Blog Past: Dotcom Nostalgia

This series from June 2005 was written five years after the dotcom bubble burst. Here is what I wrote in a column in Business World then:

….[A] point I want to make is about entrepreneurs. You have to distinguish between those who go in there motivated only by money and those who go in to change the world. An entrepreneur has to have a little bit of the ‘change the world’ thing in him. If I have to get my passion across, I have to believe that what I am doing is the next big thing. If I don’t believe in it how will I convince others? So you have to paint that picture of tomorrow.

Looking back, I think the most positive aspect of the dotcom boom is that it gave people a flavour of entrepreneurship. People quit well-paying jobs to see what the other side is all about. I wish it had lasted a little longer. Then we would have had a lot of money invested in the Internet business in India. That’s what has happened in China. At least four portals managed to raise $100 million-plus on the IPO offerings. So when the dotcom boom went bust, they had the cash to discover mobile and gaming businesses. Businesses and markets may vanish but these companies had the cash to morph into something different. From these situations emerge the next big ideas. That culture of entrepreneurship would have lasted if we had a lot more ideas.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.