"The Day the Brands Died" and "CueCatastrophe"

Readers respond to two stories on the failure of dot-com businesses such as Webvan, CueCat and Kozmo.

Published July 12, 2001 7:00PM (EDT)

Read The day the brands died by Ruth Shalit and Robin Danielson Hafitz.

These people who are distraught over these Web sites going belly up strike me as a little ... sheltered. It's like people breathlessly lamenting the demise of some prime time sitcom. Does it really matter? Will the world stop turning as we all fly off into space? I've never even heard of Kozmo and Webvan only hit my radar because we lost our CEO to them. The whole thing is pretty much a non-issue.

-- Todd Hintz

Perhaps the real lesson of the dot-com train wreck is that Americans like these need to get outside, climb to the top of a mountain, and let the bright sunlight of perspective shine upon their pasty, delusional faces.

I wonder if the founders of Kozmo and Webvan realized that their clientele were such a bunch of melodramatic losers.

Go feed the homeless or something.

-- Oliver Griswold

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Read CueCatastrophe by Scott Rosenberg.

These quotes in this article sure got me thinking. They made me think that this article was more suitable for use as one of the Onion's "news stories." Then I realized that it is newsworthy how soft some of these people are. It's pathetic. Ruth Shalit and Robin Danielson Hafitz write "Our respondents were legitimately concerned about losing urban perquisites they'd come to rely on." "Legitimately"? Give me a break! Salon, you should be ashamed for validating the feelings of these whiners by putting them in print.

At least there's some hope for the guy who said "I wanted a candy bar, and had it delivered. Now I feel depraved." It would seem he's gained a smidgen of perspective. Has anyone else?

-- Shawn Doughtie

Selfishly, I loved Kozmo, too. I mean, who didn't, when in a Kozmo city, order a single piece of candy or something just to see if they would really deliver it for a dollar? But it's not fair to eulogize them as a great servant of the people as you are doing.

The billions these companies burned through came from investors. And that doesn't mean fat-cat bankers, it means regular people's 401Ks and such. Personal investment in the stock market exploded through the boom. The money dot-coms spent to do these ridiculous things came from regular folks' savings.

Also, CueCat didn't have any more or less of a business model than any of these other companies. The business model is the whole spiel, not just a revenue stream.

-- Jeb Boniakowski

This article, although an interesting insight into dot-com culture, doesn't make me sad, it makes me absolutely furious. How lazy can Americans get? Now we're getting candy bars delivered to our houses through Internet delivery services? What's next? A virtual ass-wiper? You wouldn't want anyone to put themselves out by actually going to the video store to rent a movie in person.

All this article does is paint a sad, sad picture of modern culture in America. The majority of humans living on this planet still have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, and some spoiled brat living in Manhattan is having trouble sleeping because his/her favorite Web site might fold.

-- Kim Krisberg

I enjoy many of your top stories, but this one was a bit ridiculous, not to mention self-serving. If people's lives are suffering because they must once again join the millions physically shopping at grocery, video and book stores, then I have no pity for them or their laziness. Book stores and fresh-food markets are a joy I would not trade for any convenience. And if I were a movie buff, a trip to a hip rental store would probably make my afternoon. People shouldn't feel responsible for the demise of their favorite dot-coms -- the business models were laughable. And if I'm supposed to take this article as a cue to subscribe to Salon Premium, you'd be better off leveraging my weekly dosage of Mr. Blue.

-- Matt Santaspirt

By Salon Staff

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