More than fifteen years ago, in May 1997, Amazon.com, an online bookstore at the time, held its initial public offering in the midst of a downright IPO frenzy. Despite doubts about the company's chances as a public company, the IPO was a great success with the share price rising more than 30 percent on the first day of trading. Anybody who was lucky enough to be assigned some of the company's shares in the IPO is now significantly richer than he was before.
After a number of stock splits an initial $1,000 investment in Amazon's IPO would now be worth more than $200,000, dwarfing the already impressive returns of fellow dotcom pioneers ebay and Yahoo. Even Facebook's IPO, one that looked like a disaster at first, turns out to have been a solid investment after one and a half years.
Please note that this chart involves a fair bit of cherry-picking and is in no way meant to uncritically endorse internet IPOs. For every successful tech IPO, one can find a couple of failed ones. However, the chart shows the impressive returns, that some of the more successful internet companies of the past decade have yielded those who were brave enough to invest early and stick it out until now.