Saturday, September 29, 2001

The Dot-Com Hey Days

Today I received the shareholders document describing the merger between divine and Open Market. By October 19, if everything is done right, my old company will be 'something else'.

When I worked at Open Market, I had these crazy dreams that it would grow to be an Oracle, or an SAP. I was at Open Market when it went public, and it is still the headiest day I've ever experienced as a 'working person'. In the span of a day, I had a six-figure net worth. Many that day became millionaires. The sky was the limit, I thought deliriously.

But as the years wore on from that bright day, I started hoping we could be a division of an IBM, or some other such company.

As it is, the rise, and peak, and subsequent descent of Open Market would be mirrored across the nation as Internet companies shot for the moon, then crashed on the return trip. Po Bronson, a savvy author who exemplified those ecstatic times wrote an apology to all his readers who followed him into the boom, only to go bust.

One of the things on my mantle at home is a glass cube containing a miniature copy of the Open Market initial public offering document. You could almost read the text on the fanned out pages, and I often wondered what would happen if I broke open the glass.

From the safety of my new job, I can look back on Open Market with a little more composure. I learned a lot there. And my stock options, whose value varied dramatically, allowed Jenn and I to get into a good house, get a nice car, pay down our credit cards. It was a good trip. I wish we didn't have to land.

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