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The story of web browsers during the dot com boom, bust and post bubble

The internet has been around since the early 80's but it changed human civilization forever when people were able to get online using web browsers.


Data visualization credit: James Eagle at Eeagli


British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee created the first web server and graphical web browser in 1990 and it was called WorldWideWeb. The next significant evolution in internet browser history came in 1993, when the Mosaic browser was officially released that later became Netscape and launched Navigator browser in 1994. Navigator became very popular and captured 80% of the browser market in 1995. Netscape went IPO in August 1995 without becoming profitable. Five months after going public, Netscape stock skyrocketed from $28 to $174 per share even though it wasn’t yet profitable. Look how the 'multi million' dollar Netscape disappears in a thin air by 2005. Today, Chrome is dwarfing every other browser with 80% market share.


Netscape's story is a true manifestation of "Irrational exuberance," a phrase used by the then-Federal Reserve Board chairman, Alan Greenspan, during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s to signal a warning that tech stocks might be overvalued.

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