It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. — The Preacher in Ecclesiastes 7:2, New International Version
Precisely in 2014, I applied to five top-ranked schools for their MBA programmes. That was exactly what I wanted to do at that point in my life. All five sent me a “ding” even without interviews. It literally pierced me.
“Was I that bad?” I imagined.
You know when you really want something and put all your effort into applying for it, hoping for a favourable outcome…only for your hopes to be uncharitably dashed.
I took their feedback… and re-strategized.
As his middleweight class stands today, I can’t see anyone who can dethrone him. Israel took on a challenge and that was to fight the champion of the next weight class — the light heavyweight. His opponent, Jan Blachowicz, whose legendary knockout power is out of this world, is someone even the angels dread. March 6th, 2021 was the date and they slugged it out. Adesanya did not win and Jan did not knock him out. Israel went toe-to-toe with him for 5 rounds. However, he came short of winning and Jan donated a loss to Israel’s impressive record. Today the record is 20–1.
Why bother Israel? You would ask. You should have sat in your weight class and enjoyed your throne. But men like Israel are not built for resting on their oars. Conquering new domains is their quest. And as Israel said after the fight, “this will not be my last attempt.” Be sure that he will be back.
New companies were formed and a new set of millionaires who took a stake in the early startups emerged. Things were going pretty well. To give you a hint on how well it was going, AOL, the superstar of that era, had about 30 million subscribers. AOL was the gateway to the internet and was made famous for its e-mail services with movies like You’ve Got Mail, a romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. In short, AOL defined that era. AOL announced that it was merging with Time Warner, for a market capitalization of $350 billion, the highest as of that time (circa 2000).
By 2002, not everyone was singing “Hallelujah” with the internet folks. Perception went sour, the promises to be rich did not come as quickly. Then it all came crashing down. The downward slope was steep and deep. What resulted is famously termed “the dot-com bubble.” For context, between 1995 and its peak in March 2000, the Nasdaq Composite stock market index rose 400%. That was the index alone. That means there were companies that easily did 3,000%. All that came to a halt and some companies were closed down afterwards. The big question would be “so what became of the internet companies?”
The dot-com bubble (also known as the dot-com boom, the tech bubble, and the Internet bubble) was a stock market bubble caused by excessive speculation of Internet-related companies in the late 1990s, a period of massive growth in the use and adoption of the internet.
For Israel Adesanya, we have not heard the last of him. He continues to be the middleweight champion of the world. He is awaiting a worthy challenger to his belt and I think that experience has made him a better fighter. His rise to fame has also been good for the UFC, raising its awareness and market, especially in Africa as we now have three Africans as champions.
The story of the dot.com era and the outcome for its portfolio companies is simply incredible. They failed woefully at first and came back with a bang. That failure gave birth to what we see today. They started out like the Wright brother with their few seconds flights but that laid the foundation of what was to come. The top 10 companies in the world has 7 internet companies on the list with at least 3 being valued above $1 trillion. The top 5 American companies are easily these companies. I dare say that they control the world and have created several products that we cannot live without. They have found better ways to capture value by monetizing their products and services.
Why am I writing this?
Oh, I just got a trifecta of “dings” by trying to punch above my weight. I am writing this for myself. Picking up the pieces and re-strategizing. Don’t cry for me because I am not Argentina. I see my comeback like that of the internet companies, bigger and better and I will capture every value that I have lost. Please take note that no animal was killed or harmed in the writing of this text. Failure makes you reflect and in so doing, you become a philosopher. A pondering pondered? But failure, I have learnt is the fertilizer of success.
“Hasta la vista”. “I’ll be back” as said in the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator”.
Written by Gabriel Omin