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Bob Meyer

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Business Built On Barter Cashed Out For $385 Million!

The amazing start-up of Hotmail, the largest provider of free e-mail service on the Internet, should be an inspiration to anyone in business � because it shows the speed at which things can happen today.

Over a period of just fifteen months the Sunnyvale (CA) company zoomed from nothing to having nearly 10 million e-mail subscribers!

They accomplished this feat through barter � providing e-mail service in exchange for the users filling out a personal questionnaire, and putting up with the viewing of some ads. (Hotmail is the 14th most visited site on the Internet.)

On the last day of 1997, after repeated entreaties, they agreed to be swallowed up by Microsoft for a whopping $385 million of Microsoft stock. In short, Hotmail�s story is this: built and sold through barter!

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