- A Brief History of the Web- Part one...
- A Brief History of the Web- Part two...
- A Brief History of the Web- Part three...
- A Brief History of the Web- Part four...
|A screenshot of theGlobe.com from 1998, the oldest I could find from archive.org.|
Their website went live on April 1st, 1995, and quickly became very popular. But any money they made didn't go into equity, it went to more and more growth. More employees, more web servers, and more of everything else.
They had to go public to raise more funds. Their IPO launched on November 13th, 1998.
Their target share price was $9.00. But, investors thought they saw the new AOL! (Well, they kind of did, in sense. AOL lost AOL Time Warner massive amounts of money in the early 2000s. But in 1998, AOL could do no wrong, and investors thought any 'dot com' launch was a huge moneymaking opportunity.)
During theGlobe.com's first trading day, their share price rose as high as $97.00, more than ten times the target share price. Astonishing!
Paternot and Krizelman's new corporation bought a number of other properties, in their bouts of spending enthusiasm. They bought Chips and Bits, Computer Games magazine, and happypuppy.com. You never heard of those names? That explains everything!
From The Guardian in 2001:
Between 1999 (when most experts believe the 'dot com bust' began) and 2001, theGlobe.com's shares went from a high of $97.00 to a low of 10 cents. Ten cents!
Paternot and Krizelman were forced out of the company they founded, in 2000. TheGlobe.com shut down in August 2001. In 2003, TheGlobe launched GloPhone, to compete with Skype. That was another commerical failure.
As of March 2010, the company reported that they had a mere $7,618 in assets toward their $3.1 million worth of liabilities. Sounds like every entrepreneur's worst nightmare, as far as I'm concerned.
Friendster's beta launched in 2002.
|Friendster beta page from May, 2002|
|Friendster beta page from May, 2003|
|Friendster launch page from December, 2004|
Friendster is still online, as of this writing. As of June 2010, they have about 8,200,000 users. Friendster was founded by two computer programmers, Jonathan Abrams and Cris Emmanuel. It kind of functions like Facebook, but with a lot fewer extras.
Compared to Facebook's current over 500 million users, and Twitter's current 30 million users, Friendster is now a minor player in the social networking scene.
But, Friendster's model of user pages and linking to friends set a paradigm for most social networking sites that launched later on.
Case in point- in August 2010, Facebook confirmed that it acquired 18 patents from Friendster.
In part six of my 'A Brief History of the Web' series, I will go further into the 'dot com bust' of 1999-2001, mentioning the AOL Time Warner debacle, Pets.com and others. I will also go into the social networking sites that launched after Friendster, and 'Web 2.0'. Also, Netscape falls, and Internet Explorer gets a little competition in the browser market!
In the meanwhile, I forgot to mention a pre-bust venture that was founded in 1994 and launched online in 1995. It has been a huge commercial success since then, and up to this day.
You must have heard of Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com, haven't you? Amazon started exclusively as a bookseller, but now Amazon retails in as many different areas as a department store.
Here's what Amazon's home page looked like in 1995: