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A business, especially a publicly-traded company, that conducts most or all of its business over the Internet. Dot-coms may conduct business in one or more of the following areas: Content, Commerce, and Connection. Content companies provide information, either for free or for a charge, and earn most of their operating income from advertising. Commerce companies sell new and/or used goods directly over the Internet. Connection companies provide Internet services directly to customers.

Dot-coms were hugely popular investments in the 1990s, with IPOs of hundreds of dollars per share, even if a company had never produced a profit and, in some cases, had never earned any revenue. This came from the theory that Internet companies needed to expand their customer bases as much as possible and thus corner the largest possible market share, even if this meant massive losses. While this worked for some dot-coms, notably Google, which did not produce a profit for its first several years of operation, the theory was unsustainable because, in a given industry, only one or two companies could corner large market shares, meaning most dot-coms were doomed to failure. This dot-com bubble burst in 2000.


1. Of or relating to a company or the stock of a company engaged primarily in a business associated with the Internet. is the most obvious example of a dot-com company.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the early 2000s, the burst of the dot-com bubble also meant dissolution for many of the online broker pioneers.
I had thousands of emails from dot-com employees informing me of the goings on in their companies," writes Kaplan.
But eUniverse's revenues have been derived largely from advertisers, a model that has proved unsuccessful for many dot-coms, particularly in a harsh economic climate.
With the source of future capital stalled, more dot-coms are running out of cash and are faced with either shutting their doors, finding a buyer or securing cash from a VC at an extraordinary price.
The future for Latin America's dot-coms breaks down into a couple of big, easy-to-handle chunks, say industry specialists--either make money at something real, or die.
Many managers observing the collapse of dot-coms have chosen to believe that e-business is a passing fad and that they need not get involved.
The dot-com rush may have slowed, but some investors are willing to finance in the survivors.
What can dot-coms do to retain people who are by nature in favour of change?
Aside from the words they write for dot-coms, columnists pontificate on the Web sites of newspapers and television news channels, too.
Last year, it seemed that the dot-coms had acquired every available second of prime TV airtime and had filled them with high-profile, razzly-dazzly, and occasionally incomprehensible advertising.
After a heady period of "free capital," the equities market in dot-coms will continue correcting over the next six to 12 months.
For many who have jumped to dot-coms already, it has become a way of life, said Daniel DiCaro, a veteran of many technology start-ups and now managing director of Gray Drake Partners, a consulting firm in Mount Prospect, Ill.