You don't need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. Download one of our FREE Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on all your devices.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
    Windows Phone
  • Click here to download from Amazon appstore

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.


Buying Options

Kindle Price: $12.99
includes tax, if applicable

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Kindle App Ad
F'D Companies: Spectacular Dot-com Flameouts by [Philip J. Kaplan]

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

F'D Companies: Spectacular Dot-com Flameouts Kindle Edition

3.1 out of 5 stars 23 ratings

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from

Length: 200 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

Kindle Monthly Deals
Kindle Monthly Deals
New deals each month starting at $1.49. Learn more

Product description

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One: Tough Ship


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. 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., one of's major backers, thought they could use their muscle to make succeed. Instead, they managed to blow through over $100 million with the help of brilliant purchases such as a $2 million Super Bowl ad and a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Other investors included the infamous venture capital firms Idealab and Hummer Winblad -- the same butt-plugs who brought us,, and

They should have sold actual pets and shipped them UPS -- better margins...


Look, I'm the laziest fucker on Earth. I buy tons of shit online, but I still go to the supermarket to buy my food. Although there have been times when I've fantasized about ordering from Webvan just to watch some poor sap unload my groceries while I sit there, watching TV and drinking a beer...

Uhh...okay so raising and burning through more than $1 BILLION (that's billion with a "B"), the online grocer Webvan gained notoriety as being one of the biggest dot-com failures of 'em all.

The grocery business is a penny operation. Margins are razor thin. The most successful grocery retailers are big chains that buy in bulk, sometimes directly from the manufacturer. Webvan just didn't have the buying power, infrastructure, or demand to compete.

Simply put, Webvan was a classic example of PAYING more for products than they were SELLING them for. There's really not much more to it.

One of the more interesting chapters in the Webvan story has to do with their president, George Shaheen. Shaheen was CEO of Andersen Consulting until the end of October 1999. At the time, companies like Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture, pronounced "Ass-ENTER") had serious problems with employees leaving in droves to go work for COOL HIP Internet-dot-com-cyber-virtual-e-companies.

So...after trying to convince Andersen employees that it was a bad idea to leave and that dot-coms are stupid, THEIR OWN FUCKIN CEO QUITS to join Webvan. About eighteen months later, after realizing Webvan's bleak future (you didn't need a crystal ball...), he quit.

KOZMO.COM, king of the single-movie-rental-messengered-to-your-door-with-no-tipping, decided a little too late to require a minimum order.

If Kozmo were really such a good idea in the first place, Domino's would have been a $500 billion company ten years ago...Pizza delivery places make money cuz they make a pizza for $1 and sell it for $12. Hand-delivering pints of Ben &amp; Jerry's just ain't the same.

Eventually Kozmo did instate a $10 minimum charge, but then they couldn't find enough customers who wanted 10 bucks' worth of Snickers and Fight Club...New York rival died for pretty much the same reason -- and incidentally didn't have as good a porn selection.

Funny thing is that pretty much EVERY FUCKING STORE in New York City manages to accomplish home delivery without burning through $250 million.

Kozmo's investors included, venture capital firm Flatiron Partners, and evil Starbucks.


After spending $2.5 million on their domain name, discovered that UPS wouldn't ship bulky items like sofas and tables, and they were forced to use more expensive shipping alternatives.

"There were many cases when we would get an order for a $200 end table and then spend $300 to ship it. We never could figure it out," one former engineer told CNET's

Another problem that hit was that some of the small furniture manufacturers they used couldn't keep up with the volume of orders, causing long shipping delays.

The Better Business Bureau in Worcester, Massachusetts, received over forty complaints about the furniture retailer in just two months. "This is an extraordinary number of complaints," said Barbara Sinnott, president of the local BBB, to The Boston Globe. "It makes me alarmed."

In total, $75 million was invested into this company. $27 million of it was last-minute venture capital reportedly swindled from investors by taking them on a tour of the facilities while having accountants and engineers pose as busy customer-service representatives, talking to imaginary customers on dead phone lines.

According to's IPO filing -- a public offering that never happened -- they lost $46.5 million in 1999 alone.

Copyright &copy; 2002 by PK Interactive, LLC --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


Jeff Dachis CO-Founder and ex-CEO, Razorfish When I think of FUCKED I think of Philip Kaplan. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN : B000FC0OCW
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster (9 April 2002)
  • Language: : English
  • File size : 1689 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 200 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.1 out of 5 stars 23 ratings
click to open popover

Customer reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5
23 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Review this product

Share your thoughts with other customers

Top reviews from Australia

There are 0 reviews and 0 ratings from Australia

Top reviews from other countries

3.0 out of 5 stars OK as far as it goes....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 December 2006
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Lachlan Atcliffe
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing but very lightweight.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 August 2013
Verified Purchase
3.0 out of 5 stars More interesting now than when it was written but a bit repetitive
Reviewed in the United States on 1 January 2017
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Big Mac Malloy
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, quick read, but hardly a business book
Reviewed in the United States on 3 May 2002
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Gary Griffiths
3.0 out of 5 stars An Irreverent, Profane, and Addicting Read
Reviewed in the United States on 24 March 2002
Verified Purchase
15 people found this helpful
Report abuse