What Went Wrong In 2000 [Fribble] February 17, 2000

Fribble What Went Wrong In 2000

By invadesoda
February 17, 2000

I am listening to Fool Radio over the Internet and I realize that I miss the short-lived "What Went Wrong?" segment. It seems that the Gardners only did that segment once. They imagined a great company falling on hard times at some point in the future, then they imagined what had to happen for that company's stock to plummet. It was a great tool for understanding that even great companies have a potential downside.

I haven't found "What Went Wrong?" on the Fool site yet either, so to educate, amuse, and enrich myself, I decided to do my own "What Went Wrong?" Fribble. Here is what had gone wrong by the end of the year 2000:

America Online merged with Wal-Mart. Stocks of both companies surged until investors realized that the new stock ticker symbol would be AWOL. (At least they didn't merge with Hannaford.)

Sun lost its bid to shift operating system functions from clients to servers after IBM re-entered the PC operating system wars with an OS/2000 Star Wars Edition, which sold like hot cakes. (Disclosure: I am a contract employee who works on IBM premises. This is not a hot stock tip.)

The Department of Labor cracked down on Red Hat and VA Linux after they discovered that most Linux programmers were not being compensated for their work.

Nokia introduced a new alarm clock. Since obviously no one needs an alarm clock that shows the time all day, this alarm clock had a scrolling stock ticker that updated in real-time over wireless Internet. This, in fact, became the "killer app" for wireless Internet. Nokia faced a massive lawsuit after a sleepy customer tried to shut off the alarm using a button that accidentally purchased 1000 shares of a worthless IPO.

A routine hard disk defrag at Celera Genomics accidentally crosslinked the human genome database with the Drosophilia genome database. The result: the movie The Fly came to be considered a documentary.

Why am I starting to wonder "What Went Wrong?" with this Fribble?