Dotcom Bubble and Hal Varian

1995-2000 Dotcom Bubble


This morning, Patrick O’Shaugnessy retweeted a Carl Quintanilla tweet on the 1995-2000 dotcom speculative bubble. I wrote about the dotcom crash in real-time for Disinformation. A few years later, I did a post-mortem on the 2000 crash whilst studying in Swinburne University’s Strategic Foresight program.


I thought this morning about what was the key insight to emerge from dotcom bubble. It was probably Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian’s book Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy (Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press, 1998): a popularisation of information economics and network topology. Varian was at the University of California Berkeley and later became Google’s Chief Economist. Varian’s academic research laid the groundwork for many of the internet’s later manifestations, from recommender systems to search engine optimisation marketing to platform ecosystems.