23 Nov 2001 tsavage   » (Observer)

The Dotcom Bubble Burst

THE SO-CALLED DOTCOM Boom and Bust has to be looked at in the light of bottom line reality: with stunning efficiency, at relatively little cost - a few billion dollars - the credibility of the Net, to independent businesses, and to a generation or two of independent creatives, was destroyed, burnt down to the ground. Hopes were driven skyhigh, then brought crashing down. When the "Bubble Burst", it represented a catastrophic emotional, financial and infrastructual failure.

Who was really hurt? Certainly, the source of venture capitalists' capital were by and large unfazed - huge corporations and the superwealthy... The reputations of some previously established high fliers - marketing and ad agencies, design firms, and the like - may've been tarnished, a few crushed. Of course, all of the traditional businesses and careers that flourished during the Boom phase, lost - but their loss was only a moment earlier their gain. Easy come, easy go.

In the end, it seems the creative artists and programmers, and the independent businesses - which includes all but the big multinational conglomerates - who would normally have funded many fresh, "unconventional" new media ventures, were beaten down decisively.

Even as a raft of legislation starts to surround and suffocate the commons of the "free Internet", a vast army of new school talent, and their financial backers, have been neutralized - or more like, paralyzed. A vague but threatening, potentially vast and virulent competitive threat to established big money interests is, for now, no more.

Smothered by money. Killed by cash.

For what it's worth, allowing your spirit to be broken is unacceptable. Life cannot be sustained for long in the absence of passion. So, there it is...hope in action.

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