Echoes from the Past: The .com Boom and Lessons Learned

The late 1990s witnessed an unprecedented surge in Internet-related businesses. Dubbed the .com boom, this era was marked by an optimistic and speculative frenzy around the transformative potential of the Internet for business and society. Yet, according to Eli M. Noam’s seminal work, “Boom and Bust in Telecommunications,” this period also served as a stark reminder of the pitfalls of not adequately preparing for tech-induced disruption [6]. In a similar vein, a report by McKinsey & Company [7] highlighted the damage done to companies that failed to adapt during the .com boom.

The Advent of AI and Blockchain: The Dawn of a New Tech Revolution

Today, the business landscape is on the brink of another major technological upheaval, this time driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and distributed ledger technology (DLT), more commonly known as blockchain. A study by MGI [8] sheds light on how these nascent technologies promise to revolutionize industries across the board, carrying the potential to redefine established business models, processes, and customer interactions.

Embracing Change: The Imperative of AI and Blockchain Adoption

In a recent insightful conversation between Mainstay Digital’s CEO, Kelly Massad, and Tim Maitland, CRO of MarketScale, a critical perspective on this transformative shift was offered. Massad voiced a concern for businesses operating in the B2B domain: “If you’re in the B2B space right now and you’re not using at least AI to help you out in your day-to-day activities… Some companies will be left behind because they didn’t adopt it early enough due to the rapid change pace” [1]. A study by Deloitte [9] also underscores the urgency for businesses to embrace digital transformation, particularly AI and blockchain.

Navigating the Future: The Role of Leadership in Tech Adoption

Leadership plays a pivotal role in this tech adoption process. A report by the Harvard Business Review [10] emphasizes the significance of the C-suite in fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation, thereby ensuring their organizations stay ahead of the technological curve.

The Call to Action: Adapt, Innovate, and Lead

The adoption of AI and blockchain, much like the Internet during the .com boom, is not a mere operational shift. It represents a paradigm shift, challenging traditional business norms and calling for a reimagining of how businesses operate, communicate, and deliver value to their stakeholders. As we stand on the brink of the AI and blockchain revolution, the call to action for businesses is clear: adapt, innovate, and lead.


[1] “Video Conversation between Kelly Massad and Tim Maitland”, Mainstay Digitals, 2023.

[6] Noam, E.M. (2001). “Boom and Bust in Telecommunications”. IEEE Communications Magazine.

[7] Bughin, J., and Chui, M. (2010). “The rise of the networked enterprise: Web 2.0 finds its payday”. McKinsey & Company.

[8] Bughin, J., Hazan, E., Ramaswamy, S., Chui, M., Allas, T., Dahlström, P., … & Trench, M. (2017). “Artificial intelligence: The next digital frontier?” McKinsey Global Institute.

[9] Loucks, J., Briggs, B., & Charnock, T. (2020). “Tech Trends 2020”. Deloitte Insights.

[10] Westerman, G., Calméjane, C., Bonnet, D., Ferraris, P., & McAfee, A. (2011). “Digital transformation: A roadmap for billion-dollar organizations”. Harvard Business Review.


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