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"Easy Dot-Com, Easy Dot-Go"

November 20, 2000

Satire by
Lauren Weinstein


Greetings. A year ago at this time, we were all being bombarded with ads promoting dot-com this and dot-com that, mostly from firms we'd never heard of, all informing us that "normal" shopping was now obsolete and that henceforth we'd be buying absolutely everything with the click of a mouse.

But a year has proven to be a long time in the dot-com world, and many of the startups have been falling like flies, either to vanish, be absorbed, or to continue as mere shadows. The airwaves seem mercifully to be comparatively free of the dot-com onslaught this time around.

The young founder of one of those fallen dot-coms, who prefers to go by the name of "Spike," had promised me an interview to talk about what's going on these days. He was rather late for our meeting, but he finally showed up.

"Lauren, man, sorry to be so tardy. I got, uh, hung up at the piercing place and had to finish there first. You'll never guess where I got my new piercing, I can show you if you want ..."

"NO, no Spike, that's not necessary," I said. "So tell me, how's life treating you?"

"It's been a bit of a drag, but I'm making do. Hey, at least I'm not stuck with William Shatner singing like those poor guys over at Priceline! 'Beam me up, Scotty -- please!'"

"I guess that proves that things could always be worse," I said. "How's your company doing?"

"Well, the common stock in clicknowfools.com peaked early this year at 150 dollars per share. Wow, that was really something!" said Spike. "Money everywhere! It was 'snowing' year round, if you know what I mean."

"Hmm. And now?"

"As of yesterday the stock's a bit off its high -- currently it's priced at 53 cents a share."

"That's a rather significant drop from 150 dollars a share, isn't it?"

"Well, it does have its downside, so to speak. NASDAQ keeps making noises about delisting us, but I don't think they really have the guts. If they keep delisting companies like mine, how will they ever justify all those fancy multimedia displays down there? Anyway, I prefer to think of our new pricing regime as a solid buy opportunity!" said Spike.

"Has this stock drop impacted your lifestyle at all?"

"Oh, a little, here and there. I've dropped the lease on the estate, and for now I'm back living in an East Palo Alto loft with my old buddies Franko and Snake. I sold the Porsche, but you'd be amazed how these new inline scooters can zip you around town. But it's all only temporary, anyway."

"Do you have any ideas for new companies?"

"You bet! Clicknowfools.com didn't really ever manufacture, distribute, or sell anything physical -- we provided wholesale Web design concepts to freelance designers of commercial Web site design services. So I know I might be best off staying in the fields that I know the best and where I can contribute the most, but this time in more traditional, established business sectors," said Spike.

"Such as?"

"900 numbers! Tarot Psychics, Hot Silicon Valley Babes, Linux Geek Chatlines -- that sort of thing! Endless possibilities!"

"Sounds very promising. What are you going to call the new company?"

"Callnowfools, Inc."

"Let me know when you go public," I said.

"Lauren, you'll be the first one on my list."

= = = = = =

Lauren Weinstein

For information about the author, please see: http://www.vortex.com/lauren

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