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Joel on Software


by Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Where are they now? A couple of years ago, I posted a list of the big Silicon Alley companies and how their stocks had plummeted. Silicon Alley was the term used for New York City's ephemeral dot com industry which lasted for maybe four years before collapsing under the weight of its own overhype.

I thought it might be interesting to revisit those companies and see what has happened since.

Company 2 yrs Ago Today
Juno Online Services 2.69 4.16
TheGlobe.com 0.55 0.06
iTurf 1.09 0.00
Priceline 6.78 1.85
Register.com 7.88 3.52
IVillage 3.00 0.87
24/7 Media 6.00 0.30
Razorfish 5.47 0.05
Agency.com 11.94 3.35
TheStreet.com 3.50 2.22
EarthWeb 9.50 0.32
Doubleclick 24.69 6.05
about.com 22.88 4.26

Footnotes: The "today" column represents how much money you would have if you bought a share back then and held onto it. Many corporate entities have changed. Juno is now a part of United Online. TheGlobe still owns two tiny gaming web sites. iTurf is vanished but your share might have been worth a few pennies when the shareholders sued the management of the typographically challenged company dELiAs*cOm, which merged with it and shut it down. The only reason Agency.com is worth so much is that your share was bought for cash by a big advertising agency before it could go any lower. EarthWeb, which had started out as a Big List of Java Applets in the days when something like that was amusing, changed their name to Dice and dumped the old EarthWeb web site onto retro ubercontent superportal internet.com. Now they're just a job-listing board. And about.com was acquired by a big Old Media company which hasn't done so well, either. Thankfully I personally own only stock index funds, no individual stocks in public companies.

Personally the most interesting thing is that my old company, Juno Online Services, has actually been a great investment during a horrible 2 years. Probably because the old management has been completely replaced. My leaving probably helped a bit, in fact, shortly after I left the stock surged momentarily to about $80 in celebration.

Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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