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F'd Companies

F'd Companies

Spectacular Dot-com Flameouts

Not long ago, the world was awash with venture capital in search of the next Yahoo! or Amazon.com. No product, no experience, no technology, no business plan -- no problem. You could still get $40 million from investors to start up your dot-com. And you could get people to work around the clock for stock options and the promise of millions. Then, around April 2000, it all came crashing down.

Smart investors, esteemed analysts, and the business press found themselves asking:


  • Who knew people wouldn't rush out to trade in their U.S. dollars for a virtual currency called Flooz?

  • Who knew people wouldn't blow all their Flooz on a used car from the guys at iMotors.com?

  • And who needed a used car from iMotors.com when they could just sit at home and have 40-lb. bags of dog food delivered to them by a sock puppet?


F'd Companies captures the waste, greed, and human stupidity of more than 100 dot-com companies. Written in Philip J. Kaplan's popular, cynical style, these profiles are filled with colorful anecdotes, factoids, and information unavailable anywhere else. Together they form a gleeful encyclopedia of how not to run a business. They also capture a truly remarkable period of history.

F'd Companies is required reading for everyone involved in the "new economy" -- assuming your severance check can cover the cost.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 208 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416577935 | 
  • September 2007
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Tough Ship

PETS.COM

I'm out of dog food and my cat's box needs new litter. I know what I'll do: I'll order Dog Chow and Fresh Step online from a sock puppet and then I'll watch the dog starve and the cat shit all over the house while I wait for it to be delivered!

Waiting was just part of the problem. Pets.com assumed, probably correctly, that many potential customers would be turned away by high shipping costs. So...they only charged $5 shipping for a standard 40-lb. bag of pet food, when actual shipping costs were at least twice that. Similarly, small items like a $2.50 dog bone weren't worth shipping.... see more

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