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Pixelon was a dot-com company founded in 1998 that promised better distribution of high-quality video over the Internet. It was based in San Juan Capistrano, California.[1] It gained fame for its extravagant Las Vegas launch party, followed by its sudden and violent decline less than a year later, as it became evident it was using technologies that were, in fact, fake or misrepresented.[2] Its founder, "Michael Fenne", was actually David Kim Stanley, a convicted felon involved in stock scams who was "on the lam and living out of the back of his car" when he arrived in California two years earlier.[1][3] In the year 2000, Pixelon began to fire employees and reduce its operations until its bankruptcy.[4][5] Pixelon ousted their management team and filed for bankruptcy in June 2000.[6]

Pixelon
Private
IndustryOnline video delivery service
FateLiquidation
Founded1998; 21 years ago (1998) in San Juan Capistrano, California
Founder"Michael Fenne", an alias used by fugitive David Kim Stanley
DefunctJune 2000; 18 years ago (2000-06)
Headquarters,
US
Productsvaporware
WebsiteArchive of Pixelon website just before bankruptcy

Contents

iBash '99Edit

The party event for Pixelon's product launch, called "iBASH '99", was held October 29, 1999, at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, at a reported cost of US$16 million.[2] The lineup featured performances by Chely Wright, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks, Sugar Ray, Natalie Cole, KISS, Tony Bennett, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, and a reunion of The Who.[7][8]

Pixelon announced that iBash would be broadcast over the Internet as a technology demonstration. The live stream displayed error messages to thousands of people, and most of those watching the concert did so with Microsoft's streaming software instead of Pixelon's.[9] Pixelon leased the Astrovision screen in Times Square in New York City to show an eight-hour-plus live feed of the event.[10] An edited 2-hour show aired on October 30, 1999 on Pax TV (now known as Ion Television).[11]

iBash was produced by Woody Fraser Productions and was hosted live by David Spade and Cindy Margolis.[12][13] The Who later released their set as a DVD titled The Vegas Job, featuring two short pre-show interviews with Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle, and a short after-crash interview with David Kim Stanley admitting to embezzlement. David Stanley has a YouTube channel with some videos made when he was younger as well as some of the Pixelon promotional videos.

AftermathEdit

The history of the company has been used as an academic case study in the study of corporate governance and ethics[14] and also as the subject in 2019 National Geographic's docudrama miniseries Valley of the Boom.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Perilous Fall of Pixelon". Wired Magazine. 2000-05-16. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  2. ^ a b "The $16m Pixelon Party". The Protein Feed. 2000-05-18. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  3. ^ Tynan, Dan (2006-09-15). "The 25 Worst Web Sites". PC World. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  4. ^ Jacobus, Patricia (2000-05-12). "Pixelon issues sweeping layoffs after founder's arrest". CNET News. Archived from the original on 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  5. ^ "Pixelon issues sweeping layoffs after founder's arrest". CNET. 2002-01-02. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  6. ^ Huffstutter, P.J. (June 27, 2000). "Pixelon Ousts Execs, Plans on Chapter 11 Filing". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ "Pixelon.com Announces iBash '99" (Press release). InterActive Agency, Inc. 1999-10-27. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  8. ^ "Pixelon.com Launches Today With Star-Studded iBASH '99 as the First Full-Screen, Full-Motion, TV-Quality Internet Broadcaster" (Press release). Business Wire. 1999-10-29. Archived from the original on 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2012-07-11 – via FindArticles.
  9. ^ Goodin, Dan (2000-01-03). "Pixelon's Broken Promises". The Industry Standard. Archived from the original on 2000-06-21. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  10. ^ "Pixelon.com Launch Sets New Standard For Compelling Internet Programming". Widescreen Review (Press release). 1999-11-02. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  11. ^ Traiman, Steve (1999-10-30). "Vegas Music Bash Kicks Off Pixelon Web Site". Billboard. p. 52. Retrieved 2016-08-25 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Goodin, Dan (2000-06-26). "The Great Internet Con". The Industry Standard. Archived from the original on 2000-07-11. Retrieved 2012-03-01.
  13. ^ "iBash99". Entertainment Weekly. 1999-10-19.
  14. ^ Hukai, Dawn (2006-03-01). "Pixelon: a strategic examination of corporate governance and ethics". Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies.
  15. ^ Tsonga, Taj (January 2019). "Remembering The Greatest Con In Silicon Valley History". Wired Magazine.

External linksEdit