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remember lycos?

i was recently looking over a proxy form for the annual shareholders meeting of a company i own shares in. one of the things to be voted on is the "new" board of directors. as i was reading through the candidates profiles, i noticed that one of them had helped launch/grow lycos back in the day. do you remember that search engine? it's actually still around. after some digging, some of the old headlines of the deals that were struck during the dot-com boom came back. remember the hotbot search engine? lycos owns it. how about the web-hosting providers tripod and angelfire? both owned by lycos. they were the actually first search engine to go public with an ipo in 1996. on june 29 1996 lycos only had a market cap (the public's valuation of the company = share price * shares outstanding) of around $150 million. back in 1999, lycos became the MOST visited site in the WORLD! in 2000 lycos was purchased and folded into a subsidiary of terra networks for $13 billion. pretty crazy right? the competition was fierce back then with lots of entrants trying to battle each other. in addition to lycos, there was also and independent hotbot, infoseek, alta vista, excite, and yahoo. yahoo eventually became the dominant one of the group after some time battling, but google ended up challenging and usurping them. i seem to recall using alta vista a lot for my searches at the time, but yahoo has pretty much stayed my main portal for everything else to this day (though google is slowly taking over with all their web apps).

every once in awhile i like to look back at some of these headlines since they say that history always repeats itself. well, a couple years after that bubble burst, we had another one in the real estate market. while in both cases the boom-bust cycle (at the time as well as historically) were driven by greed, i would have to argue that the one in the late 90s was a more productive cycle. it was more like the industrial revolution except with electronic information. as i've said before, many of the ideas and innovations of the period were really ahead of their time. a lot of the companies just ran out of vc funding before they could turn a profit. meanwhile looking at the housing boom, i don't see all that much advancement of information as a result of constructing more buildings and houses. sure there is a spin off component to the generation of wealth through housing, but there's not really a direct advancement of ideas.

so i'll close with some questions i'd be interested in hearing about from you. what were the search engines you used back in the day, and when did you really start using the interwebs daily? what are some of the other sites you liked to visit or remember that aren't around today?

happy weekend.

Comments (1)

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514500505 [TypeKey Profile Page]:

I think I used to use WebCrawler back in the day. Did that exist or I am making things up?

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