Friday, October 15, 2004

Well, we knew trouble was headed in the company's direction when they couldn't get the utility bills paid on time. Or when the payroll procedure was out of whack. All this, of course, while, the subject of this mockumentary, dodged phone calls from some of the world's top investment banks and lead the investment community to think that a tenuous relationship with the Internet was all it took to catapult these companies to nose-bleed market capitalizations.

In "e-dreams" (DVD, directed by Joseph Park, 2002), we are taken on a roller coaster ride through two entrepreneurs vision and its contrapuntal relationship with the grim realities of corporate America. At one point in the film, one of the co founders bemoans the fact that senior talent had to be recruited to help the fledgling Welcome to the party, my friend. Early 2000 saw over 2 trillion dollars of company and investor money wiped out. is imbricated in the middle of all this, transforming from a ten employee squad operating out of a decrepit Manhattan warehouse to a 1,100 man arsenal covering ten major US cities. At its acme, the company was able to collect 280 miilion dollars in VC money and form a strategic alliance with Starbuck's, which was in and of itself an incredible business concept.

In the end, sadly, was out the door as fast as the Seinfield character that spawned its name. In 2001, all the remaining employees were laid off, the 2 founders headed off towards MBA-ville, and company assets were liquidated. Yes, even the orange fleeces had to go. Ultimately, the story about CEO hubris, contingency plans M.I.A., and IPO fever, e dreams reminds us of how ludicrous the Internet company craze was to begin with. At the end of the day, profits are what matter most. Not good PR.

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