Monday, March 07, 2005 Part Duex

Wow, this is HUGE, considering I was just speaking to someone about the other day. You guys remember, right--the defunct startup that brought junk and cigarettes to NYC residents in under 1/2 a hour. The lazy collegiate 20 year olds and trust fund bebes living it up in Tribeca could finally order ice cream to their door instead of getting off their ass. Only in America, right?
The Return of Kozmo:

Need further proof the Internet boom is back, baby? How about the return of Kozmo, er, Urban Fetch, er...! From the website: "MaxDelivery allows you to buy all of the things you need every day, from food to drug store items to DVD rentals, and get them brought to your door in under an hour! GUARANTEED." Huh, whatta concept. Beta service starts March 15...
We're taking bets from our readers to see how long will last. I'm personally not crazy about the name--too plain. Anyways, we did a bearish story on when Catablast! first launched in October, so we'll reprint that here.
First Published on Catablast, Oct 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 KoZMO.COM'S 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 that was strategically misfired.

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 to get their MBAs, 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 just strong PR.

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