[BusinessWeek] Was It All Some Kind of Dot-Communist Plot?

From: Adam Rifkin (adam@knownow.com)
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 10:08:44 PST

Intel's cutting jobs, Cisco's cutting jobs, the Nasdaq's at 2050...

I've been so busy working triple-digit-hour workweeks that I would never
know *any* of this were happening -- who has time to look up? -- were it
not for the Web...


Welcome to the one-year anniversary of Nasdaq Five Thousand. Where will
we be in a year, Nasdaq Negative One Thousand? ;)

Okay, stop pointing the fingers looking to blame someone for this.
It's perfectly clear that the reason the tech stocks crashed is that I
stopped paying attention to them a year ago. That's right, it was me.

Actually, I had help from Rohit. He always said that the day the stock
market would start crashing was the day he and I started a company.
We singlehandedly caused the greatest Bear Market in Nasdaq history.
Sorry folks.

I guess we'll *all* be working triple-digit-hour workweeks for a while...

> MARCH 8, 2001
> By Ciro Scotti
> Was It All Some Kind of Dot-Communist Plot?
> The hand-wringing and finger-pointing over who's to blame for the
> nuclear dot-bomb explosion on Wall Street is now in full rat-out mode.
> The tech geniuses in short pants blame the money-grubbing venture
> capitalists, who now have been revealed for what they were all along:
> bean-counters. (Note to the next wave of entrepreneurial young bloods:
> Visionaries don't wear Armani.)
> The VCs blame an unforgiving market. Investors large and small blame
> analysts, who are now leaning heavily on a history of cover-your-ass
> comments to make the case that risk was inherent all along. Never mind
> that their crystal ball didn't work.
> NOW HE TELLS US. I hate to quote the competition at The Wall Street
> Journal, but how about this gem in a smart, recent story written by
> Rebecca Buckman entitled, "Who Caused the Dot-Com Crash?". Analyst Henry
> Blodget of Merrill Lynch tells Buckman that "he has always warned that
> risky Web stocks are not meant for investors whose goal is 'capital
> preservation.'" (Well, from all of us investors whose goal is "capital
> deprivation," thanks a lot, Mr. Blodget.)
> Ms. Buckman's story, which, to be fair, came on the heels of a New York
> Times piece about Blodget, also quotes Marc Andreessen of LoudCloud as
> blaming day traders for turning the Nasdaq into a financial gasbag
> waiting for a pin prick. And one down-in-the-dumps online loser even had
> the audacity to point a finger at the media.
> The media? No, no, never the media. Not the electronic media that owed
> its very existence to the dot-com bubble. Not the TV financial media
> whose breathy, collagen-lipped correspondents might as well have been
> XFL cheerleaders egging on the online excesses. And certainly, no guilt
> can be associated with the mainstream business media that saw in the
> dot-com mirage an opportunity to sell ads by the bushel.
> ALL FALL DOWN. But the truth is that like everyone else touched by the
> dot-com frenzy, the media wanted its piece of the action. Such was the
> thrill of the ride that seasoned editors took leave of their senses.
> Parallel worlds of business and business journalism emerged. Hard-nosed
> corporate types bought into the e-bulljive, rushed to put up a Web site,
> or barrel into B2B, and traded their Paul Stuart suits for Dockers and
> cable-knit sweaters. And experienced journalists allowed smart-aleck
> tech writers to trumpet outrageous assumptions and predictions without
> holding their feet to the fire of skepticism.
> So the rigors of analysis were swept aside and some of the most revered
> names in journalism -- along with a whole pack of new titles -- became
> part of the dot-com hype machine. Yes, we didn't always do our jobs.
> Yes, a lot of people lost a lot of money. And yes, we allowed hard-won
> reputations to be sullied by brash young reporters as wrongheaded as the
> dot-punks they covered.
> Let's not beat ourselves up too badly, though. The wave was a monster,
> and the media -- human as it is -- couldn't resist riding it, too. But
> now it's over. It's time to put those worthless dot-com stock
> certificates in a trunk with our "business casual" attire, knot up a
> tie, and get back to work in the real world. Oh yeah, and maybe send
> some of those tech writers to cover the school board.


Microsoft is looking to extend the capabilities of IM as a standalone application and turn it into a software infrastructure that can be used to build many types of applications. -- http://www.zdnet.com/eweek/stories/general/0,11011,2693882,00.html

Just got back from lunch with my account team from Akamai. They've been through a number of re-orgs lately all with the goal to get everyone "revenue facing". They've desimated their product management team. Their CTO, Danny Lewin, is now running their product management group. Their new offerings coming to market are all over the place with profitability no where in site. Can pure size and market presence be enough to sustain them? With them being headquartered in Cambridge (right next to Lotus) and IBM focusing on Web Services, could IBM be admiring from afar? -- http://sheridan.manilasites.com/2001/03/08

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