(Warning: long post ahead.)
I was minding my own business, reading Past Due by Peter Goodman (I got it from Simon, who I think got it for free), and there on page 43 I ran into Eric Bochner. I thought that name sounded familiar, and then I remembered what it was. Eric Bochner was a vice president of something or other (and then the vice president of something else or other) at Ariba, where I worked from April 2000 until September 2001 (I was also a consultant there from December 1999). Chapter 2 of Goodman’s book is about the Internet bubble, Ariba is his case study, and Bochner is his source.
As far as I know, no one has made Ariba the poster child for the Internet bubble before–people usually go with WebVan, or Pets.com, or something similarly vaporous. Ariba is a more complicated story, but you can make a case that we deserve to be on the poster. At our peak we were bigger than all those pet food companies combined, with a market capitalization over $40 billion (on quarterly revenues of about $100 million at that time). More to the point, if Pets.com is comedy, Ariba is tragedy (well, not really, but you known what I mean): Ariba was a real company with a real product that got swept up in its own hype, with unfortunate consequences (but not fatal ones–Ariba today earns over $300 million in annual revenues and a small profit).