Britain’s Net Pioneers

Finally, I’ve just uploaded my review of the ‘Dot.Bomb: The Rise and Fall of Dot Com Britain‘ and posted it to Amazon. We’ll wait and see if they publish it.

For a couple of years, so-call ‘dot com’ fever landed on Britain’s shores. The city money men went mad for anybody with a web-based idea: it was the future. By the middle of 2000, this future was collapsing in recriminations and losses. There do not appear to be many authors who address this from the British standpoint but BBC journalist Rory Cellan-Jones does just that and brings an interesting take on the events of those years.

Watching the bubble grow and burst from his journalist viewpoint, Cellan-Jones saw the rise (and fall) of Boo, lastminute, Firebox and First Tuesday. With a little distance he is able to get some of the founders of those organisations to speak of the madness of those times.

Dot Bomb is an interesting tale of new business where, almost to a person, the CEOs were under-forty with little or no experience running multi-million pound ventures. Cellan-Jones observes that, in Britain, ‘many of the people who leapt on the bandwagon had a head-start in life’ and that they key skill was not the software – or even the idea – but ‘it was the networking skills of the old establishment that flourished’.

I’m not sure that the books really gets to what was happening behind the scenes and time has allowed people to find convincing reasons why events happened. It is, however, written by a journalist who was covering events at the time and witnessed some of the ups and downs at first hand.

If you’re fed up reading about entrepreneurs from the West Coast of the US and want to see how the ‘dot com’ money hit Britain then this is the book that, refreshingly, puts events into a British context.

On this day…