Dot-Coms Beckon.David Hilgen
The promise of untold riches--the proverbial pro·ver·bi·al
1. Of the nature of a proverb.
2. Expressed in a proverb.
3. Widely referred to, as if the subject of a proverb; famous. pot of gold--is not what's drawing insurance company executives away from big corporations to found or lead small dot-com businesses.
The dot-com leaders we spoke with for the cover story ("Linking For Success," page 26) were in search of other rewards when they decided to make the move. They talked about the exciting new challenges, the fast-paced work environment and the autonomy of working for a small company. They used phrases like "entrepreneurial spirit," "new frontiers New Frontier
President John F. Kennedy’s legislative program, encompassing such areas as civil rights, the economy, and foreign relations. [Am. Hist.: WB, K:212]
See : Aid, Governmental " and "the right opportunity" to explain why they left large insurance carriers to join the risky business of Internet start-ups.
At least a half-dozen insurance executives from companies such as Aon, Marsh and CNA (Certified NetWare Administrator) See Novell certification. took pay cuts when they joined InsuranceNoodle, according Robert Rudy, cofounder co·found
tr.v. co·found·ed, co·found·ing, co·founds
To establish or found in concert with another or others.
co·found and chairman.
Bill Sullivan, former president of Oxford Health Plans, left the company last year and later co-founded ebDirect, a Web-enabled employee-benefits service provider. He remembers Oxford was "very, very small and very entrepreneurial" when he joined the company as director of sales in 1988. He has come full circle at ebDirect.
"I'm kind of back to where I was in the early years at Oxford...taking an idea and trying to make that into a business," he said. "You don't have the luxury of a lot of infrastructure. You have to watch every dime. Every day every employee has a meaningful impact."
While there is little question as to what impact the Internet is having on the insurance industry, many dotcom leaders concede that their future is uncertain. Some predict consolidation among the start-ups, and others say the most successful companies may eventually be bought by large carriers.
Then, perhaps, these dot-com companies An organization that offers its services exclusively on the Internet, either via the user's Web browser or a client program that must be installed in the user's computer. Amazon.com, Yahoo!, Google and eBay are examples of dot-com companies. will be able to capture the leprechaun leprechaun (lĕp`rəkŏn), Irish fairy represented as a tiny old man. Leprechauns are mischievous and elusive creatures, said to possess buried crocks of gold, the location of which they will reveal if forced. .
David T. Hilgen