Happy 10th Birthday, Dotcom Bubble… Have A Tin Can

The traditional tenth year anniversary gift is supposed to be made of tin or aluminum. In modern times, we’ve switched to diamonds. But some occasions – like the peak of the Nasdaq bubble – seem better suited to tin.

It was exactly ten years ago that the Nasdaq Composite Index hit its all-time record value of 5,132.52, after more than doubling from year-ago levels. The rise was fueled by an unprecedented wave of speculation in Internet and technology stocks, which subsequently crashed back to earth. Today at around 2,350, the Nasdaq is still far, far from regaining those highs.

I looked at historical prices for a few then-and-now comparisons. On March 10, 2000, shares of JDS Uniphase were selling for $276 (it’s now $11.60). Yahoo was $178 (now around $16.50). And InfoSpace was going for $245 (now around $12). There were 287 venture-backed IPOs that year, which raised a total of $25.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

And I guess every anniversary is incomplete without some trip down memory lane. So here are some of the highlights of that long-ago era (culled from Wikipedia,  and other sources):

January: Super Bowl XXXIV features seventeen dot-com companies that each paid over two million dollars for a thirty-second spot.

February: Pets.com raises$82.5 million in an IPO.

March:  More than 40 venture-backed companies launch IPOs on U.S. stock exchanges.

April:  With tech stocks faltering off their highs, columnist John Dvorak warns of “the coming depression.”

May:  Europe-based fashion site Boo.com burned through $160 million before liquidation in May 2000.

June: A new site, FuckedCompany.com, chronicles layoffs and closures at failing dot-coms.

July: A record number of users download songs from Napster, awaiting a court ruling that threatens to shut down the file-trading site.

August: Internet delivery service Kozmo.com pulls planned IPO

September: Just 13 venture-backed companies go public.

October:  Kibu.com, an online community for teenage girls, returns much of the $22 million it raised from investors, after determining its business model was not likely to succeed. The end, according to CNET, came only 46 days after a flashy San Francisco launch party.

November: Pets.com announces closure

December:  The Nasdaq Composite Index closes the year at 2,470.52

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