Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 19th Nov 2012 09:15 UTC
In the News Levi Asher offers his free memoir of his rise and fall in the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The autobiography covers Asher's twenty-five years in programming: his founding of the oldest ongoing literature website Literary Kicks in 1994, his success with the dot-com website iVillage in 1999 (and its subsequent collapse), and how all this insanity affected his personal life. It's a quick, entertaining read.
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Comment by deathshadow
by deathshadow on Tue 20th Nov 2012 03:52 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

This part sums up wall street predation of any industry quite well:

Most people thought the stock crash reflected badly on companies like iVillage, and I found this attitude very frustrating. It should have reflected badly on the financial community, the bankers and journalists and power brokers who'd hyped us to the moon. They rushed in, they trashed the place, they left.


The really the big thing people miss about trading -- be it stocks, bonds, or commodities -- is that it's not just the rich trying to use and abuse you to get richer and to hell with the consequences of what happens to the company -- it's also nothing more than gambling... Wall Street is the house, and the house always wins. People think the risk is just on the investor side, when to be frank it can be a bigger risk to the property itself.

You take your company public for a quick infuse of 'growth cash' you get what's coming to you in the long run. Investors will use, abuse, and leave you hanging the moment the wind changes direction. As he mentions everyone and their brother went public, blew all the money on advertising and hype, and as always happens when you build all flash and no substance it falls apart quite spectacularly.

... and it also illustrated the effect that fly-by-nights can have on a industry as a whole. Your sleazeball 'make a buck then run for the hills' types can ruin an entire industries reputation -- and when it comes to stocks, that's ALL you really have to keep your fictional 'worth'.

Also why I laugh my tuchas off seeing many small companies from young entrepreneurs repeatedly making the same mistake, then not getting why the "gray matter" in the industry won't give them the time of day.

Of course what really went wrong is the same thing that continues to trash the economy to this day: Credit and debt... and going public is just another way of fast cash for long term pain. If you can't afford something, don't buy it on credit -- be it a multi-billion dollar expansion to your company or that new 50" LCD at Walmart, the notion of "we'll just operate in debt for a while" is the fastest road to financial failure there is. President Odumba actually once called Credit the lifeblood of the economy; I'm with Peter Schiff on this one -- it's not the lifeblood, it's cancer.

Be it going public for fast cash, property mortgages, right down to that little card in your wallet... Congratulations, you want to know who ruined the economy and caused things like the dotcom burst, realty burst, etc, etc? Look in the mirror.

Edited 2012-11-20 03:57 UTC

Reply Score: 6