Ed Driscoll

PICKING UP THE PIECES OF THE DOT.COM BUST

Sorry for the lack of postings today. Nina (aka Mrs. Edward Driscoll) is in New York for a few days while her mom gets out of the hospital after recovering from a nasty fall. Meanwhile, a friend and I picked up some furniture and a couple of used PCs from an auction in San Francisco. Nina needs some extra gear as she’s moving her office in early July.

This auction, which ran through most of last Friday was astonishing. Apparently, it’s all from one failed dot.com startup–which probably failed because they didn’t do any work. Judging by the gear being auctioned, some poor venture capitalist is probably thinking “Jesus! That’s where my money got pissed away!”

Why? Imagine a business start-up with: a multi-person Jacuzzi, 20 ab-rollers (the kind sold on late-night TV infommercials), a ping pong table, a BMX mountain bike(??!!), multiple sets of steak knives, numerous high-end pieces of Herman Miller furniture and God-knows what else.

I always thought a business was lean and mean and hungry until it went public, or at least was self-sufficient. No wonder so many dot.coms tanked in the ’90s: you don’t start living large until you’ve had some success. (Pick up the DVD of Startup.com to see this kind of fuzzy-headed business thinking in action. Of course, those guys were at least smart enough to get a fairly successful documentary out of their tanked business.)

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg has some thoughts on the Go-Go Nineties and the dot-coms that came, bought hot tubs and ab-rollers and went in his latest column.