Michael Fleisher missed it by only a few months.
On November 9, 1999, behemoth analyst group Gartner pronounced quite boldly that "E-business is set to fall into a period of disillusionment by 2001."
Gartner's so-called hype cycle has since proven to be nearly dead-on, with predictions of a dot-com shakeout and stock meltdown becoming all too true.
"We took an awful lot of heat at that time for trying to crash the party," says Fleisher, whose research has us riding out the "trough of disillusionment" for years to come.
As the pioneer of total-cost-of-ownership metrics, Gartner is advising its 10,000 clients that now is a time to reevaluate what's important in their businesses.
"We're telling people not to stop spending on the technologies that they think have a powerful strategic impact on their business. . . . But you have to carefully assess what is truly strategically relevant to your company and what isn't. And the stuff that isn't - like ensuring your network stays up - you're far better off having somebody else do.
"The really talented people who understand your businessthose people are hard to come by. Get those people focused on using technology as a strategic weapon."
As Fleisher pushes Gartner toward $1 billion in annual revenue, he shies away from making any calls about when these turbulent times might reverse, offering merely, "I generally tend to be more of a bear than a bull."