He Is Sort Of A Celebrity, Has A Funny Beard And A Web Site. Let’s Give Him $84 Million: And Other Tales Of The Late 1990s At The Nasdaq Stock Market

Drkoop.com anyone?
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Did not expect to outlive namesake website by a dozen years.

As all milestones must, last week’s at the Nasdaq induced some serious nostalgia, with copious reminiscences of the last time that index reached such dizzying heights, including, of course, where are they now? features and reflections on why it took the Nasdaq 15 years to dig out of its hole. The latter brings us to everyone’s favorite cautionary tale, Drkoop.com, in which investors thought it a good idea to give $84 million to an 83-year-old former polarizing U.S. Surgeon General out of office for a decade to support the expansion of his consumer health website. And then thought it an even better idea to bid that stock up fourfold within a month. All of which proved a very bad idea.

Its stock surged 83% to $16.44 in the company’s trading debut in June 1999 on its way to a high north of $36 that July.

But by March 2001, dr-koop.com shares were trading at about 20 cents and faced delisting. Later that year, the company folded.

What went wrong? The one guy who says he saw it coming explains.

“I remember thinking, ‘You don’t really have a business. How can you be going public?’” said Mr. Rooks, who now is a principal at ST Advisors, a strategic-advisory-services firm he founded.

What funny times, when one didn’t really need a business or any of the kind of metrics generally desired to raise gobs of money for internet-based businesses.

Drkoop.com Epitomized Hype of Tech Boom and Bust [WSJ]
Dot-com Era Heavy Hitters: Where Are They Now [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]

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