Hula-Hoop It Up

Entrepreneur: Deidre LaCarte

Web site: www.hampsterdance2.com

Premiered: Summer 1998

Description: Rows of animated hamsters dancing to Roger Miller's version of "Whistle Stop"

Impact: Appeared in a television commercial for Earthlink. CD, video and merchandising deals are currently in the works. Forty-five million hits since its inception.

Today: LaCarte made one crucial mistake: She didn't rush to register the domain name www.hampsterdance.com; someone else beat her to it after seeing her original GeoCities site. LaCarte started HampsterDance2 after seeing the knockoffs of her site, including LizardDance, CowDance and even the HamsterBlast, in which visitors mow hamsters down. LaCarte is currently trying to get control of the original HampsterDance.com domain name.

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Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.

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This article was originally published in the July 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Hula-Hoop It Up.

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