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Friday, 9 June, 2000, 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK
Inside Dot Coms

Tales of the Electronic Goldrush

Internet startups are seen as a source of easy millions or a way to lose your shirt. This series cuts through the hype to examine the running of real dot com companies - both the very small and the very big. Stories to inspire and stories to warn.


We need money

How three internet ideas succeeded or failed to get off the ground. A laddish website sells toys for boys from a shared house. A businessman gives up his job to set up a dot com on the dining-room table while his wife and children get on with their lives. And a young woman borrows money from friends and family to start a site for language schools.


Making it big



Three internet businesses which have to keep growing to survive. A new British pets business finds a successful American dot com as a partner. An international travel site run by a 20-something cashes in on the trend for mobile internet access. And a Yorkshire farmer's wife selling bras tries to profit without borrowing millions. Different businesses, all exposed to the same highs and lows of dot com life.


USA.com

Three tales of how Britons succeed or fail at the epicentre of the dot com revolution reveal differences between the British and American ways of doing business. A London couple pitches an idea to a hundred potential investors. A British company finds an expat to set up its outpost in Silicon Valley. And a Brit who arrives with a rucksack now deals in hundreds of millions of dot coms


Send us your stuff

Three companies put their users to work in attracting new customers to their sites. Family trees are a growth area for the internet, as family historians share their information online. Email groups increase and multiply naturally, to the profit of the company that hosts them. And a new British music site gathers music of new bands to attract customers. Results propel the business towards the holy grail of the internet - stock market flotation.

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