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eTicket Adventure: Internet Capitalism; Chronicles In A Box

As 1998 nears to an end, this nascent Internet industry has the dubious distinction of being both young and old at the same time. Young vs. the plethora of industries out there that count years in solar time but old in the rapid evolution within the industry of the companies and players at play where a year is a generation and fleas fear to tread.

As we chronicle the Internet capitalism revolution happening before our eyes we put together a rather unique retrospective that encapsulates some of the milestones that have shook the Web and Wall Street. If this was Disneyland consider this an e-ticket (in the e-commerce sense of "e") and a snapshot of the ghosts of Christmas past, all leading to the specter of great things to come in the Internet space.

So if you're all strapped in, let's go:

The first Web-based report I did was on Yahoo's IPO, April, 9, 1996, that said Yahoo was going to be huge.

Wired Venture's IPO pipe dream, two flavors for the discriminating taste: flavor "a" and flavor "b."

Since April 1996 when this began I had to invent new ways of looking at Internet companies and developed some key metrics that Wall Street has picked up on and uses also. This is the basket of goodies we use constantly to evaluate Internet companies.

On August 8, 1996 I put Internet stocks in context with other media, while most people though Internet meant "technology" here's my thinking that many are actually "media" companies.

On August 15, 1996 I predicted Netscape's demise as powerhouse, which wasn't easy to do in the face of its 80% browser share. But the march of Microsoft came.

January 15, 1997, I predicted that Internet advertising will be bigger than anyone imagines and also bring out the idea that the Internet will mature faster than any other medium (something not widely believed at the time).

March 18, 1997, predicted the cable Internet explosion, before @Home even had the chance to prove its model worked on a widespread scale. Indeed, even today there's fewer than 1 million cable Internet subscribers. For 1999 and 2000 that could change.

March 25, 1997: the little known bookseller that could began to emerge and with it we prognosticated that Amazon could be big with its IPO.

This one broke new ground in metrics and analyzing Internet firms with a different set of tools. April 1, 1997: the debut of new analytic metrics and showed Yahoo as undervalued:

June 17 & 18, 1997, shortly after I find out that Bill Gates reads my reports I interview him, and he offered some real nuggets of insights into the Microsoft strategy and thought process, a very candid view that discussed sweeping issues paramount to the Internet, technology and where Gates & Co. fits in. In two parts, what'd you expect since we covered so much ground!

January 6, 1998, this was a report which Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen told me he passed around Netscape and which influenced its decision (I believe) to give away its browser. Or some such crazy notion.

January 9, 1998: here I said online shopping is about to become mainstream, which 1998 has proven and then some. Wait for 1999!

April 14, 1998: I said CMG may be undervalued, a theme I originally started and discussed in early 1997 when Fortune magazine called me and asked about CMG, which has always been on my radar for its investment in Lycos (NASDAQ:LCOS) and GeoCities (NASDAQ:GCTY), among others. CMGI stock has been on a roar all year.

In the face of most of the market believing Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) to be overvalued as a stock, April 24, 1998, I find that more value may be yet to come in Amazon shares as the company moves into music and video.

Fish oil tales surface on July 31, 1998, as I correctly said that Zapata is a wannabe Internet company (that never was, it turns out).

October 29, 1998, I introduced the concept of "zero gravity" to describe Internet commerce and retail (this term is getting picked up more and more by people to describe Internet e-tail). The term brings to focus the various notions about Internet selling, cost efficiencies, economies of scale.

November 10, 1998, this report was picked up by CNBC, Wall Street Journal, Reuters and others and preceded the recent outburst in Internet e-tailing stocks. This report was a catalyst I believe, although an unexpected one. Subsequent surveys on e-tail and holiday shopping from scores of research firms show e-tail bigger than previously forecast or thought.

Top 10 stock picks for 1998, chosen on December 31, 1997, up more than 250% this year (and out 1999 picks are coming soon!).

And for 1999 expect more pioneering thought here in Internet Stock Report as we bring you the ever-changing analysis, the numbers that matter, the metrics of the future, the movers before they move and the shakers long before they shake--and a whole lot more.

Attention Internet Startups! LaunchPad West StartUp Pavilion, part of Spring Internet World '99, one of the world's largest Internet industry trade shows offers exhibit space for startups ONLY at a reduced price in order to meet their often limited capital available at the startup stage. Contact Sean Moriarty (hurry, space limited): mailto:moriarty@mecklermedia.com