Dot Bomb Australia

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Mostly, O’Hanlon’s and Murphy’s chairs were to be found in the communal kitchen, where pizza was the standard nighttime fare, summoned via a low-tech telephone. O’Hanlon’s chair gave him a place to sit and answer his collection of mobile phones while doubling as a podium from which to deliver his rolling sermons to the Spike collective. The team sat at their personalised workstations, beavering away with all the fervour of members of a new political party. More eye-catching than the sometimes odd collection of personal items in each eclectic workspace were the unusual array of personal grooming proclivities—from mohawks to blue-dyed coiffures.

By 19 he took up the position of musical director for avant-garde productions and revues at the Upstairs Theatre at the Royal Court, in London’s Chelsea. Having left the musical world behind, by the mid-1990s O’Hanlon was working for the Japanese car manufacturer Honda, where he and Blessing produced one of the first glossy magazines in the car industry. Later, after they formed Spike in 1995, they got the gig to build Toyota Australia’s first website. They convinced the head of the Japanese car manufacturer in Australia, John Conomos, to pay the unprecedented sum of $3000 for this web design project.

And profits were proving to be about as elusive as those of the new economy. Eisa was forced to prop up Edge’s business. It bought a pile of computers from Edge, which it then sold to online customers together with its internet service packages. Indeed, eisa customers received a new computer when they signed up to use eisa as an internet provider. What wasn’t obvious to Australian investors in eisa was the amount of trouble Wang had stirred up for himself and his Edge operations in the US. By late 1999 Edge was having serious problems.

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