WebMD

Current owner of MedScape Medical Website.

Originally a smoke-and-mirrors creation of Jeff Arnold. There was some little Practice Management software which nobody was using. Then he started the classic DotCom game of buying mature businesses with revenue in hopes of getting a DotCom multiple from Stupid Money. Yay it worked!

Then simultaneously took on Microsoft investment and was bought by Jim Clark's Healtheon.

All of which was acquired by Marty Wygood of Medical Manager, previously of Merck Medco.

Here's a note I wrote in 2000 about Michael Lewis' New New Thing bio of Jim Clark as related to his Healtheon involvement.

  • old site gone, so here's a copy of the note:

    • Just read The New New Thing, and was rather disappointed. Should have been warned by the lack of index. It really just tries to be a character study of Jim Clark, rather than any sort of analysis of what he's created. Has anyone noticed that Netscape and Healtheon have been puff-companies, driven more by hype than the delivery of (revenue-generating-) value? I did find interesting the discussion about Healtheon buying WebMD. It's basically described as (my summary, not a quote) "they'd made a bunch of sales, but had no product, so we weren't interested; but we knew healthcare was a big enough market that Microsoft was going to come after it eventually; when we heard Microsoft was going to buy WebMD we had to jump in" (Microsoft owns a piece of the combined company).

Matthew Holt on WebMD's history and structure (Sept'03). And Oct'03 bit on their revenue shortfall at that time.


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