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  • The dot-com bubble was a historic speculative bubble covering roughly 1997–2000 during which stock markets in industrialized nations saw their equity value rise rapidly from growth in the Internet sector and related fields. While the latter part was a boom and bust cycle, the Internet boom is sometimes meant to refer to the steady commercial growth of the Internet with the advent of the World Wide Web, as exemplified by the first release of the Mosaic web browser in 1993, and continuing through the 1990s. The period was marked by the founding of a group of new Internet-based companies commonly referred to as dot-coms. Companies could cause their stock prices to increase by simply adding an "e-" prefix to their name or a ".com" to the end, which one author called "prefix investing." A combination of rapidly increasing stock prices, market confidence that the companies would turn future profits, individual speculation in stocks, and widely available venture capital created an environment in which many investors were willing to overlook traditional metrics, such as P/E ratio, in favor of basing confidence on technological advancements.