A bit of history. The year is 1990. My work is publishing technology
information for research
I learn about the Internet at conference from a librarian at the University
of Maryland. I get to
work immediately and start Internet World as a bi-monthly print newsletter.
It starts slow. Less
than 200 subscriptions are sold. Then, kaboom! It’s 1993, the
newsletter goes monthly. It is soon a hot magazine with a paid circulation that grows to 350,000 copies an issue.
Meanwhile, I start the
trade show Internet World and it becomes the fastest growing tech trade show
Fast forward to today. The Internet is trashed by the same financial press
that hyped it from
1995 to 2000. Jokes are made about venture capitalists and IPOs for their
investments in the Internet
But, watch out! History is about to repeat itself with 80211 (WiFi).
80211 is all around us. Hot spots can be found by the thousands now and
will soon be ubiquitous. I just completed a trip around the world and found hot spots in the Tokyo airport, my hotel lobby in Sydney and Starbucks in Berlin.
If you are not using this wireless mobile technology yet, you will be within
18 months. Usage will
be pervasive, from home use to small office use and right up the ladder throughout
I am more than a casual observer to these developments. I have seen the
pulse of this new technology
first hand. My company started the only pure editorial property devoted to
(80211Planet.com) in the spring of 2001 and its growth in readership and advertising has been
terrific. We launched the only trade show focused on this technology (80211 Planet —next running
at the Santa Clara Convention Center on December 3-5). And we created
80211HotSpots.com, a global
directory of hot spots.
VC money is now pouring into 80211 ventures. By the end of 2003, a swarm of
80211 IPOs will hit the
market and help turn around a depressed NASDAQ. Right now, there are only
two pure-play 80211 stocks
on the market: Intersil
(I own shares in GRIC). You can
expect to see huge
investments by the major technology companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel,
HP and others.
Buckle-up. The Internet rides again.
Alan Meckler is Chairman and Chief Executive of Jupitermedia Corp. His column will appear monthly on InternetNews.com