The commercial and cultural explosion of the digital age may
have been born in California's Silicon Valley, but it reached its
high point of riotous, chaotic exuberance in New York City from
1995 to 2000--in the golden age of Silicon Alley. In that short
stretch of time a generation of talented, untested twentysomethings
deluged the city, launching thousands of new Internet ventures and
attracting billions of dollars in investment capital. Many of these
young entrepreneurs were entranced by the infinite promise of the
new media; others seemed more captivated by the promise of infinite
profits. The innovations they launched--from online advertising to
24-hour Webcasting--propelled both the Internet and the tech-stock
boom of the late '90s. And in doing so they sent the city around
them into a maelstrom of brainstorming, code-writing, fundraising,
drugs, sex, and frenzied hype . . .
until April 2000, when the NASDAQ zeppelin finally burst and
fell at their feet.
In the pages of Digital Hustlers, Alley insiders Casey Kait and
Stephen Weiss have captured the excitement and excesses of this
remarkable moment in time. Weaving together the voices of more than
fifty of the industry's leading characters, this extraordinary oral
history offers a ground-zero look at the birth of a new medium.
Here are entrepreneurs like Kevin O'Connor of DoubleClick, Fernando
Espuelas of StarMedia, and Craig Kanarick of Razorfish;
commentators like Omar Wasow of MSNBC and Jason McCabe Calacanis of
the Silicon Alley Reporter; and inimitable Alley characters like
party diva Courtney Pulitzer and Josh Harris, the clown prince of
Pseudo.com. Together they describe a world of sweatshop programmers
and paper millionaires, of cocktail-napkin business plans and
billion-dollar IPOs, of spectacular successes and flame-outs
Candid and open-eyed, bristling with energy and argument,
Digital Hustlers is an unforgettable group portrait of a wildly
creative culture caught in the headlights of achievement.
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