Friday, March 11, 2005

Everyone was guilty of hubris at the time

In this Guardian Story, the author remembers the 5th anniversary of the bursting of the dot com bubble.

SlashDot covered this story and technology bloggers expanded on the Guardian theme. For instance:


There is a quote in that article by Rob Hersov that describes the way a lot of people felt at that time:

"Those were incredibly heady days," he says. "Fun - absolutely. We thought we were making a difference. We thought we were getting out there, shaking things up, doing something no one had done before. We really were pioneers - buccaneers."

That statement demonstrates the two truths of the dot com explosion: on one had, we really did make a difference - we built a huge IT infrastructure in, essentially, the blink of an eye. On the other hand, that statement is packed with the hubris and exaggerated sense of importance that also permeated the time.

The analogy was often made in 2000/2001 of the Detroit auto industry and the development of the US national highway system. The same thing happened with scores (or maybe it was hundreds?) of companies popping up with the word "motors" in their name during the period. And now there are 3; the big 3 left in Detroit.

Not only that, but barring e-Bay and a few other notables, the companies that made it out of the bubble are ones with unique brand names: Google, Amazon, Travelocity, Yahoo!, and GoDaddy.

I also disagree with the apparent conclusion that there are no lone wolves anymore. The climate is better for a savvy lone wolf than it was even in 1997, I believe.

Who came up with the e-Idea of e-Appending e-E to e-Everything anyway?


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