The story of the internet reminds me of classes I took back in 1999 when I was a student at the iSchool. It was actually a lot of review. And shocking that I remembered Anything! I guess I’m not as far removed from that time in my life as I thought.
Anyway, the thing that I found most entertaining about this week was the discussion around dotcoms. For years I had been wondering what ever happened to the other search engines like Infoseek and Excite? I admit I would ponder it on the train or randomly- never when I was near enough to my computer to Google it. And let’s face it: It’s probably not the question at the forefront of my mind every day. That said, having the opportunity to actually research and see what became of Excite was both entertaining and informative. Who knew it took so long to finally go away. I didn’t realize it was still alive in the early 2000s. In any event, when I graduated college in 2001, dotcoms were a cautionary tale and my degree from the iSchool was about as valuable as a mortgage license was in 2007: Not very.
I remember thinking at the time: How did this happen? I was relatively young and didn’t understand much about economies or business. It’s interesting to revisit the topic at a different stage in life where these occurrances make more sense. The dotcom bust is not much different from other failing businesses we see together as old models become obsolete and new ones take over. Although the reasons were different (Rapid Growth, Overspending, Zero Planning), the outcome was the same. Not to bring up the emergance of cloud computing again (per my last post), but look at how that has forced structural change for companies such as Oracle and Siebel. For if they didn’t keep up, they would go the way of the dotcom and any other company that refused to innovate. Kodak is a great example. As technology moves forward, so must we. But as the dotcoms learned- moving forward has to be done with planning and thought. We cannot expect technology in of itself to have all the answers otherwise it will fail.