by Mike Masnick

Instant Gratification

from the i-want-it-now dept

Well, here comes the next big thing that's going to lose companies a ton of money: delivery within an hour of videos and convenience store items ordered on the web, thanks to Kozmo.com. An interesting idea, but I don't think I'd use it much. I'm fine with going to the local video store. Anyway, I also found it interesting that the article ignores some of Kozmo's controversy: the guys who founded it have been accused of stealing the idea, since they were VCs before, and someone pitched this exact idea to them.

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  • identicon
    Mark Baker, 18 Aug 1999 @ 7:26pm

    They've got it backward

    I'd like to see somebody aggregate the services provided by the *existing* variety of to-the-door delivery mechanisms; taxis, runners, man-with-a-van, take-out, grocery, etc.. basically, anybody with a fleet of vehicles in use or not. Mercata for suppliers of atom-bandwidth. 8-)

    Only problem; scheduling it. Yuck. I guess you could start with just taxis - that should make it easier.


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Vincent Yin, 20 Aug 1999 @ 3:45am

    Stealing ideas

    I'm more interested in the idea that this was "stolen"... Did Techdirt regulars ever reach a consensus on whether they thought patenting business models was a good idea? I can't imagine, for example, Amazon suing B&N because they thought of selling books over the web first. How is this different?

    On the other hand, how do you look for capital to finance a great idea if you have to be afraid that the VC's are going to rip you off and implement your business plan on their own without you? Is there any agreement with VC's not to develop an idea that they've had pitched to them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 20 Aug 1999 @ 10:44am

      Re: Stealing ideas

      A few thoughts:

      I think patenting business models is bad. To be honest, I don't think successful businesses are made because of the business model, which is also why I think the second point (the fear of VCs stealing the idea) is also not that big of a deal. As someone who has pitched "secret" ideas to VCs, and who believes that those VCs have probably told others, you just have to suck it up and honstly believe that your team is better. Plus, you *never* reveal everything. Reveal enough so they know what you're doing, but keep a few "special ingredients" inside.

      If you've built a good team, and you really understand the market you're going for, then a little competition is probably good. It keeps you on your toes.

      Not that I approve of VCs stealing ideas, but you have to be ready for it. It does force you to be a little more creative and possibly more innovative. Both of which are not true if you just go out and patent your business model.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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