The top event of the noughties...the dotcom dotbomb and the prick that burst the bubble

AOL/Time Warner defined the decade and now that it's been undone maybe we will have a decade of growth rather than recovery...
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor on
I like the term the Brits use to describe the decade of the 2000s - 'The Noughties.' Since we are in the final hours of the Noughties, it's good to look back at some of the most important events.

John McCrea, from Plaxo, writes about his top ten events of this decade.

These are:

- The Dot Com Bubble Collapse.
- Broadband and Wi-Fi.
- Google IPO.
- Blogging.
- YouTube.
- Facebook.
- Twitter.
- Ereaders (Kindle, nook, and more to come).
- Apple, iPod, and iPhone.
- The Social Web.

You can read his reasons for each choice here: Silicon Valley: Top 10 of the 2000s « The Real McCrea

For me, by far the top event of the decade was the dotcom dotbomb. And the AOL/Time Warner was the prick that burst the bubble. I remember in the late 1990s chatting with my friend Carol Dukes, who was at the London School of Economics at the time, and later became one of the UK's top female entrepreneurs. We were discussing the dotcom madness going on, and she said she could predict when the bubble would burst. I was intrigued. She said she couldn't tell me the exact date but that it would happen when a 'new economy' dotcom company acquired a large traditional company. She made that prediction long before the AOL merger with Time Warner was announced. And she was right. That merger marked the start of the dotbomb. That merger never made any sense to me. Why would shareholders of AOL want to own a 'brick and mortar' company such as Time Warner with its slow growth strategy? Why would shareholders in Time Warner want a high risk fast growing business such as AOL? Both sets of shareholders were completely different in their investment strategies and their risk tolerance. It made no sense and neither did the two different management styles and objectives. The AOL/Time Warner merger was a ridiculous deal and the madness of the deal was the sign that the bubble had burst. What followed was several years of hard times for Silicon Valley. And it's taken years to recover from the dotbomb. Now that AOL/Time Warner have broken up maybe this is a sign that a new era has emerged and that finally, we have repaired the deep, gouging effects of the dotbomb. Maybe this next decade will be one of new growth rather than one long recovery from the excesses of the 1990s.
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