The mind is like a parachute. If it doesn't open, you're meat.

The Bubble and the Cutting Edge

23 Nov 2005

The dotcom bubble burst of 2000 is a traumatic experience for most professionals in the IT sector.
Five years after the collapse of irrational expectations for quick money on flimsy ideas based on immature technologies you still get to hear about it.
I guess for a lot of people the impact was hard but I still don't think that IT professionals with their 30000+ salaries (pick your currency $ or € - it really doesn't matter, I'm quoting low figures here) and the continuing demand for their skills have had it hard.

Hard is not having to eat, not not having enough to buy a new fridge/car/house/gaming console.
And the dotcom bubble certainly left people without food on the table, but mostly it left people's greed unsatisfied.
It's seems that what was "lost" were huge amounts of money that were never there. No more 35 year old pensioners.

Personally I knew nothing of the dotcom boom.

My professional career started in '97, right on the crest of the dotcom wave, but the wave was in the States and I was halfway around the world. Just like a tsunami, when it hit our shores it was more than obvious how it was going to turn out (and just like a tsunami it was a disaster close up, but halfway around the world it was just another news item).

Some eight years after, I can only say that the years after the dotcom burst were the most lucrative of my life.
I get to work with the cutting edge of software, try new ideas (almost) all the time, travel constantly all around Europe (and only for fear of 10 hours on a plane haven't been a lot further), get to know people and places and generally find limits only set by myself.

I won't stop working at 35 (I will probably have to work until I am 80 or dead, the way things are now, but that is another subject), but then again, what would I do if I stopped working at 35?

I would code, cook and travel. That's right! Exactly what I 'm doing now.
So yes, I'm one of the lucky ones: I happen to work in something I like and have fun with.

What the dotcom crash taught me was to control my greed and be happy with what I truly like. Luck comes on it's own afterwards.

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