Posts for Tag: dot com bomb

The dot com douche bags

Just read this story over at TechCrunch. Though the gist of it is technically more about file sharing and the music industry, it reminded me of the old days of 1999-2001 when all the dot-com douche bags (myself included) would cram into SOMA bars and think they were the kings/queens of the world. I distinctly remember a confrontation when one group of folks from Start Up A was monopolizing bar space and a group from Start Up B were trying to order drinks. As expected a little pushing and shoving match ensued with the requisite "Do you know where we work?" and "We're gonna buy this place!" was thrown around. Basically, young knuckle heads with too much money and too few failures in their young careers to know any better. A scant year or two later and most of them probably were unemployed. Another conversation I overheard was where a guy was talking about jumping to another start up only 3 months after joining his current one. His friend was saying "Do it man! That place is gonna take off! Take less money and get more equity. It's all about the equity man!" It was definitely a sign of the times.
As we have gone through one dot com implosion and are currently in the midst of a major recession, the number of young start ups has definitely diminished. Plus the fact that most start ups aren't getting monster investments and hiring just for the sake of hiring. The people who work at start ups today do it because they prefer to work in that environment versus trying to make a quick buck (believe me, there are far easier ways to make money than working at a web start up). This culling of the herd has definitely reduced the number of douche bags I see in the industry. But as the old adage goes, a douche bag never thinks he/she is a douche bag. Maybe someone is reading this and thinking, "This guy is such a douche bag." Wouldn't be my first time.

Wall Street up for all ... but not equally

For full disclosure, I sold every last stock that I owned right after the first dot-com bust in 2000/2001 so I never get overly excited or bummed when the market does well or not. I still track the usual suspects in my industry though and noticed an interesting trend. Below is today's results for Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

Not a bad day all around. But does it seem bad that Yahoo isn't rebounding as much as the others. Shouldn't a rising tide raise all ships? A more alarming stat is that since October 1st, Yahoo has fallen almost 38% while Google and Microsoft have fallen a little over 24% and 23%, respectively. I hope the folks over at Yahoo can pull through this. I think with 3 major companies in the online space, there will be more competition and innovation. I've always tried to stay loyal to Yahoo but gave up using their search engine a couple of years ago. Still have my My Yahoo page and like their Sports section and I'm sure their other properties are doing well. Still, they need to shore up their search technology and NOT do the Google deal as that is a slippery slope down to technology mediocrity no matter what they say. Given the choice every quarter of whether to invest in technology or squeeze out a few more pennies per share in earnings by using Google technology, I'd say most folks would take the easier path. Let's hope I'm wrong.