Whilst at Cornell University, Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelmann, two young students, had used a chat service on the university computer network. They decided to build their own chat service that would run on the Web. went live in 1995 and attracted over 40,000 users within its first month. In 1997 they raised $20 million in venture capital – they were still both only 23 years old. At the end of 1998 had its initial public offering (IPO). The company had never made a profit; indeed it’s not clear if it had ever earned any money at all. The initial stock soared a record-breaking 606% in its first day of trading – Paternot and Krizelmann were now each worth $100 million!


Search Engine Venture Capital Initial Public Offering Bear Market Cassette Tape 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Watson
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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