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Internet Bubble

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By limerc2
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The Internet Bubble
Fundamentals of E-Commerce
Instructor: Scott Howell
Student: Lisa Mercer
May 27, 2012

Introduction Within the past decades of the internet first being established the lives of everyday Americans and the world have changed greatly. Businesses have changed and evolved greatly with the access to the internet, as many are able to purse dreams of starting a business and possibly making millions. The internet has opened the doors for many to communicate with each other, receive daily news, and to do shopping. The upcoming of possibilities through the internet also led to irrational decisions brought on by greed from investors that made way for the Dot Com Bubble.
History of Internet A pioneer of the creation the internet was Tim Berners-Lee. Though the internet didn’t become wide spread until the early 1990s the making of the World Wide Web can be traced back into the 1980s. Berners-Lee tried to sell his creation to the company that he was working for in Switzerland, but they were slow to acknowledge his efforts.(Griffin, 2000) With that Berners-Lee turned to the internet community in 1991 making his World Wide Web browser and web server software available. (Griffin, 2000) Many enthusiasts began setting up their own web servers around the world. Many scientists were already using the internet to share information found it easier to post their information on the web and wait for a reply. With some government agencies having the responsibility to make their information public were easily able to now with the public turning to the web also. With the growth and the success of the web within a few years Berners-Lee grew concerned that the web would lead to a deconstructive competition. (Griffin, 2000)

The Bubble A period of time between 1995 and 2001 is referred to as the “dot-com bubble,” with the hype and peak of NASDAQ being on March 10, 2000. (Rowan, 2009) A group of internet-based companies marked the founding of this time, but might noticeably be known for the failure. The internet created an attitude towards businesses online were the next big thing, which in turn inspired much of the future of online commerce. The stock price of a company would simply shoot through the roof by adding a .com to the end of their name. This was due to investors ignoring the rules of investing in the stock market and also assumed that because a company operated online it was going to be worth millions. There were companies such as Webvan.com that never turned a profit and but was worth $1.2 billion, later was worth nothing in less than a year. (Parkinson, 2010)
Rise
As hundreds of companies were being founded each week during the mid to late 1990s through 2000, the stock market rose as investors responded with money and lots of it. Many companies that were just getting started engaged in the policy of growth over profit. Investors were being foolish and ignoring the fundamental rules of investing in stock market, such as analyzing P/E ratios, studying market trends, and reviewing market plans. (Smith K. , 2012) Conducted research from HSBC showed that these new companies were overvalued by forty percent. A company’s revenue would have to grow by eighty percent every year for five years to be properly valued at the numbers that these companies were displaying. (Smith K. , 2012)
Who benefitted Amazon was founded in 1994 and made its debut in 1995 as an online bookstore. (Folger, 2011) As many others of the dot com craze there was no sound business plan or it focused more on brand recognition and less on income. Amazon’s shares were at $18 when public offering took place in May of 1997 and then rising upward beyond $100. (Folger, 2011) In today’s stock market Amazon has shares that trade over $200 and has a reported net sale of $9.86 billion.(Nasdaq, 2012) This is quite a difference from the $10 per share after the bubble busted, according Investopedia. EBay an online auction and retailer founded in 1995 and went public in 1998, with its shares also at $18. On the first day of trading the shares topped at $53 with ease.(Folger, 2011) EBay expanded their site to include just about anything from gold coins to real estate. With these changes eBay has proved successful with reported revenues of $9 billion and according to NASDAQ (2012) per share value of $41. Priceline is a travel related website that helps find discounted rates on hotels, rental cars, airfares, and vacation packages. Priceline was founded in 1998 upon the first day of trading in 1999 shares started at $16 and climbed to just over $86. Priceline had to rebuild their brand around hotels rather than the airlines after September 11th and expanded their market into Europe.(Folger, 2011) Priceline shares are trading over $600 in the market today compared to the mere $10 per share in 2001.(Nasdaq, 2012) The company is continuing to benefit on net income and revenue growth over the past several years. On Shutterfly users are able to create prints, calendars, photo books, cards, stationery and photo-sharing websites that were founded in 1999 and went public in 2006 surviving the dot com bust. (Folger, 2011) Shares were just over $15 and now trade at $27. (Nasdaq, 2012) Shutterfly continues to hold their ground against their competitors such as Kodax and Snapfish and combined make up for over eight-five percent of the online photo and merchandise market. (Folger, 2011) Coupons.com was founded in 1998 and has continued growth due to the high cost of groceries and less people inquiring the newspaper. (Folger, 2011) It took three years for the company to issue their first digital coupon without looking back. According to Investopedia (2011), Coupons.com is privately held but could be looking at a public offering within 2012 and is valued at $1 billion.
Fall
As these companies started to report very grim numbers or nothing at all investors began to wonder if the businesses were viable. Numerous high profile court cases targeted tech companies for corrupt business practices including borderline monopolies. (Smith S. , 2012) NASDAQ peaked at 5046.86 and the dot com bubble had burst open on March 10, 2000 and the stock market would lose seventy-eight percent of its value by October 2002. (Rowan, 2009) Many companies had reported huge losses and were hit with financial blows of market correction. One by one many of the companies began fold the number of IPOs went from 457 in 1999 to 76 by 2001. (Rowan, 2009) Investors became more attracted to companies with business plans and revenue.
Who suffered the most There were hundreds even thousands of companies that had gone under with burst of the bubble, with some getting a second chance in the dotcom world of business today or were acquired by another company under a different name than before. According to Kent German (2012) whom gave a list of companies that had a dramatic end included Webvan, Pets.com, eToys.com, Boo.com and GovWorks.com. Webvan and Pets.com seem to be the most and recognizable names that had gone under with the dot com bubble. Both companies either grew too fast or spent too much of the investors’ money on unnecessary dwellings. Though there were hundreds of dot com businesses folding one by one every day after the burst, there were thousands of people losing their jobs and a source of income for their selves or family. Another fatal instance was the terrorists’ attacks in 2001, the market took another downturn and many companies were caught with questionable bookkeeping in a series of government investigations. The public was slowly losing the trust and faith of the tech industry.
Conclusion
Although some saw the evitable coming and many did not. Some paid the ultimate price including the business and workers and some companies turned out to be the million dollar company that they intended to be. Either way all those involved or those that were looking in can learn from what happened, if it’s too good to be true more than likely it is. A business that has growth but no profit virtually cannot last to the end and for that the bubble popped.

References
Folger, J. (2011, July 27). 5 Successful companies that survived the dotcom bubble. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from Investopedia: http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0711/5-Successful-Companies-That-Survived-The-Dotcom-Bubble.aspx#axzz1uPE4Wpo3
German, K. (2012). Top 10 dot com flops. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from c|net: http://www.cnet.com/1990-11136_1-6278387-1.html
Griffin, S. (2000, May). Internet pioneers: Tim Berners-Lee. Retrieved May 9, 2012, from ibiblio.org: http://www.ibiblio.org/pioneers/lee.html
Nasdaq. (2012, May 10). NASDAQ: Stock market. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from NASDAQ: http://www.nasdaq.com/
Parkinson, J. (2010, November 7). The dot com boom and bust. Retrieved May 20, 2012, from joushaparkinson.com: http://joshuaparkinson.com/dot-com-bubble.pdf
Rowan, M. (2009, September 1). Great stock market crashes| The dot com bubble. Retrieved May 22, 2012, from FiPath: http://www.fipath.com/financial-blog/investment/equity/stock-market-crashes-dot-com-bubble
Smith, K. (2012). History of the dot-com bubble burst and how to avoid another. Retrieved May 20, 2012, from Money Crashers: http://www.moneycrashers.com/dot-com-bubble-burst/
Smith, S. (2012). What was the dot com bubble. Retrieved May 20, 2012, from Wise Geek: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-was-the-dot-com-bubble.htm

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