During the dot.com bubble, investors gave Boo.com $188 million, Geocities was purchased for 3.57 billion, and pets.com introduced us to sock puppet. None exist today.
Startup.com is an excellent documentary about the rise and demise of a similar dot.com.
GovWorks.com was supposed to let you pay your parking tickets online. Convincing some investors that it was a good idea, the firm raised and lost close to $60 million.
The story of govWorks.com illustrates perfectly the “air” that inflated the dot.com bubble.
The Economic Lesson
In this econtalk podcast, as Duke’s Mike Munger and George Mason’s Russell Roberts discuss profits, they also look at the role of entrepreneurs. Munger explains that being a successful entrepreneur is all about earning profits because you are able to allocate resources more effectively. As a result, an entrepreneur’s profits are ethical.
GovWorks.com never figured out how to implement their concept successfully.
An economic question: When are profits ethical? Unethical?