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The dot-com bubble of the late 90s and early s saw fortunes made and lost, sometimes with surprising speed. It also saw the foundation of the modern internet and the origins of some of the biggest names in tech. Go back in time with a look at some of the biggest successes and failures of those heady days and see where the key players are now. Jaeb netted a major windfall in the wake of Broadcast.
Inhe founded Common Ground Kauai. CGK is a sustainability center focused on providing environmental education, improved access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and sustainably produced goods. Wagner became an instant billionaire after the sale of Broadcast. Cuban, too, became an instant billionaire after Yahoo bought Broadcast. He regularly appears on the TV show Shark Tank as one of the titular sharks and is an avid angel investor.
His charity is the Mark Cuban Foundation. Founded by David Bohnett and John Rezner init went public in and was acquired by Yahoo in He currently sits on the board of directors of Acesis, a web-based platform for healthcare quality improvement and compliance documentation. Paternot helped found the company while still in college and moved to New York City to build the business.
He left theglobe. He is currently the GP of Actarus Funds, an angel seed fund that primarily invests in internet startups. Napster was one of the earliest, most widely used, music file-sharing websites. It was the subject of lawsuits and ultimately got shut down before being bought up by Roxio, then Best Buy, and then merged with Rhapsody.
His next venture was a music marketplace called Snocap, which failed. InFanning worked on Rupture, a social network for World of Warcraft players. It was acquired by Electronic Arts, then shut down with a round of layoffs that claimed the whole team in Months later, he founded Path.
Programming prodigy Sean Parker was instrumental in helping get Napster off the ground. After stepping down from Facebook inhe continued to meet and advise Mark Zuckerberg. Naveen Jain left Microsoft and founded Infospace in March It was deed to be an online yellow s funded by and also included some simple HTML-based chat rooms. Executives even disregarded SEC rules, selling off large chunks of their personal stock.
Jain d his role in only to be forced out by the board in December Intelius was a background check company that went public in and was sold in to private equity firm H. Capital, at which time a new CEO was appointed. Jain is also on the board of the Kairos Society, a charitable organization founded by his son. This British-based travel site was founded by Lady Lane-Fox and Brent Hoberman in and hadregular users by In Novemberlastminute. Two years later, Lane-Fox announced that she was stepping down as director of the company.
Init was acquired by Sabre Holdings, which owned Travelocity. When lastminute. Inshe helped found Lucky Voice, a company with a series of karaoke clubs and even a desktop and mobile app. After serving as CEO of lastminute. It also acquired a handful of other internet companies during its ascendancy. Unlike many of the companies mentioned on this list, Lycos is still alive and kicking, operating an internet domain name-purchasing site, and photo-sharing service, and more.
Davis shepherded the fledgling internet company through its IPO and the acquisition of a portfolio of other internet companies to bolster the Lycos brand, including Gamesville, WhoWhere, Wired Digital, and others. AltaVista was one of the first search engines on the internet, with search technology created by Louis Monier and Michael Burrows.
Launched in December ofby AltaVista was supplying all search for Yahoo. AltaVista was on track for an IPO before a stock market downturn in spring of put an end to that plan. Even with an early lead, AltaVista eventually lost ground to Google, but Yahoo still acquired the company inand finally shuttered it in July Translate and now babelfish. Not every early dot-com bubble story is a boom-and-bust flameout. He still works for Google. Inhe left Google to search engine startup Cuil, where he was VP of Products; that job only lasted a month.
He also co-founded Qwiki, a video-sharing startup, which was bought by Yahoo in In addition, he served as technical advisor to Context Scout, Clearwell Systems, Proximic, Five Apes, and Fotopedia, and served as chief scientist and head of product at Import. But insuch an outcome would have been almost unthinkable. Founded in by Jerry Yang and David Filo, Yahoo came out of the internet gate early with search functions, message boards,news, and more. It was the internet as far as many early users were concerned.
Despite its steady decline in quality perceived or actual since the s, web traffic measurement company Alexa still registered it as one of the most-visited sites in the world as of September Nonetheless, the company has long struggled to stay competitive after its heyday, with moves like the appointment of Marissa Mayer as president in July and the billion-dollar purchase of Tumblr in May of It was during this time that Yahoo invested in Chinese internet company Alibaba and had several other controversial dealings with China.
InYang left the company he helped found and abandoned his board seats at Yahoo and Alibaba. Filo created the software that served up web s in early versions of Yahoo. He managed to stay out of the spotlight throughout his time at Yahoo and through contentious sales negotiations in July He remains on the board at Yahoo at time of writing and is active with his wife, Angela, in charitable efforts like the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship. They also helped create the K12 Start Fund to invest in ed tech companies and the Yellow Chair Foundation, which gives grants to nonprofits in the education, civil rights, and environmental fields.
When Pets. McLemore is a serial entrepreneur whose post-Pets. He was largely spared the drama of Pets.
In the post-Pets. She also went on to found TheRealReal.
More than 15 years before Amazon Now would completely revolutionize impulse buying in many major cities, investment bankers Joseph Park and Yong Kang founded Kozmo. The site promised users free one-hour delivery of a wide array of goods. The company shuttered in April ofjust over three years after opening its doors.
While at Amazon, Park developed Askville, a precursor to Quora. Then in Junehe left Amazon to become president of biblegateway. These days, coworking spaces, incubators, and accelerators are seemingly ubiquitous, but in the early days of the internet, there was far less infrastructure to help entrepreneurs start a business. Co-founders Donna Jensen CEO and Justin Segal VP Corporate Development saw all the new businesses being launched during the dot-com bubble and sought to provide these young companies with traditional business-planning services.
Almost all of these services have since been unbundled by, ironically, other startups. After multiple failed pivots, Startups. After Startups. She then consulted for Vibrant Ventures, a company which provided consulting services to banks, law firms, and startups. Her most recent company is called Belle Boutiques, a global online furniture store. He also co-founded Stemmons Enterprise in January of Stemmons is an enterprise software company that provides an array of business services.
His most recent venture is a return to e-commerce as chief executive of London-based Lara Bohinc, an online retailer that sells luxury goods. After Boo. InLouis Borders, founder of Borders bookstores a famous casualty of the modern e-commerce erahad the crazy idea to let people order their groceries online and have them delivered to their homes. After several years of sustained losses, though, the company finally crashed in It took Amazon over a decade to get the system that Webvan pioneered right, with the e-commerce giant even relying on many Webvan executives and infrastructure to build Amazon Fresh.
The service is said to be rolling out in Borders is also active with Mercury Startups, a company which pairs startups with seasoned executives and funding. Excite was one of the earliest online services on the internet, created in by a half-dozen Stanford students, including Joe Kraus, and functioning as a web portal with early search functions. Following this, Excite acquired comparison shopping agent Netbot and entered into a deal with Ticketmaster to provide online ticketing.
After helping found Excite Home, Kraus went on to launch Digitalconsumer. There Kraus has led product development on projects like Open Social. Bell has defended his decision to pass on the offer by saying that, at the time, services like Excite were more interested in keeping users on their sites than sending them elsewhere. Infoseek was founded by Steve Kirsch in Byit had 7. InDisney acquired it and merged it with another technology company it owned called Starwave to create Go.
It was also the first search engine company to employ behavioral targeting.
Parts of the business would be sold off to various other companies and the Infoseek brand name is still in operation in Australia, Japan, and Poland. That year, he also founded the Kirsch Foundation, which continues to be active in a wide array of philanthropic activities.Photo 1998 dotcom search
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Where Are They Now? 17 Dot-Com Bubble Companies And Their Founders