all going to be successful. How many advertising social networking sites can we handle? The problem is, since the barriers to entry are so low, and there's always an ample supply of 20-somethings that can live on next-to-nothing, I see no end to it.

10 years already ?!? (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420096)

Sheesh. Either am I becoming an old man at 40, or time goes by so fast I don't notice between coding, women and booze ( not necessarily in that order, though ).

Sheesh.

What about Mirror Image Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31420144)

Hmm. No mention of Mirror-Image Internet?

The parent company, Excelera.com took some $860 million out of the stock market after a $2 million investment. After their stock went from $1.40, through 3 or 4 splits, up to $142 (or thereabouts), based solely on the expectations for Mirror Image, the owners (Venture Capitalists) started selling like it was going out of style. Shortly afterward, the plummet started, and within 3 months that same stock was going for less than $40. 6 months later, Mirror Image was put through a 100,000 to 1 reverse split (still private stock), and all employees below the VP level were left with worthless stock option agreements. Even the VPs would never get right side up on their options.

Employees that were with MII when Excelera bought them were given Excelera options - or the promise of Excelera options. It took 2 years to get their paperwork - it came just after Excelera stock dropped back to $40, costing some employees over a million dollars. Last I heard, there were over 20 lawsuits lodged by employees, and more than a few from other companies that had been duped into investing directly into MII.

A year later, Excelera was delisted when their stock went below $1.

We Live in Public. (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420362)

We Live in Public [weliveinpu...emovie.com] is a movie worth watching. The movie documentary follows Josh Harris, who became a dot com millionaire, he did some crazy art projects when he was rich, it then follows how he lost all his money and what he did afterwards. From IMDB:

On the 40th anniversary of the Internet, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC tells the story of the effect the web is having on our society as seen through the eyes of "the greatest Internet pioneer you've never heard of", visionary Josh Harris. Award-winning director, Ondi Timoner ("DIG!"), documented his tumultuous life for more than a decade, to create a riveting, cautionary tale of what to expect as the virtual world inevitably takes control of our lives. Josh Harris, often called the "Warhol of the Web" through the infamous dot.com boom of the 1990's, founded Pseudo.com, the first Internet television network and created his vision of the future, an underground bunker in NYC where 100 people lived together on camera for 30 days over the millennium. He proved how in the not-so-distant future of life online, we will willingly trade our privacy for the connection and recognition we all deeply desire. Through his experiments, including a six-month stint living under 24-hour live surveillance online which led him to mental collapse, he demonstrated the price we will all pay for living in public.

Y2K bug (2, Funny)

mrboyd (1211932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420460)

Most likely a shitty automated brokerage system that initiated a fire sale when he calculated the net earning of his NASDAQ stock over the first trimester of 1900... Sheeple panicked, history ensued. And they say the Y2K bug had no impact... Geee.

I think the boom hit the UK a little later. (1)

shippo (166521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31420554)

I remember being in London in 2000 attending a training course. It must have been late in the year, as it was after we'd moved offices that August.

Anyway whilst down in London I read a few of those free newspapers to pass the time, and couldn't believe how they were hyping stocks in all kinds of daft websites. Then there were the equally stupid adverts splashed all over the underground. One company in particular had bombarded the whole of the network whilst lavish adverts of for their service, whose entire mode of operation involved serious personal privacy breaches. It was obvious that a crash was looming.

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