Remembering the crazy dot-com boom.
September 12, 2002 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Remembering the crazy dot-com boom. In November of 1998, a small California Internet provider named AvTel Communications announced they were providing local ADSL service to the community via a typical (and innocent, at least so it was thought) corporate press release. Business wires spin completely mis-interpret the release, CNBC talks about it on air, then clueless investors hoping to get rich quick start throwing money at the stock causing the stock price to rise an amazing 1284% in one day before trading is suspended. After several class-action suits, and a company re-name, the company managed to survive the hoopla, but only barely. Now they're being de-listed like yesterday's trash. Did something like this ever happen to a company for whom you worked? Let's share! (Yeah, I worked there then.)
posted by WolfDaddy (10 comments total)
Stock price in 1998: as high as 30-something dollars a share.

Stock price today: 4 pennies.

Hearing nearly two hundred voicemails that somehow got into my phone (just a lowly middle manager folks, nothing to see here) from frenzied (and just as clueless as the investors) journalists ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Entertainment Weekly: priceless
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:22 AM on September 12, 2002

Oh yeah, only it happened mere months before I was hired, so I missed out on the crazy stock options that everyone else bought houses with (okay, maybe not whole houses, but they made some hefty down payments).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:33 AM on September 12, 2002

My dot-com boom story was a roller-coaster as well. Frenzied and deluded as those days were, I still miss the excitement, and the promise. I guess I'm one of the luckier ones, since my dscm stock still has some value (still 90% down from its IPO though).
posted by kokogiak at 11:44 AM on September 12, 2002

I joined the the "world's largest internet consultancy"--marchFirst (sic) just as it formed. Does anyone remember their classic dot-boom commercials that never told you what they did? Well, it turned out that the Millenium turn might not have been the best time to launch a business predicated on getting others to pay you to show them the E-business ropes. More than that my parting agreement with them prevents me from saying.

I did like those commercials tho, they were so, so, non-commercial. Ya know?
posted by ahimsakid at 11:46 AM on September 12, 2002

I still miss the excitement, and the promise

Yeah, I do too. Anything seemed possible just 5 short years ago. But hey, since the markets are back to their 1998 levels, let's do it all over again! :-)

The most frustrating aspect of the AvTel debacle is the fact that both Reuters and Bloomberg news wire services somehow emerged completely unscathed. The two wires both interpreted the press release to mean that AvTel had invented DSL and then forwarded their version of the release on to a worldwide audience. Irresponsible media at its height, with no repercussions whatsoever. Damn the liberal media! DAMN THEM ALL TO HELL!! :-)

The funniest aspect is that most of the lawsuits against the company are only now reaching settlement. The plaintiffs have, for the most part, "won" the "right" to purchase the stock today for $8/share. Remember folks, the internet moves faster than the legal system. Silly plaintiffs.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:27 PM on September 12, 2002

Well I made it through to the last round of layoffs at my company which occured the day before they sold all the IP, headcount, and contracts to a larger software company. July of this year, that company picked me back up off the bench. The original company is still being traded, and despite the fact that they have nothing to sell, no IP, no employees, etc, the price is currently higher than before the aquisition.
Go figure.
posted by TuffAustin at 12:35 PM on September 12, 2002

WolfDaddy: Anything seemed possible just 5 short years ago.

You can do anything at ZomboCom. Anything at all...
posted by patrickje at 12:37 PM on September 12, 2002

Hah, I just today quit my job at a big Telecom/Media firm to go work at a startup. I feel giddy and a little nauseous, but I'm looking on it as "buying low..." Besides, the big company bullshit was getting to me.
posted by hob at 1:55 PM on September 12, 2002

patrick. thank you, for that link. truly.
posted by oog at 5:37 PM on September 12, 2002

yep, my last company made 90%+ of their profits last year from the (then) highly popular energy trading division. but they suffered from enron-fallout and (on wall-street's suggestion) took down the entire energy trading division (myself included). stock prices were trading at $33 a year ago, to around $4 today. so much for my 401K package...
posted by LuxFX at 6:01 PM on September 12, 2002

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