The Breakfast Table

Are the Dot-Commers’ 15 Minutes Over?


The business story of the day remains the market. And at least from the vantage point of newsroom, it doesn’t look like that’s going to change in any encouraging time frame.

But that big story casts off lots of satellites. One close to my heart is the intensifying cultural disdain for “dot-commers.”

Back in 1996, we were considered freaks. From ‘98 through about midway ‘99, we were brilliant visionaries; dead-tree/corporate types couldn’t follow us here fast enough. Lately, we’ve been dismissed as a hubristic lot getting our just desserts.

You see signs everywhere. First, the layoffs. (Check out this Industry Standard story on Value America.) Silicon Alley daily e-mail news dispatches, which just a few months ago carried news of “strategic partnerships” and VC injections, now bear pink-slip stories. Even the Wall Street Journal “Weekend” recently led with the news that dot-coms have bad manners!

As a writer at the arbiter of “success” in New York City, you surely must be hearing tales, too. What’s the New York mag take?