Lessons Learned From Webvan

from the talk-to-your-customers-before-you-spend-a-billion-dollars dept

The NY Times has a very interesting article looking at the failure of Webvan. They suggest (somewhat jokingly) at the beginning that the main lesson learned is that if it takes $2.5 billion to create a company in a way that’s profitable to you, you ought to raise it all upfront. A better lesson that comes out later in the article is that if you’re building a hugely capital intensive project that will require huge numbers of customers to make work – you might want to talk to a few of those customers to find out what they want. Two years ago, when Webvan was first announced, I questioned the idea saying that customers didn’t seem to like online grocery stores and I wondered why Webvan would be different. Apparently, no one at Webvan took the time to figure that out themselves.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Lessons Learned From Webvan”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
1 Comment
Russell Miller says:

a mess from the start

Having read “eboys” it seemed like this business was a mess from the get-go. What successful entrepreneur sinks millions, not to say billions, into a business concept without doing even the most basic market research? Of course, it didn’t help that Borders had zero experience with the grocery business. How did this ever get funded?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...