Battle-Tested Dot Com Survivors Looking To Go Public

from the we-made-it! dept

There have been plenty of stories over the past year or so about how many of the original dot com ideas are making a return. What isn’t mentioned as much is that many of the original companies are still around — though, in different forms. Sure, there were the very loud flameouts of companies like, Webvan, Kosmo and eToys, but plenty of others managed to tighten things up, shift course, and deal with the changing market. In fact, according to Business Week, nearly half of all venture funded companies from 1999 and 2000 are still around (though, no source is given for this stat). Now that things are starting to open up a bit, many of these companies are climbing out of their bomb shelters or wherever else they’ve been hiding to see if it’s safe to drink from the IPO waters again. The main focus of the article is Tellme, which you may recall was a company that received a tremendous amount of hype and money for a “me too” play (a voice portal) in a market with lots of competition and without a clear advantage. It also had a CEO who appeared to base his business model on something that wasn’t true at all. At one point, he claimed that only 10% of Americans had access to the internet and that the other 90% would access it by phone using TellMe’s services. However, to their credit, TellMe eventually recognized that the voice portal business was a dead end, and turned the company around to focus on enterprise and service provider opportunities. It’s still a market with a lot of competition, but it shows how many companies that started off with lots of hype eventually realized that it was important to focus on actually bringing in revenue.

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Comments on “Battle-Tested Dot Com Survivors Looking To Go Public”

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1 Comment
nonuser says:

surviving != prospering

Could be that nearly half the startups survived, but how many still have more than 20 fulltime employees and more than $5 million in annual sales?

TellMe is a mini-google, they built a big user community very quickly but the question was how they were going to make money. So I wouldn’t take them as representative of the hundreds of VC funded startups out there.

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