Pixelon

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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; 19 years ago (2000-06)
Headquarters,
US
Productsvaporware
WebsiteArchive of Pixelon website just before bankruptcy

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]

iBash '99[edit]

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.

Aftermath[edit]

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]

References[edit]

  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 links[edit]