Ten years ago I was the head of marketing for an internet company that went public. It was called Chinadotcom. It was the first such company to bring a combination of the Mainland and the internet to the Nasdaq bourse. It created a frenzy. China and the internet! It had investment banks, ill-informed retirees in Miami and day-traders looking for the next big thing scrambling for a piece of the action.
As a member of the management team it also had me locked in its seemingly enticing jaws. I had stock options and almost every morning this compelled me to check the share price online before shuffling off for my morning bathroom rituals. And the news for a year was spectacular: the share price catapulted from a list price of around US$19 to $150 in less than 12 months.
Heavens, I was rich! On paper. I even took to watching Squawkbox on CNBC and lived in a sea of EBITDA, quarterly earnings reports and investment banks. Not that I understood much of what was being said or done, but I had become part of the great global investment circus and it was intoxicating.
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