There is a lot out there about the dot-com bubble, and its subsequent burst. I tried to limit the scope of my research to only what is truly relevant to the World Wide Web. But that didn’t stop me from tumbling through rabbit hole after rabbit hole. In the end, I think I was able to uncover some interesting reads that I don’t see mentioned all that often.
I actually had to start with some books because there’s just so much out there about a pretty narrow window of time (the late 90’s to 2001 or so). If I had to recommend one book about the era, it’s Dot-con by John Cassidy. Cassidy turns a trained, critical eye on the tech sector and the stock market with an insightful and comprehensive interpretation that echoes very much into today. It was published in 2003, when a lot of people were still trying to claim the crash wasn’t a crash, merely a momentary blip.
But what I really kept coming back to where the firsthand (and some secondhand) accounts, most of which were written only a year or two out from devastating losses on Wall Street, still very much in the afterglow of the bubble and without the hindsight of today.
I also used newspaper articles from the time to get a better sense of what it felt like to be there, day to day, as it happened.
The late 90’s were also when a lot of major publications and media companies were turning their attention to what was going on in the world of the web. That resulted in some pretty interesting profiles and investigative pieces.
Truimph of the New Economy which really kicked off a new way of thinking about productive output in the information age.
The Roaring 00’s by Kevin Kelley, who would later reverse his position somewhat
Silicon Alley 10003 by Vanessa Grigoriadis in New York magazine, which is actually one of my favorite articles from any era of web history. Sharp, insightful, and candid in really refreshing ways.
I even watched a movie. It’s called Startup.com, and I actually recommend it because I think, better than any written account, it really shows what it was like to walk in the shoes of an entrepreneur during that time and feel like the greatest opportunity of your life was just a great idea away.
Anyway, back in a couple of weeks with the first installment of Chapter 11: Dot-Com.