I remember being in Silicon Valley in 1999 at the height of the dot.com frenzy where every second ad on TV was for some sort of web site. Pets.com was one that I vividly remember because they were advertising on TV in the prime time slots with offers such as 'buy one get one free and free shipping' for a packet of cat biscuits. I always wondered how they made money...
During my stay I visited a few web companies and one in particular (who I wont name) had just had a very successful IPO where their shares had rocketed to USD40.00 in a mater of a few days. The management were very pleased with themselves and I can remember getting out of a taxi and admiring the vast collection of high end European cars lining the front of the building. At the reception there was a peg board with a whole lot of keys. I asked my host what the keys were for and he said that all the employees could pick and choose which car to take home for the night. Even the receptionist regularly drove a Porsche but as my host pointed out the receptionist was also very wealthy with a personal share value up near USD1M. Of course she couldn't sell the shares straight away and by the time she could sell I think the value was down to less than USD5K. Needless to say I didn't pay for lunch and we chose to travel in a Range Rover Vogue.
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