BEST LOCAL EXAMPLE OF THE DOT-COM BUST - 2002
Born Information Services
It takes a certain kind of man to make a splash out on Lake Minnetonka. Money alone doesn't do it. Gigantic homes and big boats don't, either. But software consultant Rick Born had what it took. In 1990 Born Information Services was a tiny startup. By 1999 it boasted $125 million in revenues, more than 1,100 employees nationwide, and an internal survey showing that 92 percent of staffers thought it was the best place they'd ever worked. (Maybe it was the generous salaries, or the clothing allowances, or the free laptops. Or the swank lakefront business digs.) The neighbors couldn't help noticing Born's three homes on the lake. And the golf courses he bought. And the airplane (once owned by Elvis Presley!). And the parties he threw, like the one in August 2000 that featured the Eagles' Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh rocking out in his front yard overlooking Crystal Bay. Then the bubble burst. Revenues plummeted, and more than one-third of the staff was cast aside--along with a golf course here, and a lakefront home there. Born has pledged to stop the bleeding and get the company back on an even keel, but you can't help wondering whether his biggest splash might be yet to come, when he hits bottom.