New dot-com flourishing? Moby?
August 28, 2003 4:13 PM   Subscribe

When all dot-com companies existed in full power (late 90's), none of us could actually use them (because of our lazy dial-up modems), now that we could use them they don't exist. "Which leads me to think that there might be another dot-com flourishing just around the corner." Is Moby right?
posted by nandop (21 comments total)
There's a big difference between a series of new, useful companies taking advantage of the ready deployment of broadband and what we had going on in 1997 - 2001. I don't believe we will ever see a return to the gold rush speculation of that era.
posted by jonson at 4:19 PM on August 28, 2003

posted by swerdloff at 4:26 PM on August 28, 2003

well, yes, but first a few problems have to ironed out. like that annoying two-way aspect, where any old chump can put up a website that criticises a wonderful corporation, or email nasty untruths about a product to friends (consumers aren't supposed to actually BELEIVE those warranties!) or even contradict a powerful world leader or rail against the "common knowledge". yeah, once access and content are entirely controlled by responsible, fair, profit-seeking media entities, once even those of above average intelligence can be hypnotized by a torrent of on-demand entertainment spectacles shipped in one direction, to one authorized recipient only, who cannot reuse it in any way shape or form regardless of payment, THEN we're going to see a dot com BOOM! see you at the movies, chumps! oh, and who the fuck is moby, and why would a whale give a shit about the internet?
posted by quonsar at 4:27 PM on August 28, 2003

I say it could happen if you had bandwidth enough to stream movies and live TV channels from the whole world with good image quality. That would boost big business and smaller, specialized sites alike.
posted by 111 at 4:36 PM on August 28, 2003

maybe all of the out of work dot-commer's will have jobs again (minus the toilet-paper stock, hopefully). ('toilet-paper stock' being a simpson's reference, by the way.).

this is why I think Moby is an asshole - he has to explain his Simpsons reference like we wouldn't get it. Jerk. ('jerk' being an insult, by the way.)
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:38 PM on August 28, 2003

i'll tell you what, i'm not sure how much moby knows about the web, but i've eaten at his little side project in NYC, "teany", and it was the best fake-turkey and fake-bacon turkeyBLT i've ever had. MMMMM. Great little place.

dot coms, yeah, lots of talented people working on shitty ideas. lots of talented people working on truly amazing inspired projects that were burned out from underneath them. Lots of talented people who worked for almost no money [ok maybe, just me. dammit.] on projects that are actually still making money [for about 4 people.]

but the internet was an amazing place before that...and still is and still will be. Unless quonsar's dark vision of the future comes true.
posted by th3ph17 at 4:46 PM on August 28, 2003

PowerBook-toting TV-ad-whore Moby's opinion on the current state and future potential of Internet-enabled business is about as relevant to me and the rest of the real world as... oh, I don't know... Arnold Schwarzenegger's opinion on teenage drug use and domestic affairs.

(What? Oh...)

Never mind.
posted by JollyWanker at 4:48 PM on August 28, 2003

(On preview) Special Note to teh3ph17, Never Doubt the Q. Quonsar's Dark Vision™ is like f*%^ing Fantasyland compared to the Haunted Mansion that probably awaits us all...
posted by JollyWanker at 4:51 PM on August 28, 2003

> ironic that all of the dot-com companies existed when none of us could use them

28k is TONS of bandwidth if used right. Remove the garish animated gif ads, useless banners, giant flash intros, overdesigned nonsense, etc. Put in some tight HTML, focus on HCI factors, and let the backend do the processing.

I don't see Moby's point. Either you have a good business model or you don't. Bandwidth and technology have almost nothing to do with it in the end, unless your business is built upon delivering multimedia and other bandwidth intensive applications, but for the most part dot comming was turning stores into virtual stores. I've seen successful, albiet, small businesses run on 2400bps dial-up modems in the 80s.
posted by skallas at 5:04 PM on August 28, 2003

I've seen successful, albiet, small businesses run on 2400bps dial-up modems in the 80s.

what, on fidonet?
posted by quonsar at 5:20 PM on August 28, 2003

Slow-ass dial-up modems and full broadband access to the Web IS a BIG difference. Today even cell phones are looking for faster connections, for God's sake.

And I think nobody here thought about an exact remake of the same identical scenario of 1997-2001. It would be just "another" ("another" as in an other, just other, different, not an identical twin) flourishing, with the reality we're living now - basic broadband working fine, cell phones enjoying communicating with the web, xml, etc etc etc.

p.s.: I just would like to remind you that the question wasn't "Is Moby cool?" nor "Do you care?", ok? Hello? C'mon.
posted by nandop at 5:32 PM on August 28, 2003

I just would like to remind you that MeFi is not your focus group and no one is under any obligation to discuss what you want them to discuss.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:54 PM on August 28, 2003

I don't see Moby's point. Either you have a good business model or you don't. Bandwidth and technology have almost nothing to do with it in the end

Bandwidth and technology aside, investor confidence has something to do with this. Amazon lives because investors were willing to put up with the former credo of the startup ( thou shalt bleed red ink) in order to "get big fast" -- no, in order to own the single biggest brand in online retailing.

The fact that 9/10 internet startups didn't have a good enough vision beyond bleeding red ink and making their P/E ratio a singularity doesn't mean that there weren't a number of legitimate businesses who were able to get capital precisely because venture lenders were willing to give it. The fists are tighter now, and lots of businesses with good models may be starving for startup cash.

Of course, things should be different than they were in the late 90's, what with the indiscriminate throwing of cash into gold-plated burning trash cans and all. I just think there might be a happier medium.
posted by namespan at 5:59 PM on August 28, 2003

I just ran across a stat the other day, that 77% of American households on the internet still used dialup as their primary method of getting online, so I don't think broadband is here just yet.
posted by mathowie at 6:05 PM on August 28, 2003

77% on dialup? Wow. I get all hivey whenever my cable connection goes down. I can't imagine what I would do if I was still surfing at 56k.
posted by bshort at 7:22 PM on August 28, 2003

28k is TONS of bandwidth if used right.

if you like text-only webpages

I've seen successful, albiet, small businesses run on 2400bps dial-up modems in the 80s

the keyword being 80s. I was a bloody rockstar when I upgraded to a 2400 baud modem in the 80s. Then again, I also had that high-end 80 column card, so I guess I was a "power user". Those were also the days when you could watch the text streaming left to right on your monitor as individual characters came down the wire *shudder*

vive le InterWeb!
posted by badzen at 7:36 PM on August 28, 2003

if you like text-only webpages

/me looks around, shrugs, walks away, whistling.
posted by majcher at 8:12 PM on August 28, 2003

I can't imagine what I would do if I was still surfing at 56k.

Watch TV, probably. Hence the present.
posted by goethean at 8:29 PM on August 28, 2003

>the keyword being 80s

The keyword should be "business." Moby seems to making the assumption that the problem is that the technology was "too slow" and not the complete lack of a real business plan.

There was an amusing dot com reaction site which had the motto "But I don't need toothpaste delivered to me by UPS next day." I think that sums up a lot problems with the 90s.

And how great are things today in the US? Dial-up is king (well at least in the majority), and broadband keeps getting more expensive in some metro areas because of the lack of competition, bankruptcies (northpoint for one), and local telco vs. regulations fighting. Not to mention the recession means less people willing to dive into expensive broadband service.

Okay lets assume everyone had a 768/128 connection (an average of dsl and cable). That's still crap if you want live streaming TV like I get out of my Dish/Tivo hookup or any other rich multimedia experience worth paying for. So if dial-up sucks compared to broadband, then broadband sucks compared to fiber to your curb. In the end, business has to work with these limitations, there's no magic bandwidth number that makes everyone happy.

Don't believe me? The French rolled out a nationwide "internet" called Minitel in the 80s and millions of dollars of business was done over a 9600bps connection.

Broadband isn't some cure all. Its nice, but if your ebusiness is too slow on a modem then you're screwed. Also, the emerging mobile market will be even harder on e-commerce sites to trim the fat or at least provide mobile access.

>what, on fidonet?

Actually I remember two local BBSs here in Chicago. One was a personals dating service and the other was a pay for BBS. And if I remember corectly a pay for gaming site (or maybe just a pay for BBS that specialized in lots of online games). Sounds a lot like today doesn't it? personals, any pay for content site, everquest, etc.
posted by skallas at 8:35 PM on August 28, 2003

I do hope there is another dotcom boom. My site gets millions of hits a day, yet has no business plan or worthwhile content to speak of. I could really use a couple of million dollars and a Bruce Willis TV spot.

Is there some kind of petition we can sign?
posted by bwerdmuller at 5:34 AM on August 29, 2003

bshort: Due to a state of transition, I've been staying somewhere with a less than 28.8 kbps connection for the last three months. That's right, it connects at a blazing 26.4 kbps max. Luckily I can download some things at work.

I was able to cope with modem speeds for five years, it's painful to go back but possible. Note that I can still participate in all the online commerce I want, outside of those needing hefty downloads. Most content is download-once anyway.
posted by mikeh at 1:39 PM on August 29, 2003

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