He made a name for himself delivering business news to millions of Americans nightly. Now Lou Dobbs is hoping to translate that same success into his new Internet venture.
Dobbs, who left CNN after almost 20 years last spring, is now the chairman and chief executive officer of Space.com. The all-encompassing site on space exploration formally launched on Tuesday.
In his keynote at Summer Internet World, Dobbs spent much of his time explaining why the Internet and Internet stocks are not a bubble in danger of bursting. Instead, he predicted the next 18 months to two years will see continued growth.
“I believe the Internet bubble is not a bubble — it’s an aspiration of the millennium and what will be. Two years ago, economists were predicting a recession in the U.S. and an international recession because of the Asian economic crisis. Instead, the Dow has risen 25 percent and inflation is non-existant,”he said.
Dobbs also said the Internet is spurring dratmatic growth in entrepreneurship and innovation. He said the revolution the Internet is creating will span “as far as the eye can see.”
“The valuations (of Internet stocks) are based on the expectation of the participants in the markets, natural or not. However, the conventions of physical business will apply. Companies that deliver greater value with products that are desired will succeed,” he said.
Like the vast majority of sites on the Web, Space.com plans to derive the vast majority of its revenue from advertising with accompanying e-commerce revenues. Dobbs said his experience at CNN Financial News overseeing CNNfn.com taught him advertising can form the base of a successful online business model.
Dobbs was tight-lipped on whether an initial public offering is something that might be in the cards.
“It is the exhiliration of the marketplace that is so thrilling. Creativity and passion, not stock options, are the driving force,” he said.
When asked what his five-year plan for Space.com looked like, Dobbs said rather than trying to forecast what will happen in a fast-growing medium, he is concentrating on delivering value to the large numbers of Internet users interested in space exploration.
“The reach is unlimited and the promise is the participatory nature of the Web, he said.