Retro Tech: Pointcast | Tech Talk Today 10

Retro Tech: Pointcast | Tech Talk Today 10

In this special edition of Tech Talk Today we look back at Pointcast. A fascinating look back at an earlier generation of the Internet, before RSS feeds and news aggregator sites, there was Pointcast.

Based on the idea of “pushing” news to your computer at scheduled intervals, and this displaying that news via a built in screen saver and reader application.

By the end of 1996, PointCast’s network boasted 1.5 million users, $5 million in annual revenue, and a list of marquee advertisers. The company had attracted more than $48 million in funding

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Show Notes:

— Pointcast —

Pointcast UI

43. Pointcast — The 50 Worst Internet Startup Fails of All Time

Pointcast basically amounted to a screensaver that displayed breaking news. The product often required more bandwidth than dial-up connections would allow at the time and was totally impractical for corporate networks. Despite its shortfalls, News Corporation made a $450M offer to purchase the company’s technology. Pointcast’s then-CEO Christopher Hasset balked at the deal and was immediately ousted by the company’s board of directors. The company botched another deal to be acquired by an investment group that included Microsoft and was later purchased for $7 million before its network was shut down.

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