Dot.Con: How America Lost Its Mind and Money in the Internet Era

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Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Business & Economics - 416 pages

The Internet stock bubble wasn't just about goggle-eyed day traderstrying to get rich on the Nasdaq and goateed twenty-five-year-olds playing wannabe Bill Gates. It was also about an America that believed it had discovered the secret of eternal prosperity: it said something about all of us, and what we thought about ourselves, as the twenty-first century dawned. John Cassidy's Dot.con brings this tumultuous episode to life. Moving from the Cold War Pentagon to Silicon Valley to Wall Street and into the homes of millions of Americans, Cassidy tells the story of the great boom and bust in an authoritative and entertaining narrative. Featuring all the iconic figures of the Internet era -- Marc Andreessen, Jeff Bezos, Steve Case, Alan Greenspan, and many others -- and with a new Afterword on the aftermath of the bust, Dot.con is a panoramic and stirring account of human greed and gullibility.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TommyElf - www.librarything.com

Mr. Cassidy writes an excellent historical account of the dot.com bust. He spices the historical information with good descriptions of why certain things were done according to "business rules ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chrisod - www.librarything.com

Probably the definitive history of the dot com days and the stock market hysteria that surrounded it. I lived this, as I was right in the middle of all of it. I worked for a dot com that went public ... Read full review

Contents

II
10
III
26
IV
38
V
52
VI
67
VII
77
VIII
90
IX
105
XV
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XVI
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XVII
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XVIII
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XIX
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XX
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XXI
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XXII
301

X
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XI
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XII
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XIII
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XIV
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XXIII
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XXIV
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XXV
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XXVI
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Copyright

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Page 12 - ... with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the Memex and there amplified. The lawyer has at his touch the associated opinions and decisions of his whole experience, and of the experience of friends and authorities. The patent attorney has on call the millions of issued patents, with familiar trails to every point of his client's interest.
Page 33 - We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. And there are some, I believe, who practise the fourth, fifth and higher degrees.
Page 12 - A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility.
Page 33 - It is not a case of choosing those which, to the best of one's judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those which average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be.
Page 70 - October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.
Page 134 - But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?
Page 69 - A company for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.
Page 326 - ... but it represents a far smaller increment in the standard of living than achieved by the extension of day into night achieved by electric light, the revolution in factory efficiency achieved by the electric motor, the flexibility and freedom achieved by the automobile, the saving of time and shrinking of the globe achieved by the airplane, the new materials achieved by the chemical industry, the first sense of live two-way communication achieved by the telephone, the arrival of live news and...
Page 28 - ... feel like the head of a pin. As we interconnect ourselves, many of the values of a nationstate will give way to those of both larger and smaller electronic communities. We will socialize in digital neighborhoods in which physical space will be irrelevant and time will play a different role. Twenty years from now, when you look out a window, what you see may be five thousand miles and six time zones away. When you watch an hour of television, it may have been delivered to your home in less than...
Page 12 - There is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers — conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much AS WE MAY THINK less to remember, as they appear.

About the author (2009)

John Cassidy, one of the country's leading business journalists, has been a staff writer at the New Yorker for six years, covering economics and finance. Previously he was business editor of the Sunday Times (London) and deputy editor of the New York Post. He lives in New York.

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