Now that ArsDigita is gone, I think we can officially declare the Internet Exuberance era, which opened with Travels with Samantha, officially closed. Even though the tendency is to blame it on the VCs, who replaced an exciting, charismatic and visionary founder with grey, grey, grey, the truth is that the Internet consulting market was totally wiped out more than a year ago and there’s no reason for AD to have been exempted. Fog Creek only survived because we started the company late enough in the game that we never had time to build much of a consulting business, and we never open sourced the crown jewels so we had something to sell.

By the way, have you noticed how often companies officially sell themselves off (probably for pennies) rather than simply liquidate? That’s just to make the executives’ bios look better. They can say on their resume, “I was the CxO of ArsDigita which was later sold to Red Hat” instead of saying “I managed to turn $40 million of VC and a profitable company into a heaping pile of mineral-encrusted fish tanks.” Red Hat is a part of the Greylock Keiretsu, too.

And even though nobody ever got the Ferrari, it sure made a big splash, didn’t it.

TV: Oops, they forgot to tell me that they actually wanted me to be in San Francisco for this interview. So it will be rescheduled. Whew!

About the author.

I'm Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Overflow. More about me.