Retired at Retired
19 June 2008 14:16pm
Back in 1999 we decided to set up www.bobsguide.com on a commercial basis. It is an industry portal in the finance technology market. We had ambitions to do other sites, but finance was limited. We always wondered what we could do if we could get some real big finance but somehow or other it didn’t happen.
So bobsguide has been self-financing and is now doing good business with a nice profit. A Nice Little Company.
At the same time another company, Verticalnet Inc, with identical ambitions to set up multiple industry portals, was having its IPO for $738 meg. If only we had access to that sort of funding....
I sort of lost touch with what happened to them. I had occasion to look them up today and found these yellowing press release web pages. It seems that three years later they reported a deficit of $1.2 billion and were losing around $5 million a month. So I guess if they started with around $700 meg they must have burned around $2 billion in three years. One heck of a burn rate by any standard. Eventually they were bought for peanuts.
The sad thing is that our experience with www.bobsguide.com shows that the concept was sound. They could, with some average management, have made Verticalnet into a really great company.
I missed their demise at the time. They lost focus and decided to be a software company and I stopped following their progress. In retrospect there must have been properties / markets that were opened up because of their demise, which we could have moved in to. If only we had enough finance…
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