The founders of
January 8, 2002 3:58 PM   Subscribe

The founders of sold out to Excite@home in '99 for $82.5M, they just bought it back--for $2.4M. $6.7B goes for $10M and Blue Mountain Greetings ($780M) goes for $35M. A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon we're talking more than pocket change.
posted by m@ (12 comments total)
I love Webshots. I've got it in my system tray right now. I can't imagine having only one 'wallpaper' all the time anymore.
posted by feelinglistless at 4:05 PM on January 8, 2002

Why would you bother buying a dot-com for millions of dollars when you could spend a fraction of that money to build a new site from scratch and kick your competitor's ass?

It's not worth it to pay millions just to get an established user base. You could instead steal those users away with a superior service and a little advertising.
posted by fleener at 4:05 PM on January 8, 2002

Why would you bother buying a dot-com for millions of dollars when you could spend a fraction of that money to build a new site from scratch and kick your competitor's ass?

When you sell a company (or site/service/whatever) to someone, it's pretty standard to sign a non-compete clause. So basically the person buying the property won't have to compete with you if you turn around and start an identical new company as the one you just sold. My guess is this was the only way for these guys to get back into the business.
posted by mathowie at 4:17 PM on January 8, 2002

it's not just the user base. they're getting the infrastructure, the site, and (probably) the talent who maintains and creates the content for it. from a business perspective, that's zillions of retraining and rebuilding dollars saved.
posted by patricking at 4:18 PM on January 8, 2002

I'm sorry, but this [f-ing] rocks. The demise of Excite@Home is unfortunate for those who worked there, I'm sure; however, it is very gratifying to see these Webshots guys getting the opportunity to do something they're passionate about again. My girlfriend uses them non-stop, and I've always been impressed with the service they offer. Go out, find your passion in life, and do it... even if it means taking an 80 million vacation for a year.
posted by Hankins at 4:32 PM on January 8, 2002

It's too bad that the service that replaces Excite@Home in my area is complete garbage. I haven't been able to recieve e-mail in four days. And four days ago I hadn't been able to recieve it in two.

posted by Ptrin at 4:55 PM on January 8, 2002

The question is: can they make money in the long term?

Would you pay for their service?

I doubt it. It's kind of like keeping a terminal patient alive on life support. Seems like too many people are still living in the 1998 fantasy world.
posted by mark13 at 5:25 PM on January 8, 2002

We all knew this would happen... these companies were way over-valued, and now their valuations are actually making sense.

(Off-Topic: Ptrin... you may want to consider getting yourself a domain and a small hosting account to remove your dependence to your ISPs mail system.)
posted by benjh at 5:51 PM on January 8, 2002

I worked for Excite@Home, and was marginally involved with the WebShots transition after the purchase. The Excite engineers who worked directly with the WebShots engineers only had high praise for them. I'm glad they made a bundle and bought back their project. Of course, I'm not sure how much they made from the sale, as much of the purchase, if I recall correctly, was in the form of now-worthless ATHM stock. I hope they sold it while the getting was good.
posted by tippiedog at 6:55 PM on January 8, 2002

(OT: Yeah, personally I don't use e-mail. But my parents do, and they are not computer-literate enough to follow that option. And, anyway, that's not the point: e-mail is one of the major services Comcast HSI provides, and it has been consistantly not provided -- not to mention the lack of proper providing of a high speed internet.)

I certainly wish WebShots well. Anyone who manages to make a buck off the stupidly abusive and aquisitionary greed of bloated 90s companies is fine in my book : )
posted by Ptrin at 7:07 PM on January 8, 2002

This is just another round of the same worthless Web concept. Obscure metaphor: the red pastic toy I had as a tot called Marble Raceway: shinny objects spiraling downward. Sorry.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:20 PM on January 8, 2002

The dot com meltdown is to the nineties what the savings and loan collapse was to the eighties.
posted by Mack Twain at 1:44 AM on January 9, 2002

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