Netscape changed the internet—and the world—when it went public 20 years ago


Rosanne Siino finds it amusing when students interrupt one of her lectures at Stanford University to ask: “So, what is Netscape?”

“Wow, how long has it been?” Siino, one of the first hires at Netscape, recalls telling a student. “Boy, you have no idea how much the world changed just before you were born.”

It was 20 years ago today that Netscape went public, setting off what we now know as the first dot-com boom.

On the day of its IPO, investors’ appetite for Netscape was insatiable. So great was the imbalance in demand that trading was delayed by almost two hours. In its office in Mountain View, California, employees were directed not to pay attention to the stock. “It was like saying don’t notice the pink elephant dancing in your living room,” Siino, then Netscape’s vice president of communication, tells Quartz.

Shares, priced at $28, shot up to $74.75 mid-day and closed at $58.25. Suddenly, this unprofitable 16-month-old internet startup was…

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bibliotecario flâneur | embedded librarian | in libraries + architecture + travel + history
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