Lernaut & Hauspie were crooks with the books and looks
I remember them well and I have never believed them, but I feel so sorry for all the people who did. Not the politicians and the press who just jumped on the bandwagon, hoping to get some of the goods or publicity. Shouting everywhere that this was the future and they were the visionaries and that they have seen that it worked and that it was a good product. Nobody asked them on basis of what expertise they said such nonsense, but they did and so everybody believed them - and Lernaut and Hauspie. And so the collective stupidity became a dogma, Lernaut and Hauspie would make a software that would be as powerful as Babel, they would become the Microsoft of the World. The fact that Microsoft after testing decided not to include their software in the release of the next windows should have been a big alarming sign. Even more because Microsoft, if I remember it well, had invested in LH.
So many little people gave so much money. Mostly all the money they had - for now - or didn't even have. Some were even that stupid that they thought the speculative prices for their houses around the new DC of LH World Headquarters would be the best guarantee against new lending. Money that went up in smoke. Just as all the politicians and press and officials disappeared from around LH (except for Dehaene, but he was paid) once the first articles appeared in the press. So people began to talk and went to the bank to ask if they should reitre their money. Oh no said the consultants, it won't be that bad, it will go over and you will see in a year from now you will even be richter, trust me. Meanwhile the same bank was selling all the stock it could sell.
The most frustrating part is that you say sell and your friend choses to keep his trust in the advisor of the bank.
And now they are back. They will have to face trial and they will play an act. Me, I didn't know nothing. It was the accountant and the lawyer. If we can't trust 1 lawyer and 1 accountant, than who can we trust ? Nothing, because 2 opinions are better than one. But that they didn't want to know.
Let it be a lesson for all the web2 startups. Stay with your feet on the ground. If LH had been more careful in their business planning and less visionary they would still be there today. All the big general firms took years to become what they are. And surely do not cook the books because you will become crooks.
Let the clowns rot in jail. As an example.
To make everything even funiier. Di Rupo has Google in Mons, while we have a big courtcase about the big bang of the Flanders Technology Valley (which is mostly a ghosttown now).