What happened to Terra, the icon of the network that grew by 213% in the stock market and ended up devastated by the… – Engadget

– Email? The secretary’s pen dangles over the half-filled form. Behind me I have a row with five or six other students from the institute, all with their forms in their hands and looking as if they need as much help as I do to cover them. Things of the “pre digital” administration. Seeing them, the woman’s impatience seems to be transmitted to the swing of the Bic as if it were an emotional seismograph. We’ve been reviewing data for the university access forms for a few minutes now (name, address, telephone number, average grade, preferences…), but the email thing catches me off guard and my face, of course, is a whole ode to “what are you telling me”. — You don’t have, right? The secretary looks at me over her glasses. Her Bic seems to have gotten fifth. She reminds me of Tamariz with the old trick of the pen that bends when you shake it. No, she didn’t have email. It is the summer of 2006, that of El Koala and O-Zone, and I, at 17 years old, have no more contact with the Internet than the occasional weekend visit to the neighborhood Internet cafe. The woman snorts, puts aside the form and the pen—by now in sixth grade—and starts typing with the skill of a certified typist on the computer she has on the table. At the top of the screen is a multicolored logo on a butane orange background and five white letters: “Terra”. — Let’s see… What do you want us to call it? She — she throws me she. This is how I created my first email. In Terra Networks. Actually, by that summer of 2006 almost all of the Internet was Terra to me. I know, the company was already far from its best years and from that brilliant IPO; but for many Spanish-speakers, myself included, it was still one of the great reference doors on the Internet. History of one of the great “dotcoms” That first improvised email of mine in the high school secretary’s office to get out of trouble would end up disappearing eleven years later, on July 1, 2017. And with it a large part of Terra itself, one of the indispensable names in the technological history of the country at the turn of the century. Terra’s origins date back to the late 1990s and it had its first major chapter in 1999, when it was founded under the umbrella of Telefónica and made an epic debut on the stock market. At the end of that same year —in November— it debuted on the stock market with a rise of more than 213% in a single day, which in a short time allowed it to sneak into the Spanish companies with the largest capitalization —even above Repsol or BBVA—and even enter the Ibex 35. As a result of a sum of talent and work, of young engineers just out of university or embarked on TeleLine, the Internet access subsidiary of Telefónica, Terra became one of the great companies online content for the Hispanic-Portuguese market. Not only that. In its own way, it was the spearhead of Telefónica’s digital policy and probably the greatest exponent of dotcoms in Spain at the start of the 20th century. With all the good. And the not so good. So positive were his expectations that in 2000 Juan Villalonga, at the head of Telefónica, unashamedly boasted about that dotcom jewel: “in three years it will be worth as much as the entire Telefónica group thanks to the spectacular growth experienced by all business areas linked to the Internet” . The shot was ambitious, but it missed completely. Around the spring of 2000, the news that arrived from the US caused the value of Terra’s shares to contract and begin a period of fluctuations that led Telefónica to present an offer in 2003 to acquire one hundred percent of the capital of the company. subsidiary. The firm would stop trading not much later, in 2005, just six years after its debut on the stock market. It was not the only move by Telefónica to relaunch Terra. The company adjusted its budget and opted for a turnaround, a change of focus inspired by the content that was working for it in Latin America. The accent —as we told you in 2017— was placed on live broadcasts. And big, too. Festivals, some European leagues or even the Olympic Games were broadcast with a wide deployment of cameras. Perhaps the bet did not help Terra to come back, but it consolidates it in one of its great facets: that of a pioneer on the Internet. Its is the merit of having been one of the first to broadcast matches in streaming, offering more than half a million songs and hundreds of online movies and sports events covered with a display of cameras from which the user could even choose. The idea —as one of the company’s directors explained— was clear: reinvent itself, reposition the brand taking advantage of its drive and refocus its philosophy. “Moving from an Internet portal to a means of communication”, in short. The problem is that in 2012 the Network looked very little like it did in 1999: the competition in terms of content was brutal, the networks pushed hard —including Tuenti, since 2006— and the reinforcement of the editorial part did not serve to revive it. Years later, on June 31, 2017, the once promising Terra announced its decision to close down in all the countries where it operated except Brazil. With it was a key part of the recent technological history of Spain and the first steps on the Internet for many users. How do you explain his fall from the skies of 2000 to the note with which he said goodbye in 2017? By a sum of factors, as usual. Terra ended up becoming one of the exponents of the dotcom bubble and suffered the effects of the 2000 crisis, with the crash of Nasdaq. As a pioneer, she also had to suffer the consequences of her lack of experience with the online business model: keys were missing. “The management was not good and there was no learning curve that allowed employees and shareholders to assess what an Internet portal was in its fair measure,” a former employee explained to ABC. “We learned to live with digital. The first adaptations to devices, vertical markets, products linked to broadband… All of this enabled us to have the technology we have now —reflects the former worker—. It went completely to nothing precisely because there was a lot of turbidity in some managers who simply looked out for their personal interests.” That his story ended with a goodbye or was punctuated by scandals such as the Olé case, does not diminish its importance in the digital chronicle of the start of the millennium. His name was linked to pioneering bets, movements of the caliber of the Lycos operation and a rich diversity of services thanks to alliances with firms in the entertainment sector of the caliber, among others, of Disney or ESPN. In his own way, as Juanjo Amorín claimed the same day the end of Terra was announced, it served as a pool of professionals. “As it was said these days on LinkedIn, the great school of Internet workers in Spain came out of the Terra ecosystem”, highlighted the digital entrepreneur in 2017. And of users, he would say. More in Xataka | This is how Telefónica makes money: the leader of the telecoms wants to exploit its technological developments