The Nasdaq index closed above 5,056 Thursday, a new record which practically speaking means…. well, nothing. But it is a historical marker, since the tech and growth-stock heavy index marked its last record of 5,048 in March 2000, just before the Internet bubble burst.
By the end of that year, it would be half that amount.
We went back to look at what the world looked like back at peak dotcom. What was all the fuss about?
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You’d have seen this cute sock puppet pictured everywhere during commercial breaks and even during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Thanks to Pets.com’s marketing campaign centered on this sock puppet, the online pet food and supplies company became the most recognized flop of the dot.com bubble. The company lost $147 million in 2000 before folding in November of that year. But the biggest flop title belongs to another company, Webvan, which was a grocery delivery service. In Nov. 1999, its stocks were trading at $30; by July 2001, stocks were 6 cents a share.
“Google” wasn’t quite a verb yet. (That usage took until 2002 to show up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) You could still plausibly ask Jeeves. Or Lycos or Excite something. Or you went to Yahoo!, which was famous for its Web directory, an index of stuff online. Because people really found things that way.
Everyone was still relived that everything worked when the new millennium began. The scare: That around the world computers would get hopelessly confused and crashy when the year “99” flipped over to “00.”
MP3 players like this one were the newest way to listen to all your favorite songs. And, for the first time, you didn’t have to go to a shop and buy those tunes—you had to rip them from a CD or steal them, because there was no iTunes yet. Peer-to-peer music sharing service Napster was still going strong. Pearl Jam had yet to sue the service for copyright infringement.
This was one of the best selling phones of 2000, with 126 million units sold worldwide. It was known for its impressive features, which included a calculator, stop watch, reminder function and four—four!—games. Also, it really did seem stylish at the time. Still, only about half of Americans even owed a cell phone in 2000, vs. 90% today.
This early laptop from Apple with its colored plastic sides inspired comparisons to things like Barbie accessories and toilet seats, but was still everywhere in 2000. It was the first mainstream computer designed and sold with WiFi built in.
In 2000, hardly anyone had to worry about missing an important email from their boss on a weekend. Only 1 in 3 adults even used email from their homes.
A third of people who did not use the internet in 2000 said they definitely will not be going online and another 25% said they would probably not go online.
Kevin Spacey was having a midlife crisis in suburbia, instead of masterfully manipulating Washington, DC politics in 2000. He took home the Oscar for best actor for his role in American Beauty. The film also won the Oscar for best picture that year beating out The Sixth Sense, The Green Mile, The Cider House Rules and The Insider.
NSYNC’s second studio album No Strings Attached was the best selling album of the year beating out Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP and Britney Spears’ Oops!…I Did It Again. We just wanted to show a picture of NSYNC…