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FORTUNE Cover Story

Dot-Coms: What Have We Learned?

Money Is Boring
David Winer, age 45
Winer is a Silicon Valley software veteran and founder of Userland Software, a Web publishing-tools company. He publishes his own Internet newsletter at

By Jerry Useem

First-Person Interviews by Eryn Brown

Photo by Timothy Archibald

From my point of view, we kind of skipped the dot-com mania. I've personally had a number of opportunities to, you know, be a CEO or a CTO of one of these shooting stars and make a lot of money and whatever. When it all shakes out, sure, I guess a lot of people are going to be very rich. But you know, I was lucky to get kind of rich myself a few years ago. So I have a sort of, I think a relatively mature appreciation for what value there is in having money. It's not the last thing you have to do in your life.

The frenzy last summer screwed things up, to be honest with you. The social scene in San Francisco was completely destroyed by it. Christmas parties for the last few years have been all about, you know, "Oh, we're about to do our IPO" or "Oh, the greatest thing is, we're pre-IPO." That's, like, wishful thinking. Maybe they've never heard of Murphy's law.

It's boring. Money is boring. And party conversation about money is even more boring. I want to know what people think, and I want to know what their passions are. I want to be inspired by them. I want them to do beautiful things that entertain me. I want my beautiful things to entertain them. The Internet is a fantastic technology that helps me do these things.

So what was last year like for me? It was frustrating as hell. I mean, to see everything turn to money is like kind of not that far from seeing everything turn to shit.

Next Interview: John Brennan

Vol. 142, No. 10
October 30, 2000

Feature Contents
| Dot-Coms: What Have We Learned? | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Interviews Rex Hammock | Tony Espinoza | Anna Zornosa | Dave Merriwether | David Winer | John Brennan | Rocky Mullin | James Cramer |

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Copyright ©2000 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
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Rex Hammock
Rex Hammock

Tony Espinoza
Tony Espinoza

Anna Zornosa
Anna Zornosa

Dave Merriwether
Dave Merriwether

David Winer
David Winer

John Brennan
John Brennan

Rocky Mullin
Rocky Mullin

James Cramer
James Cramer


Dot-Coms: What Have We Learned?

Part 2
If it doesn't make cents, it doesn't make sense.

Part 3
Making a market is harder than it looks.

Part 4
"Branding" is not a strategy.

Part 5
Investors are not your customers.

Part 6
The Internet changes your job.


Rex Hammock

Tony Espinoza

Anna Zornosa

Dave Merriwether

David Winer

John Brennan

Rocky Mullin

James Cramer

Cover Package:
How the Net Really Changes Business

What Have We Learned?

Venture Capitalists
Fallen Idols

Fund Managers
"We Still Love the Net!"

50 Lessons


The Fortune 500
The classic list of America's largest corporations. Plus: FORTUNE 500 Index quotes and charts.

The Fortune e-50
A definitive way to measure the Internet economy, including detailed company snapshots. Plus: e-50 Index quotes and charts and The Fortune e-50: Update

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