The 25 Who Shaped Dotcoms

DQI Bureau
New Update

What's the biggest event impacting human civilization in the twentieth

century? While the href="">Second

World War, man's landing on moon, the rise and fall of href="">Communism,

the advent of computers and more particularly PCs, women suffrage, the

discovery of penicillin, understanding the DNA structure would be some

popular choices (leaving aside frivolous ones like coming together of

the Beatles or the designing of the brassiere, a biomechanical wonder),

there are many who would select the coming of the Internet (or the href="">World

Wide Web or dotcom) as the landmark option.

The story of ARPANET and US Defense being the precursor to Internet is
well documented at many places. But what ignited the birth of the

consumer Internet was the registration of  the first .com domain

by Symbolics in March 1985. The .com domain was initially run by the US

Department of Defense only till 1991, till Network Solutions took

over-subsequently Network Solutions was bought over by href="">Verisign.

For a while, it was fashionable to include the .com in company names,
though this became less popular after the bursting of "dot com bubble".


even used the tagline: “We're the Dot in Dotcom”. To

commemorate the silver jubilee, Verisign would be leading an

industry-wide initiative beginning in March 2010 to recognize the

innovators and leaders that have shaped the first 25 years of .com and

in doing so transformed our economy and society. Dotcom would not be

what it is today without these early innovators who paved the way for


As part of this celebration, VeriSign will soon announce the top 75
people and companies who have made the most notable impact in shaping

the Internet and ultimately, our world. From this list, a distinguished

panel comprised of some of the Internet's most important influencers,

will select the “.com 25.” Winners of the .com 25 will be announced at

a gala event later this spring in San Francisco.

We at Dataquest too have done our selection of 25-ranging from
luminaries who founded the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook to the

founder of Ethernet to the founder of World Wide Web. The point of

interest is to see how much our list matches with the Verisign one.

Omidyar: eBay Founder

Fiancee Made him a Billionaire

This French born Armenian-Iranian entrepreneur was 28 when he sat down
over a long holiday weekend to write the original computer code for

what eventually became a dotcom superbrand - the auction site eBay. The

word 'eBay' was made up on the fly by Omidyar when he was told that his

first choice for his web site, 'echobay,' had already been registered.

Not wanting to make a second trip to Sacramento, he came up with

'eBay.' Apparently, eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée

trade Pez candy dispensers. Remarkably, eBay was profitable since it

began in 1996 and as the largest site for e-commerce it became a dotcom

blockbuster. A successful eBay IPO in 1998 turned Omidyar into a

billionaire, who now with his wife runs the philanthropic investment

firm Omidyar Networks.

Meg Whitman: ex-eBay CEO

Penny Wise Auctioneer

If Omidyar conceived and founded eBay, it was Whitman who nurtured it
to make it the world's largest marketplace where you can buy and

sell...almost anything. And unlike most dotcoms that tried to turn the

Net into TV or the mall, Whitman tapped into its root appeal,

communications, letting people trade among themselves. And in contrast

to many dotcoms, she pinched pennies from the start. From 30 employees

and $4mn in revenues when she joined in 1998, Whitman helped eBay grow

to 15,000 employees and $8bn in revenues by the time she resigned in

2008. Repeatedly named by Fortune as one of the top 5 most powerful

women, Whitman is a Republican candidate for California Governor in

November 2010.

Steve Case: href="">AOL

Failure too a Case Study

This former Pizza Hut marketing manager first realized the potential of
a mass online service when in 1991 he co-founded America Online (AOL)

from Quantum, his online services company. Not only he brought the new

service to 1 million subscribers by 1994, he pioneered several online

interactive games and titles for over a decade till he presided over

the $164bn merger with media giant Time Warner in January 2000. While

at that time Case was sitting atop the most poweful empire of new and

old media, the merger quickly ran into trouble during the dotcom bust,

compounded by accounting scandals. The failure of the AOL-Time Warner

merger is the subject of MBA courses, but even that accentuates Case as

one of the dotcom icons.

Jeff Bezos: href="">Amazon

The Virtual Bookseller

You may be the Bibliophile with an eye for that rare edition or an
affocianado who always likes to pick up the global first edition,

chances are that you have to log in to Amazon to fulfil your wishes.

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 after making a cross country drive from

New York to Seattle, writing up the Amazon business plan on the way and

setting up the original company in his garage. Known for his attention

to minute business process details-often described as at once a

happy-go-lucky mogul and a notorious micromanager. ... an executive who

wants to know about everything from contract minutiae to how he is

quoted in all Amazon press releases-- Bezos is also the brains behind

Kindle, motivated by the strategy that Amazon would soon sell more

e-books than virtual books.

Berners Lee: World Wide Web inventor


One of Time magazine's 100 most important people of the 20th century,
Sir Timothy John Berners Lee is credited with inventing the World Wide

Web, making the first proposal for it in March 1989. On 25 December

1990, he implemented the first successful communication between an HTTP

client and server via the Internet. That makes him the British answer

to Neil Armstrong-if the latter expanded the human universe with his

first foray to the Moon, Berners Lee brought everything closer when the

first website was put online at CERN on August 6, 1991 and the

WorldWide Web consortium (W3C) was founded in 1994 at MIT.

Incidentally, he later admitted that the forward slashes ("//") in a

web address were actually unnecessary-- “it seemed like a good idea at

the time.”

Andreessen: Netscape founder

Poster-boy Turned Crusader

During his undergraduation at University of Illinois, Andressen along
with a co-worker created the Mosaic web browser and subsequently

started the Mosaic Communications  in 1993. The University of

Illinois was unhappy with the company's use of the Mosaic name; hence

Mosaic Communications changed its name to Netscape Communications, and

its flagship web browser became Netscape Navigator. Netscape's IPO in

1995 propelled Andreessen into the public's imagination and its success

attracted Microsoft's attention. While Andressen became the poster-boy

wunderkid of the Internet bubble generation, Microsoft licensed the

Mosaic source code from Spyglass (an offshoot of the University of

Illinois), and turned it into Internet Explorer The resulting battle

between the two companies became known as the Broweser Wars. While

Netscape was later sold to AOL, Andressen also founded Opsware, later

sold to HP.

Zuckerberg: Facebook founder

The Man Who Monetized Socializing

Being dumped by his girlfriend Erica prompted Zuckerberg to invent a
social networking site called Facemash from his Harvard dorm in

February 2004, which rated women as “whether hot or not”. Facemash

became Facebook following a few modifications with the idea coming from

his days at Phillips Exeter Academy which had a long-standing tradition

of publishing an annual student directory with headshot photos of all

students, faculty and staff known as the "Facebook".  Zuckerberg's

Facebook started off as just a "Harvard-thing", until he decided to

spread it to Stanford, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, Cornell, Yale and

others. Finally, he moved to Palo Alto and over the summer of 2004,

Facebook was launched as a corporate entity. After several lawsuits by

his co-founders, in 2007 Facebook sold 1.6% stake to Microsoft for

$240mn. With over 350 mn users Facebook is the face of social

networking-in fact a Zuckerberg biopic is slated for release in 2010.

Shawn Fanning: href="">Napster founder

They Took Away his Music

While working summers at his uncle's Internet company,
Fanning started writing the code for Napster, a program that could

provide an easy way for downloading music. The system was launched in

1999-with it was born the peer-to-peer system; for millions of netizens

around the world it meant free music. Soon after, however, Napster was

the target of several music industry-backed lawsuits, which ultimately

ended up causing the cessation of the service. Best Buy purchased

Napster in a line of succession from companies such as Roxio, and

Sony-BMG. Though Napster lost the case, the concept started by him led

to the initiation of numerous other similar softwares such as Morpheus

and BitTorrent. Incidentally, in a cameo appearance in The Italian Job

where Fanning played himself, he was accused by Seth Green's character

of stealing Napster from him while he was taking a nap.

Bhatia: Hotmail founder

The Hot Male?

While working on the concept of a web-based database in a startup
called Firepower Systems, Bhatia realized the potential of a web-based

e-mail system and thus decided to create one called HoTMaiL (the

uppercase letters spelling out HTML-- the language used to write the

base of a webpage). In order to attract attention, the e-mail service

was provided for free and revenue was obtained through the advertising

on the website. Draper Fisher Ventures invested $300,000 on the project

and the service was launched on July 4, 1996. The concept of free

e-mail was born-perhaps Internet's biggest ever contribution to human

civilization. In less than six months, the website attracted over 1

million subscribers. As the interest in the web-based email provider

increased, Microsoft eventually took notice and on December 30, 1997

(Bhatia's 29th birthday), Hotmail was sold to Microsoft for a reported

sum of $400 million. Though Bhatia ventured into several other projects

subsequently, he never managed the same limelight again-not even

reports of his impending marriage to Aishwarya Rai.

Jack Dorsey: href="">Twitter

Not Only Birds Tweet

In Oakland in 2000, Dorsey started his company to dispatch couriers,
taxis, and emergency services from the Web. Building on dispatching and

inspired in part by LiveJournal and possibly by AOL Instant Messenger,

he got the idea at this time for realtime status communication. He

decided that SMS text suited the status message idea better and built a

prototype for Twitter in two weeks. He co-founded Obvious, a podcasting

startup which then spun off into Twitter. As CEO, Dorsey saw the

startup through two rounds of VC funding-though improving uptime was

initially given more priority over generating revenues, considering its

universal popularity now Twitter is looking at channels to menetize it

now. Meanwhile Dorsey has now gone Square, a mobile payment startup

that allows iPhone to accept credit card payments.

Leonard Bosack/Sandy Lerner: href="">Cisco

The Networking Couple

Credit for the ubiquitous router (no Internet without that) should go
to the colorful couple Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner (she was the

first to appear nude in a business magazine Forbes). Apparently, Lerner

and and her-then boyfriend and ex-husband Bosack designed the first

router so that they could connect the incompatible computer systems of

the Stanford offices they were working in to send love letters to each

other. By the end of 1984, they had formed Cisco Systems (after San

Francisco) and begun manufacturing routers in their living room. In

1986, Bosack resigned from Stanford amid allegations of impropriety to

work at Cisco full time. That year, they received funding of $2.5

million from Sequoia Capital after 77 unsuccessful proposals to other

VCs. Between 1984 and 1992, Cisco grew an average rate of 200% per year

with little or no advertising. On August 28, 1990, the management team

fired Lerner; upon hearing the news, Bosack resigned to show his

support. The two immediately sold their founder shares in Cisco for an

estimated $170 million. Neither are in Cisco any more, but the legacy

continues to thrive.

Page/Sergey Brin: href="">Google


Search Researchers

Brin and Page originally met in March 1995, during a spring orientation
of new computer science PhD candidates at Stanford. Page was in search

of a dissertation theme and considered exploring the mathematical

properties of the World Wide Web, understanding its link structure as a

huge graph. He focused on the problem of finding out which web pages

link to a given page, considering the number and nature of such

backlinks to be valuable information about that page. In his research

project, nicknamed "BackRub", he was soon joined by Brin. A polymath

who had jumped from project to project without settling on a thesis

topic, Brin found the premise behind BackRub fascinating.  They

developed the PageRank algorithm, and realized that it could be used to

build a superior search engine; the intial version of Google was made

available in August 1996 on the Stanford site. In 1998, Google got

incorporated; Page ran Google as co-president along with Brin until

2001 when they hired Eric Schmidt as Chairman and CEO. Both Page and

Brin now earn an annual compensation of one dollar but their names have

become etched in the history of human civilization.

Yang: Yahoo! Founder

Father of Portals

While studying Electrical Engineering at Stanford, Yang co-created in
April 1994 with David Filo a website consisting of a directory of other

websites called "Jerry and Dave's Guide to the World Wide Web". It was

renamed "Yahoo!" (an exclamation). As it became very popular, Yang and

Filo realized the business potential and co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in

April 1995. They took a leave of absence and postponed their doctoral

programs indefinitely. The concept of Internet portal was born, though

Yahoo has later been upstaged by Google on almost all fronts.

Ironically, while Google has adopted a tough stance against Chinese

authoritarianism, Yang, despite his Taiwanese origin, has been

criticized for his role in the arrest of Chinese journalist Shi Tao who

used a Yahoo address to notify a pro-democracy website that the Chinese

government ordered the Chinese media not to cover the fifteenth

anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. Yahoo! provided the

Chinese security agencies with the IP addresses of the senders, the

recipients and the time of the message. Tao was subsequently convicted

for "divulging state secrets abroad." Yang was heavily criticized and

Reporters Without Borders alled  Yahoo! "a Chinese police


Wales/Larry Sanger: Wikipedia founders

The Encyclopedia Makers

An expert-written online encyclopedia project Nupedia was launched in
the late 90s (with Larry Sanger as full-time editor-in-chief) by Bomis,

a web-advertising-selling firm owned by Jimmy Wales, Tim Shell and

Michael Davis. With the writing on content for Nupedia extremely slow

(only 12 articles in the first year), Sanger thought of using wiki as a

platform after he was explained the concept by a computer programmer

Ben Kovitz. Wales set one wiki up and put it online on January 10, 2001

and Wikipedia got conceived as a feeder project for Nupedia. There was

considerable resistance on the part of Nupedia's editors and reviewers

to the idea of associating Nupedia with a wiki-style website. Sanger

suggested giving the new project its own name, Wikipedia, and it was

soon launched on its own domainon 15 January 2001. The bandwidth and

servers (located in San Diego) used for these projects were donated by

Bomis. Wales made Wikipedia's first edit, a test edit with the text

"Hello, World!”. The oldest article still preserved (there are 14 mn

articles now with 3.2mn in English) is UuU, created on 16 January 2001,

at 21:08 UTC.

Caterina Fake/Stewart Butterfield: href="">FlickR

Visual Pioneers of Web 2.0

Trust a most photogenic husband-wife duo (though now divorced) to
launch the popular photo-sharing service FlickR and its parent company

Ludicorp in Vancouver in February 2004. The service emerged out of

tools originally created for Ludicorp's Game Neverending, a web-based

massively multiplayer online game (MMOG). Flickr proved a more feasible

project and ultimately Game Neverending was shelved. the service is

widely used by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and

social media. No wonder, therefore that FlickR is considered to have

ushered in the so-called Web 2.0 features such as social networking,

community open APIs, tagging, and algorithms that surfaced the best, or

more interesting content. In March 2005, Yahoo acquired FlickR and in

2006, the services were updated from 'beta' to 'gamma'--intended to be

tongue-in-cheek to indicate that the service is always being tested by

its users, and is in a state of perpetual improvement. While both Fake

and Butterfield left Yahoo in 2008, in May 2009, White House official

photographer Pete Souza began using Flickr as a conduit for releasing

White House photos.

Chad Hurley/Steve Chen/Jawed Karim: href="">YouTube

Video Made Them Kings

From Gandhi parodies to MMS of DPS peccadilloes to being official IPL
partner-YouTube has courted controversies not just in India but across

the globe. Its origin was however much less controversial-the PayPal

logo designer Hurley along with two other PayPal engineers, Chen (of

Taiwanese origin) and Karim (son of a Bangladeshi immigrant who grew up

in erstwhile West Germany), founded YouTube in January 2005 supposedly

to share videos from a dinner party with friends in San Francisco.

Sending the clips around by e-mail was a bust as the e-mails kept

getting rejected because they were so big. Posting the videos online

was a headache, too. So they got to work to design something simpler.

What obviously helped was the bonus Hurley had reveived when eBay had

bought PayPal for $1.54bn in 2002. YouTube soon became one of the most

popular sites and it was sold off to Google in 2006 for $1.65bn turning

the three overnight into multi-millionaires. While Chen is still the

CTO of YouTube, Hurley is now busy in trying to invest in one of F1


Benioff: founder

Software's Dotcommer

Many believe Benioff should go down in history - or at least the
history of the software industry - for his nearly single-handed

invention of on-demand computing. After all, he launched not just

another Internet site/service, but brought software to the Net itself

when he launched from a rented San Francisco apartment

in 1999 with the defined mission as The End of Software. With it, he

changed the software market's paradigm: “No Software” wasn't just a

marketing slogan - it was a mantra. Today ten years on,

is a billion-dollar company and the software industry has been

irreversibly changed. Benioff should occupy the same pedestal as Bill

Gates or Larry Ellison-ironic considering he was with Oracle for 13

years and was its youngest VP ever; and more than once he has publicly

announced “Part of our mission is to end Microsoft”. He has long

evangelized Software-as-a-service (SaaS), coined Platform-as-a-service,

pioneered the 'cloud' revolution and now with Chatter plans to

coporatize social networking.

Lars Perkins: href="">Picassa

His Passion is Photography

Strictly not a dotcommer, but the efficacy of Perkins' digital photo
organizer tool made it most lucrative on the Net, courtesy Google. As

an executive at Pasadena-based business incubator Idealab, his mission

was to create companies. A camera enthusiast, he figured digital

photography was a lot of fun but way too complicated. So he dreamed up

Picasa, a blend of Pablo Picasso, the phrase mi casa for 'my house' and

'pic' for pictures, a software program that takes the pain out of

finding photos stored on a computer hard drive. He was the CEO of

Picasa when it was snapped up by Google in 2004. For two years, when he

was Director, Product Management at Google his weekly schedule involved

working one day at home, commuting by his personal airplane to Google

campus in Mountain View, California another day and the other three

days flying from Pasadena to Google offices in Santa Monica. Subsequent

to Google, he has served as interim CEO of yousaidit, a search engine

integrated with social media, when he was one of the biggest corporate

donors to Obama's presidential campaign.

Ray Tomlinson: e-mail founder

The Man Who Mailed Himself

Because it is used in every e-mail address and many tweets, you might
be forgiven for thinking that the remarkably common symbol @, which

English-speakers know as the “at sign,” but Italians call a “snail,”

and south Slavs know as a “monkey,” is a fairly recent invention. It

was a Florentine merchant named Francesco Lapi who used the symbol @ in

a letter written 474 years ago on May 4, 1536.  The symbol ended

up on typewriter keyboards after it evolved over the centuries into

commercial accounting shorthand for the phrase “at the price of” in

records of transactions written by English merchants. That's why the

symbol was sitting on a computer keyboard in 1971 when an engineer

named Ray Tomlinson decided to use it in the first e-mail address to

send the first e-mail. But what was the first e-mail? Tomlinson says he

has no idea. “I sent a number of test messages to myself from one

machine to the other. The test messages were entirely forgettable and I

have, therefore, forgotten them.” The first e-mail content may now be

lost, but e-mail (and @) still remains the most popular dotcom

application/symbol, straddling Web 1.0, 2.0 and may we say 3.0.

Reid Hoffman: href="">LinkedIn

Silicon Valley's Most Connected

When Hoffman graduated from Stanford, his plan was to become a
professor and public intellectual. But soon the illusion was over as he

realized that academics write books that 50 or 60 people read and 'I

wanted more impact'. The opportunity for making more impact came in

2003 when he launched LinkedIn-the social network now primarily used

for business connections and job searching. At that time he was still

the EVP of PayPal in charge of business and corporate development; and

PayPal had just got acquired by eBay in 2002. Reid was LinkedIn's

founding CEO for the first four years before moving to his role as

Chairman and President, Products in 2007 (now executive chairman). He

is often called the 'most connected man in all of Silicon Valley'; has

strong relations with most central players in Web 2.0; coined the term

'Second Generation Web Entrepreneurs'; is on the board of Mozilla,

Burger King, Vendio, Six Apart,, Tagged, Zynga and invested in

Facebook, Ironport, FlickR, Digg, Grockit, Ping.frm, Nanosolar,, Knewton, Kongregate and among others. Want to check

Hoffman's entire professional career? Just check his LinkedIn profile.

Philip Rosedale: Second Life founder

Second Life was his First Love

“I'm not building a game. I'm building a new continent.” It was with
this vision to demonstrate a viable model for a virtual economy or a

virtual society that Philip Rosedale of Linden Lab created Second Life

(Philip Linden in Second Life avatar), an Internet scale virtual world

in 2003. This was after he left RealNetworks and founded Linden Lab in

1999 after a street in Hayes Valley. During a 2001 meeting with

investors, Rosedale noticed that the participants were particularly

responsive to the collaborative, creative potential of Second Life. As

a result the initial objective-driven, gaming focus of Second Life was

shifted to a more user-created, community-driven experience. Second

Life's status as a computer game is frequently debated. Unlike a

traditional computer game, Second Life does not have a designated

objective, nor traditional game play mechanics or rules. Second Life

has an internal currency, the Linden Dollar that can be used to buy,

sell, rent or trade land or goods and services with other users. Some

companies even generate US dollar earnings from services provided in

Second Life. First Brazil and then South Korea even have their own

independently-run portals to Second Life, operated by intermediaries.

Jarkko Oikarinen: Chat founder

He Made People Chat

Finland and technology? What immediately comes to mind is either Nokia
or Linus Torvalds (the father of Linux). Not so much Jarkko. That's not

being fair though to the originator of the now 'ubiquitous' chat, which

along with e-mail, search and blog ranks as the most popular Web

application. But the man whose homepage boldly flaunts “If it is not

logic, it's magic. If it is not magic, it is female logic” is not

complaining; in fact he is rather unassuming about the phenomenon he

created. It was while working at Oulu University in August 1988, he

wrote the first Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server and client programs,

which he produced to replace the MUT (MultiUser Talk) program on the

Finnish BBS OuluBox. IRC was the first Internet chat network; it was

used to report on the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt throughout

a media blackout and also during the first Gulf War. Jarkko continued

with IRC development (he is there known as the WiZ) and later

co-authored the IRC protocol with Darren Reed. IRC client software is

today available for virtually every computer OS that supports TCP/IP;

it's the basis for human communication in the 21st century.

Jorn Barger/Peter Merholz/Evan
Williams: href="">blog


When Diaries Got Dotcommed

A prolific Usenet poster since 1989, Barger started his Robot Wisdom
site in February 1995, publishing essays and resources on James Joyce,

AI, history, Jadaism, Internet culture, hypertext design, and

technology trends (note the esoteric diversity). On December 17, 1997,

Barger began posting daily entries on his Robot Wisdom Weblog featuring

“links to articles about politics, culture, books and technology that

he found interesting” and “amounted to something of a day-to-day log of

his reading and intellectual pursuits”. He coined the term 'weblog' to

describe the process of 'logging the Web' as he surfed. The even

shorter form, 'blog,' was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke

the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999. Shortly thereafter, Williams at Pyra

Labs used 'blog' as both a noun and verb (“to blog,” meaning “to edit

one's weblog or to post to one's weblog”) and devised the term

'blogger' in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product. Since 2002,

blogs have gained increasing notice and coverage for their role in

breaking, shaping, and spinning news stories, including the financial

and political goals of US-Israeli relations and the Iraq War. The trio

of Barger, Merholz and Williams has 'blogged' their way to posterity.

David Bohnett/John Rezner: href="">GeoCities

Creating Web Identities

The concept of free Web hosting was born in mid-1995 when Bohnett (a
prominent gay activist and VC who owns Baroda Ventures) and Rezner

founded Beverley Hills Internet (BHI) in Southern California. They

created their own Web directory, organized thematically in six

'neighborhoods' (Colosseum, Hollywood, RodeoDrive, SunsetStrip,

WallStreet and WestHollywood) and offered users (thereafter known as

“Homesteaders”) the ability to develop free home pages within those

neighborhoods. This neighborhood became part of the member's web

address along with a street address number to make the URL unique (for

example, “”). BHI soon added

additional cities, including CapitolHill, Paris, SiliconValley and

Tokyo and in December '95 became known as GeoCities after having also

been called Geopages. Bohnett/Rezner made GeoCities go public on Nasdaq

in 1998 and in January 1999 at the peak of the dotcom bubble it got

acquired by Yahoo (at that time GeoCities was the third visited website

behind AOL and Yahoo). Though in 2009 Yahoo closed down GeoCities, it

provided the Web 1.0 generation the opportunity to create personal web

identities-before blogs came in to add the 'interactivity'.

McNealy/Vinod Khosla/Andy Bechtolshein/Bill Joy: Sun Microsystems


The Sun Rose...and Set Too

On February 12, 1982 Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolsheim and Scott McNealy,
all Stanford graduate students, founded Sun Microsystems. Bill Joy of

Berkeley, a primary developer of BSD, joined soon after. The Sun name

was derived from the initials of the Stanford University Network. While

Sun's first Unix workstation was conceived by Bechtolsheim, the company

was profitable from its first quarter in July 1982.  Though Sun

went public in 1986, it was during the dotcom bubble that Sun

experienced dramatic growth in revenue, profits, share price, and

expenses. Some part of this was due to genuine expansion of demand for

web-serving cycles, but another part was synthetic, fueled by VC-funded

startups building out large, expensive Sun-centric server presences in

the expectation of high traffic levels that never materialized. The

marketing pashas with glee coined the tagline We are the dot in dotcom.

The share price in that particular period increased to a level that

even McNealy or Joy was hard-pressed to defend. Both the dotcom (and

consequently) Sun bubble burst in 2001 and McNealy (other founders had

left by then) was left to pick up the pieces and chart a new position

for the company. Java and Unix workstation will always be Sun's

permanent legacy to technology, but the Oracle acquisition in 2008 (and

McNealy's resignation in 2010) could not help giving the feeling that

an era was over.