The Rise and Fall of the Telecom Bubble

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Unlike in 2000, the pure AI companies of interest today are private or capped profit vehicles. So there’s a loss of visibility because they are private. AI will result in successful companies, but I believe many of the small AI companies of today will fail to make it. Tomorrow’s winners are probably born today, but that’s some time. What I think has the most direct analogy is the capacity building during the telecom bubble and today’s AI infrastructure spending splurge. So let’s talk about it.

1995-6: The Internet and Deregulation of Telecommunications On April 30th, the NSFnet, the precursor to the internet, was decommissioned. This was the beginning of commercial and private internet use and where our story begins. Excitement about the internet was nascent then, and despite the high-flying late 1990s, the bull spirit was alive and well with the first internet IPO of Netscape on August 9, 1995. At the time, Netscape had the most market share in internet browsers but almost no revenue or profits. This would be the beginning of the speculative frenzy that culminated in 2000.


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