dot com bubble millionaires question.

Did many/any of those who started dot-bomb companies actually retain their fortunes? I can imagine some people would have been shrewd enough to get out while the going was good.

Mark Cuban (founder of is still staggeringly wealthy.

A good friend of mine from college was worth $70 million on paper at one point. He got out with around $15 - $20 million and still has a great deal of it even after a divorce and the value of the house that he had built tanking. Some of his colleagues also did pretty well but others ended up way worse off than when they started due to greed and tax laws.

I think the guys at Google made some pocket change. As did Bezos at Amazon.

This isn’t quite what I’m looking for. This dude seems to have been rather successful and his company was bought outright by yahoo, after which he diversified his interests. I’m interested in hearing about people who were involved in stuff like but got out with loads of moolah.

Again, maybe I should have made it clearer in the OP but I’m interested in hearing about those who made millions out of ultimately unsuccessful websites.

I read the book Boo hoo which tells the story of It’s a great read, and it definitely mentions people that got out with millions in real money, not just share options. I can’t remember names, but ironically it was the people that got fired that seemed to do best, as they got paid off before the venture capital got burned (and boy did they burn it!)

I think the original tech guy at who got sacked did pretty well out of it.

Well, the way to do that is to have a crappy website, and have one of the big boys buy you out for millions of dollars in 1998, and then in 1999 that website is worthless. In order to come out with money you had to either own a company that was ultimately successful (Amazon, Google), or sell out at the top. Just make sure to sell out for cash and not stock in company buying you out, because that company is going to tank when the bubble collapses.

That happened to my wife. She had stock options in a little company, the little company was bought by AOL, and her stock was worth a lot, then AOL bought Time Warner using their vastly overinflated stock. Then the crash happened. I doubt AOL stock would be worth anything today without the merger. AOL traded its soon-to-be-worthless stock for a huge chunk of valuable Time Warner stock. Time Warner stockholders got screwed. My wife would have made a pile of money if she had sold her AOL Time Warner shares before the collapse. As it is she made a small amount of money because she kept the AOL Time Warner shares through the collapse, even smaller when you consider the taxes she paid.

That’s the only way to make money from a worthless dotcom company…to have sold it to an even greater fool before the bubble collapses. But very few people did that, because they had got in on the ground floor and that stock was going to be even MORE valuable in the future, and even when the collapse started happening very few people wanted to sell. And when people did try to sell, the value of the companies collapsed completely, because there were no buyers by that point.

The Industry Standard just had an article on what happened to some of the big dot coms and the top people. Seems like a mixed bag of results. Some made it out with a good chunk of cash, others seem to have been wiped out and have not been able to build back since then.

I knew a handful of entrepreneur types who made a bundle (on paper), then sold out big. However, they took that money and put it into another venture. A couple of them even made money on those ventures, then cashed out and put their money into yet another venture. Finally the market caught up with them.

The funny thing is, I don’t think it really mattered. These people were born to make deals. All the money meant to them was a tool to use in putting together another deal.

Oh, I think it qualifies. Check out the Wikipedia page on The company sold for $5.7 billion in Yahoo Stock. The founders sold (much of) their stock and kept the money. The services of were spun off into other Yahoo services, but were discontinued. The domain “” just points to, now.

So, Cuban got billions for a total bomb of a company because he was shrewd enough to get while the getting was good.

Yes you are right. I didn’t realise that was no longer extant. :smack:

There was a dot-com documentary that followed a company around, can’t recall the name just now. As Colophon said, the only one who made money was the guy who was kicked out (via buying out his equity) by the two founders. The company went on to fail.

I know three people who were .com millionaires. Two ended up with nothing, one ended up with a few hundred thousand.

There was a dot-com documentary that followed a company around, can’t recall the name just now. As Colophon said, the only one who made money was the guy who was kicked out (via buying out his equity) by the two founders. The company went on to fail.


The movie was called startup dot com.