Someone was just mentioned something about Pets.com, which instantly made me picture their sock dog mascot (which incidentally lead Pets.com to sue Conan O’Brien’s show over “Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog“). Thinking back to the days of the dotcom BOOM I remember where I was when it all went down… during the BUST.
I was working for what would become the world’s largest financial audio webcaster and in October 2000, and we were pretty darn busy. My office wasn’t glorious and neither was the content of all the audio I was recording and broadcasting. Dotcoms were falling left and right and I was there to record and disseminate all of the painful earnings information in streaming Windows Media and Real Media form.
I always had to be careful about the pre-roll music that I would use on some of the streams though. One time a conference call company was playing jazz music with the lyrics, “there’s trouble ahead…”, which didn’t sit well with the shareholders on the other end of the line who were waiting for the earnings call. Although no one was laughing at the time, now that wounds have somewhat healed, we can look back on those times and remember all the awesome deals we got on office furniture liquidations (as I overheard Ian talking about today).
I remember watching the SuperBowl ads in those years (I just watch it for the ads, I swear) and one from E-Trade stood out in the pack. It featured a monkey riding through a ghost town that was once a rich business park filled with dotcoms.
I often think of that commercial, I mean aside from the fact that it’s got a monkey riding a horse. According to Duane, the quality of applications and content is already going down-hill, from a user’s perspective anyway although there’s still piles of money floating around. I’m no financial analyst, and my job now is pretty darn web-oriented so I’m not trying to curse anything but one has to wonder if something like this would happen to Web 2.0. I know it’s a whole other can of worms and the landscape has certainly changed since those times but still, with all these virtual jobs and companies it makes me wonder about the tangibles and the staying power of some web-oriented companies these days.
If all else fails, at least let there be more commercials like this to keep our spirits high – you know, commercials with monkeys… like the CareerBuilder.com ones. Yeah. Seriously you can’t go wrong with monkeys.
Update: Anyone looking for all of this year’s Superbowl ads can find them at MySpace.com/SuperBowlAds