Sparks almost flew off of his head, he said. The rest has become the stuff of Steve Case lore, like a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about business. Orders came pouring in that evening for about 150,000 of the little boxy modems. If so, what will you write about? This was, after all, polite society. A new product, new intellectual property, new company or what? It was also touted as the mixture of the old media print and the new media the internet. The outburst was Case's first public dressing down. He remembers his good friend, who had the crazy idea that, one day, people would use computers— computers! The media was uniformly impressed.
Credit an unfortunate confluence of factors: The company was spending a. He found a way to reach out, at least to his father: He built him a gizmo. But the government forced the two companies to make concessions, and during the yearlong negotiations technology stocks tumbled. How did the deal of the century become an epic disaster? This is how von Meister pitched the little gizmo to retailers: Games are only the beginning. Von Meister stared across at a polite executive, who wasted no time in delivering the bad news: Warner Bros. In his own corporate literature, he described the firm as a collection of successful consumer marketing executives who currently have significant responsibilities but enjoy the professional challenge of attacking new and exciting business opportunities.
And there was a potential market: teenage boys. In the first weeks of 2000, Mr. But company executives continue to say that business is getting better; only time will tell. Retailers are threatening to throw our records in the street, he told von Meister. Klein reports, unorthodox deal making and accounting pyrotechnics continued as executives struggled to ensure that the company met its ambitious growth targets, a goal that became increasingly elusive, as a withering advertising market showed no signs of picking up.
And his name was not Steve Case. Peyser and his old friend used to play a match here once a week, and after the game which Peyser usually won , the two men would sit at the kitchen table and, over a glass of juice, dream up wild technology to invent, impossible business ventures to create, a whole wide world to conquer…. And so it was that Billy graduated from tin-can experiments to building walkie-talkies to wiring intercoms between rooms. This is a riveting story of ambition, hubris, and greed set amid the boom-and-bust years of the technology bubble. A stream of information would flow from computer to computer through telephone lines, like blood coursing through arteries, giving life to a new digital world. During my time there, it seemed like there was a major layoff almost yearly. Whom did Case think he was talking to? Without the cooperation of retailers, the game was over.
Hence, the cowboy culture that many said prevailed at the company. His reporting on the company led to investigations by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Now, people know what the Internet is, they know how to get online, and they are demanding high-speed services, which they can get from a variety of other places--cable and telephone companies among them. Prologue The Confrontation Steve Case was blabbering on. William von Meister was different from the beginning, which in his case was February 21, 1942. Every one of us is growing, making the numbers.
There were some whispers: Atta boy. This is a riveting story of ambition, hubris, and greed set amid the boom-and-bust years of the technology bubble. On his way home from work, his father would hold the device outside the car window and push a button, which would send a signal to another antenna attached to a receiver box on the kitchen counter, setting off an alarm. The outlook, according to analysts and company executives, is improving, but there are still several hurdles ahead. With all of this, Case argued, how could the company go awry? The slogan: Towelette, you bet! Only about 3 percent do so, which, Stuyvesant students and faculty point out, makes admission to their high school tougher than to Harvard.
They built a corporate structure of sorts, with a holding company called Case Enterprises. He had a big-screen television, the best stereo money could buy, and a gaggle of video games. For a creative genius, von Meister was strangely at a loss to come up with a jazzy name for his newly funded venture. A recommended read for those who are involved in mergers and acquisitions. Company executives called it synergy. And while it's not in vogue among many Web surfers, it still has some powerful tools. Suddenly Wall Street didn't care about profit, dot-coms were flush with venture capital money, and everyone thought it was the Gold Rush.
In Stealing Time, he takes readers behind the scenes to show how a clash of cultures set the stage for a spectacular corporate collapse. Yet Billy gravitated to the attic. Billy conducted chemical experiments on a Ping-Pong table, the perfect surface on which to spread out his bubbling concoctions. Things move too slow, as happens a lot for large companies. Klein's words, that his company's ''pipeline of future, big advertising deals was projected to slow in volume and revenue.