Some argue that the dot-com bubble began its rapid inflation the day TheGlobe.com went public in 1998. On its first day, the social media forerunner, which let users publish their own contentand interact with others with similar interests on hosted discussion groups and home pages, saw shares increase their value by 600 percent. Set to price at $9, trading started at $87, ultimately settling at $63.50.
With a market cap of $842 million, the company seemed destined for greatness, but wasn't able to sustain growth.
"The rules of the game changed as soon as we went public," co-founder Stephan Paternot wrote in his book"A Very Public Offering: A Rebel’s Story of Business Excess, Success, and Reckoning." "It was not about developing our business model, but increasing shareholder value. We were doing well if our stock went up and badly if it went down."
By August 2001, Nasdaq de-listed the stock. A strong shift in focus in 2003, when the company launched GloPhone — a VoIP phone service similar to Skype — helped it hang on through 2007. But the company was besieged by lawsuitsand found guilty of violating anti-spam lawsjust as Facebook was becoming red hot. Today, it's a shell company, with no notable operationsor assets.