Recalling the Golden Growth of Information Technology

Tom Siebel, First Virtual Group

Tom Siebel, Chairman of First Virtual Group, paints a picture of the dramatic explosion of the dot-com boom; an era, he recalls, where "risk was a business problem, and not an anathema." With a 17 percent growth rate – an increase unprecedented before or since, says Siebel – the business opportunities of the 1980's era appeared to be unlimited. Changes in technology were total replacements, rather than incremental, meaning that every client had to buy and keep buying or find themselves lagging into obsolescence. He credits this free market flow with conjuring a revolution in computing and communications.