From 1995 until 2003, the US economy experienced a financial bubble and subsequent crash based upon the fortunes of the so-called ‘New Economy’, consisting of fledgling start-up businesses in the technology, media and telecommunications sector. These ‘Dot.Com’ enterprises were marked by a number of features which exemplify the changing conditions of production and wealth creation in contemporary capitalism, including, crucially, radical changes in how, when and where production takes place. Drawing upon the theoretical resources afforded us by autonomist Marxist thinkers, one can see the rise of financialization as implicated deeply in the swelling mass of free labour generated by the digital infrastructure of contemporary capitalism. The inflated valuations of Dot.Com enterprises which led to the boom and eventual bust can be seen as tentative attempts to bring some kind of measure to an essentially immeasurable quantity of immaterial labour.
Keywords: New Economy, dot.com, Marxism, immaterial labour, measure of labour, enterprise