In my previous post, An EBS Easter Egg, I included a photo of The Broadband Three (Joe Hirko, Scott Yeager, and Rex Shelby) that is on the last page of my book, Blogging Enron: The Enron Broadband Story.
A number of readers have asked me about the origin of that picture. Check out the photo image above which is the cover of the May 1999 edition of Telecom Business magazine.
Telecom Business is now defunct, but it was one of several magazines which covered the telecommunications sector during the dot-com boom days of the 1990s. During that time period, communications companies, including network, hardware, and software companies associated with the industry, were among the hottest and most rapidly growing companies in the world.
In April 1999, The Broadband Three were interviewed by Telecom Business. That interview, with photos, was the highlight of the May 1999 edition of the magazine. I will publish the entire interview in a subsequent post, but let me share just the opening comments by Joe Hirko here:
“Enron is a first mover in a new category. We call (the company) a network application provider. We are redefining what a network is. From our definition, a network is a collection of networks operating to deliver applications to an end user in a format that has not yet been available without expensive, dedicated circuits. The whole premise of our business is to enhance the experience of the Internet
for an individual…. We have implemented an application delivery platform, which is a software layer that rides on top of the physical network to deliver that experience.”
This is a non-technical description of the apps on demand and cloud computing business model which has since taken over the industry. And it was delivered by Enron Broadband Services in 1999, long before its emerging value was widely recognized.
I definitely agree with those who suggest that Enron Broadband was under-valued back in 1999 and 2000, not over-valued as the federal prosecutors claimed during the EBS trial.