2000s Decade Recap - Business and Technology

Starting out on a high, the financial problems didn’t take long to surface. Meanwhile, the 2000s brought us Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, while Google began its quest to take over the world. Apple’s iPod and iPhone swept the market, and breathed new life into the Apple brand. But who can forget the financial crises, fraud and incompetence that made headlines throughout the decade? Life savings and homes lost, companies failing and government bailouts became the reality in the 2000s. In this video, WatchMojo.com reviews these and more biz and tech milestones from the first decade of the new millennium.

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2000s Decade Recap - Business and Technology

What kind of decade was it?

Well, in January 2000, AOL essentially bought Time Warner in a merger that valued the combined firm at 200 Billion Dollars.

By December 2009, Time Warner sold AOL to the public markets in a 3 Billion spin off.

Yeah, that's the kind of decade it was in business.

The 2000s started with the bang that wasn’t: The Y2K bug – the worry that computers would get confused as 1999 turned to 2000 and think it was in fact 1900 – never materialized.

What did blow up was the Nasdaq: after peaking in March at over 5,000 points, the technology-heavy index crashed back to less than 2,000 in a matter of months, evaporating billions in investor wealth.

Nonetheless, technology sure was front and center: in 2001, Larry Sanger and Jimbo Wales launched Wikipedia, an ambitious open source encyclopedia project that allowed anyone, anywhere to update any page at any time. Also that year, Apple launched the iPod, ensuring their domination in digital music through the end of the decade.

The carnage of the stock market meltdown was exasperated through a series of high profile bankruptcies, some due to fraud, others to incompetence.
Telco giant Worldcom filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 11 – the largest such filing in US history.

Arthur Andersen came crashing down, too.

As did Enron, who went bankrupt at about the same time that Fortune graced it on its covers as one of the most valuable firms in the world.

2004 saw more of us reaching our destinations with the GPS or Global Positioning System becoming widely available for personal use.

Also taking off, in 2004, was Google, whose IPO propelled the company to great heights. Today, the company trades places with Apple as one of the most valuable tech companies around, and it trails MSFT as the most valuable tech company period.

And while you now spend all of your time on Facebook, it’s worth noting that Mark Zuckerberg’s social utility was only founded in 2004 when he was a student at Harvard.

2005 saw the launch of YouTube by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim. A mere 18 months later in October 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion. That’s Billion with a B!!!

2006 saw the launch of Twitter, a company that would finish the 2000s as the “it” company in technology – if you can call Twitter technology that is.

In 2007, of course, Apple launched the Jesus phone – I mean the iPhone, and set out to revolutionize the phone industry the way it did with music.

2008 saw the decade-long housing boom – fueled on cheap credit – come crashing down to a halt. Banks made big bets on mortgage-backed securities, and lost out big. By September 2008, after Bear Stears collapsed, Lehman Bros. shut down, too… triggering a tornado of terror amongst financial executives and government leaders. Before long, US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson announced the Troubled Asset Relief Program – or TARP – at a tremendous cost. One of the major benefactors of the TARP program was General Motors, which filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 09 and is now predominantly owned by the US and Canadian governments.

2009 also saw the largest ponzi scheme ever, when Bernie Madoff plead guilty to 11 felonies and admitted to defrauding his investors for almost 20 years.

As the decade of financial turmoil finally came to an end, the only thing that‘s certain is that nothing‘s certain at all.

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