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Businesses The Internet Technology

Dot-Com Craze Peaked 10 Years Ago This Week 192

Posted by kdawson
from the irrational-exuberance dept.
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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Dot-Com Craze Peaked 10 Years Ago This Week

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:24PM (#31419358)

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Pojut (1027544)

      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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by thzinc (679235)

        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)

        • by Pojut (1027544)

          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.

      • by Alaren (682568) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:52PM (#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.

        • by Knara (9377)

          Interesting to know.

          I just register through Dreamhost and I've never had a problem. I'm sure there's cheaper, and I know there's 1,000,000 Dreamhost haters (though 999,999 of those seem to be people trying to re-sell shared hosting to clients), but in the last 4 years, I've had nary a problem with registrations.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm waiting for the "Cloud" craze to peak.

      Not joking.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:24PM (#31419374) Journal
    15,000 Flooz notes? Going cheap! I'll trade for a pets.com sock-puppet...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nweaver (113078)

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

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:25PM (#31419390) Journal
    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?
  • by acomj (20611) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:27PM (#31419408) Homepage

    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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mikael_j (106439)

      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.

      Sa

      • I do first and second line tech support you insensitive clod!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        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 y

      • by zero_out (1705074) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:22PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FooAtWFU (699187)

        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.

        • by mikael_j (106439)

          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

          • by FooAtWFU (699187)
            Of my 3 college internships, only one was near home. The others were over 12 hours' drive away. The one in Texas had housing; in New York, I paid $300/mo for a shared room with other interns in a decrepit old Quaker boarding-school-turned-day-school.
    • 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 compet
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:44PM (#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.

      • by BitHive (578094)

        No, PHP am ROCK STARS. It is the fastest, most popular, most flexible language that gives the programmer TOTAL CONTROL rather than the BLACK BOX of MAGIC that is RoR. Namespaces? ORM? RESTful routing? Bah! The rockiest language for web development is a C wannabe where everyone rolls their own session management!

        • I can already hear the lament...

          "Oh stop bashing PHP. Nobody here ever rolled his own ... what did ya call it?"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Rockstars? Oh yeah? Where were my groupies?

    • by rubycodez (864176)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by istartedi (132515)

      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.

      T

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:30PM (#31419456) Journal

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

    • 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...

      • 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 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:33PM (#31419492) Homepage Journal

    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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mikael_j (106439) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:44PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417)

        Unfortunately that's rather the truth than "separating wheat from chaff". Back then I was as pissed as anyone when I got fired while a coworker whose only abilities concisted of blameshifting and buttkissing got promoted instead.

        I just couldn't see the big picture back then, I basically live off these guys now! Here's how it works: Someone who could barely turn on a computer without causing a complete IT meltdown on the floor became sysadmin in 1999 because back then, basically anyone who could spell TCP/IP

    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:45PM (#31419656) Journal

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

    • 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 int

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by operagost (62405)

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

      HAHAHA no... [thedailywtf.com]

    • by eln (21727) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:47PM (#31420466) Homepage
      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.
  • by nweaver (113078) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:35PM (#31419514) Homepage

    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...

    • by longacre (1090157) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:44PM (#31419638) Homepage

      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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by nweaver (113078)

        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...

        • by AuMatar (183847)

          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.

  • by cytoman (792326) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:37PM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:46PM (#31419670) Homepage

      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.

      • by cytoman (792326)
        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: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by operagost (62405)
          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!
        • by Knara (9377)
          How old are you? If you're under like, 50, you're almost self-destructively conservative.
      • by natehoy (1608657)

        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.

      • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheNarrator (200498)

        If you are into investing in bubbles remember this famous quote:

        "Economic history is a never-ending series of episodes based on falsehoods and lies, not truths. It represents the path to big money. The object is to recognize the trend whose premise is false, ride that trend, and step off before it is discredited." - George Soros

    • by cytoman (792326)
      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.
      • 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.

        It's called a pyramid scheme.

        Useful clue: when someone offers you lots of money later if you'll give him lots of your money now, he's not your friend.

        It's a real shame that nowhere in the mode

        • by clampolo (1159617)

          It's a real shame that nowhere in the modern education system do they teach you the fundamentals of the basic cons....

          Common sense is one of those things you have to be born with.

  • Kozmo.com (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:38PM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:49PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jimicus (737525)

        "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

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Darkness404 (1287218)
          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.
        • by MaWeiTao (908546)

          From what I've seen this is a far more common business model than you realize, at least in the US. I currently have a client who builds up these companies with the explicit intention of selling them. He develops the product or service to the point that it's attractive to potential buyers and then sells it to the highest bidder. This guy has access to huge pool of patents so it's just a matter of finding one that has potential and bringing in investors.

          I have friend who is currently working for a company wit

        • X = "Get"
          Y = "Bought"
          Z = "Out"

          "I'm going to get bought out. It will cost $1,000,000 (seed money) and product a product (the company) which can be sold for $20,000,000 (fuzzy math). Selling this product 1 time will generate a gross profit of $19,000,000. Heck, even if I only sell half this product (IPO then sell off 49% of shares) I'll cover my costs."

          Your mistakenly assuming that the product is something this company will design or build. The product is the company.

          During the dot com bubble, such compani

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Darinbob (1142669)
          The problem with the "new economy" of the dot com boom is that people didn't believe this. Smart people didn't believe it either, not just the dumb ones. This isn't just a dot com thing, the trend has been around awhile. For instance, if you go back to the 50's and 60's, the big stocks people wanted to buy were from blue chip companies that gave dividends. That model meant that stock holders got a share of the profits, a classic capitalist model. The stock price may not change very much, but you still
      • 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.

    • by ClosedSource (238333) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:51PM (#31419738)

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

      • Re:Kozmo.com (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Wireless Joe (604314) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:10PM (#31419956) Homepage

        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: (Score:2, Funny)

          And newspapers.

          Did you mean to make this plural?

        • by copponex (13876) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:19PM (#31420074) Homepage

          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...

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

            Me too! Heads on pikes in my lifetime? FUCKING STOKED!
          • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

            by evilviper (135110)

            When you don't have a manufacturing sector, it's hard to create actual wealth.

            True. How fortunate that the US is #1 in manufacturing, and vastly ahead of #2 (Japan) and very far ahead of #3 (China).

            When corporate structures have co-opted your government into forcing you to compete with third world wages

            That's endlessly debatable... Sure, one guy in the US no longer has a job making T-Shirts, but everyone in the US now pays 1/10th as much for a T-Shirt. In the end, it appears to be more efficient. Of cou

            • by copponex (13876) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:04PM (#31422484) Homepage

              True. How fortunate that the US is #1 in manufacturing, and vastly ahead of #2 (Japan) and very far ahead of #3 (China).

              You know what the most important thing is for statistics? Context [nationmaster.com]. Our manufacturing per capita consistently places us outside of the top 10. It's like people celebrating a US or Canadian women's hockey victory despite the fact that we have more players by a factor of a thousand. Sweden, Norway, Japan, and Germany outperform us in a number of areas. And I bet if you took entertainment out of the equation it would really be illuminating.

              You also may want to know that the #2 economy (by GDP alone) is now China. It also just overtook Germany as the world's largest exporter (again, by pure GDP, not per capita).

              And worse, Bill Clinton signed a larger tax cut for the rich than George Bush ever did...

              Alright, now you're just full of shit, by income tax and by effective tax rates. Read the tax rates here. [taxfoundation.org] Top bracket under Bush is 35%. Top bracket under Clinton is 39.6%. Capital gains tax was cut from 20% to 15%. Income from dividends went from 35% to 15%. The Estate Tax was halved, and even completely nonexistent for one year (this year, I think). And that's why you hear the babbling heads screaming bloody murder about keeping the Bush Tax Cuts.

              There's even an article in the Times from 2007. This shit is no secret. "Families earning more than $1 million a year saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the country as a result of President Bush’s tax cuts, according to a new Congressional study."

              http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/washington/08tax.html [nytimes.com]

              And before you say a word about the richest paying the most taxes - OF COURSE. The top 1% of households hold more than 50% the assets. Why wouldn't they be paying most of the taxes?

              If you have any other questions about reality, feel free to ask.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by imakemusic (1164993)

          I'm not sure I like the idea of an airline with a down-to-earth business plan.

      • by natehoy (1608657)

        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

  • 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...

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by greywire (78262)

        Pretty sure?

        Must have been some good sh!t...

        • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:48PM (#31420474) Journal

          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. :)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oldhack (1037484)
      Saw the ship sinking, jumped it and went on extended cheap backpacking. Rode out good part of the bust. Good times.
    • 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...
      • by greywire (78262)

        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.. :)

  • 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... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by recharged95 (782975)
    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.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:48PM (#31419712) Homepage

    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

  • Ahhhh, dot.com (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:05PM (#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.

  • 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 (Score:3, Funny)

    by mrboyd (1211932) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:47PM (#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 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

  • ... creating Photoshop mockups of advertisements in the late 1990s. I remember being in a bullpen with a bunch of underdressed young folk who did little but check the stock price obsessively. It was a strange time and I created more than a few Director-generated .exe screensavers.

    To say nothing of the unorthodox eBay shop I set up, only to be shuttered by The Man.

    Oh those heady days ...

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

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