A List Apart on the dot com crash…

01/19/2001

A List Apart confronts the current ‘crisis’ in the web creative industry in the US. The effects of the recent down-turn in dot-com fortunes has yet to hit the UK with quite as much force as it has in the US, although each week another dire e-commerce venture sinks vaingloriously beneath the mire (with a silent chirp of ‘yes!’ from me).

The situation in Europe and the UK is of course very different from that in the US – the UK has had the benefit of watching the US and either following in its wake or slowing down. When I went to Los Angeles last March I was astonished by the amount of web-based ventures advertising on television and advertising all over the place. That level of hysteria has never quite been replicated over here. Also, one of the benefits of the trans-atlantic delay is that many companies who got two years of funding are not going to run out of it, quite yet (give it another three months). And why? Because they got the funding after their American compatriots.

The rest of Europe is another case again. Some countries (Spain for one) have yet to invest heavily in the net, and so have the whole boom and bust to come – albeit probably with a certain degree of awareness of how America responded to it. It will be, by all accounts, a much less dramatic endeavour.

Which is of course why our esteemed prolific can say (which such ease and peace in her heart):

“Crisis? Wot crisis? Plenty of work here in the Netherlands, no sign of a slump. Our company is small, has longstanding clients. We will be merging with another smallish company that also has solid clients. Neither company ever had to rely on ‘VC’ money.”
“There are 180,000 jobs unfilled in the Netherlands. I’m not worried. I’m lucky. At last.”