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January 04, 2006

Where Do All the Companies Go?

I haven't been in the stock market for five years. 2001 basically killed me. So I haven't logged into eTrade or any of my other brokers for quite some time. Just updating Yahoo, I looked at what used to be some of my eBusiness portfolio and half of the companies aren't there.

Once upon a time, you could say 'Viant' and/or 'Scient', and be considered in the know. My money was on Loudcloud, Mark Andreeson's post-Netscape company. We used to believe, those of us arms distance away from the Dotcom madness, that at least Loudcloud knew what they were talking about. They did, I suppose. Well enough to get bought out by Perot Systems. But whatever happened to those other two guys?

Speaking of which, remember Black Rocket? That was the product by the other company I was sure knew its head from its ass, Genuity. Of course Genuity used to be GTE Internetworking which used to be Bolt, Beranek & Newman, at least that's how they marketed themselves. Somehow BBN remains and all the Genuity tykes were kicked to the curb. Which is as it should be, I reckon. At least I'm glad that BBN survived.

I think of them also in the context of some interesting follow-up on the latest FISA evasion news. It turns out that some time ago, the precursor to the NSA used a proprietary in Florida to do some of this kind of domestic wiretapping. That was back in the old days when big name corporations like RCA and ITT were more closely connected to the intelligence businesses than they are today.

Can a one billion dollar organization disappear? In today's global marketplace, I think the answer is hell yes. Though none of my dotcom investments had anything like that kind of money, I am constantly amazed by how fluid money is in the American economy. Somedays I think I shoulda gotten an MBA. It's still a possibility.

Posted by mbowen at January 4, 2006 11:40 AM

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Remember "Day Traders?"

Definition: Idiot who thinks he can turn $26,750 into a million dollars with a high-speed internet connection, cable TV and a subscription to Investor's Business Daily

Posted by: brotherbrown [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2006 01:29 PM

The bitter residue left by corporate scandals and plunging profits over the years have burnt investors badly. It seems that many organizations are now daring to show signs of optimism for the future. One area I think that's ripe for growth is the gaming, entertainment and mobile technology sector which keeps offering new possibilities to stretch people's leisure over time and space.

As for the MBA, I say go for it. I started my program last summer. Besides doing it as an academic pursuit, the opportunity to interact with individuals with diverse talent and similar aspirations is time well spent.

Posted by: Ray [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2006 05:29 PM