Charles Mann

Charles C. Mann is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and a contributing writer to Business 2.0. He is the co-author of @ Large (with David H. Freedman), the tale of a bizarre episode in the early days of the Internet.

Recent Articles

The Old New Thing

Dot.Con: The Greatest Story Ever Sold By John Cassidy. HarperCollins, 320 pages, $25.95 A bout two years ago, a journalist I know interviewed the five founders of a new dot-com for an article in a prominent business magazine. Despite not having any income from this business, or any customers, or even any system for getting customers, the founders were so certain of their inevitable success that they all dropped out of Stanford to launch their company -- something that then seemed like a reasonable thing to do. The five cheery young men had spent about a week writing up the business plan. For this exhaustive labor, venture-capital firms gave them $50 million. The new entrepreneurs had spent almost as much time, they bragged, deciding on the outfits they were going to wear when having their first major media interview. The five of them entered the conference room in identical red T-shirts, my friend told me, swinging yo-yos of precisely the same shade. Needless to say, their company...