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The stockĀ market is gone now, but it'll probably be OK in the long run. And actually, it's not a bad time to buy into the stock market, all things considered.

In times like this, it's always fun to think about just what exactly people are investing in in the first place.Ā We found some old investor presentations given by enormous websitesĀ before they gotĀ so big. These are the slides they would show to potential investors, and they're pretty neat.

Take BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed recentlyĀ received a new round of money from NBC Universal; the site now reaches more thanĀ 200 million readers per month. Back in 2008, BuzzFeed was getting a little more than 1% of that traffic, but leader Jonah PerettiĀ wasĀ very optimistic about the site'sĀ future.


BuzzFeedĀ did a lot of these things! Not that second one though: BuzzFeed ended up hiring a lot of editors.

As you can see from this slide, BuzzFeed hasĀ outpaced their competitors, manyĀ of whom are not around anymore.


Way back when, YouTube was a site getting about 100,000 views a day. Even back then, itsĀ slogan game was on point.

YouTube described theĀ company purpose/goal as "to become the the primary outlet of user-generated video content on the Internet." It wanted to let anyone upload, view, and share video. Achievement unlocked!


The company looked at the internet and saw that there were too many file formats for online video. Wouldn't it be great, its founders asked, if there was a default option?

Like BuzzFeed, YouTube outpaced its competition.


YouTube now receives billions of views per day.

One of the best parts of the YouTube deck is at the very end where they include a press release from a previous round of funding that went well.


YouTube was once a scrappy website that had to let potential investors know that other investors thought they were onto something. In their pitch to potential investors!

Let this serve as an inspiration to anyone who has an idea for an app or website: In ten years, you, too, could be safely ensconced as a leader in your industry, looking back on your pitch deck with a laugh.


[H/T CB Insights, where you can see full presentations from these and other companiesā€”Airbnb used to be Air Bed and Breakfast!]

David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.netā€”hop on. Got a tip? Email him: