Employees of Dot Coms - Don't Quit Your Day Jobs...You Might Just Be Laid Off
It's both interesting and sad how stories sometimes come about. This one actually started off as a story about Melodypark, who, on September 12th of this year, officially announced their plans to solve online piracy. This announcement was initially made on September 9th at the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum. David Connelly, President and CEO of Melodypark, in a company press release even issued the statement "Melodypark will solve piracy issues and satisfy the consumer craving for free music while compensating all rights-holders. We have the luxury of learning from the mistakes of first and second generation online music companies and have, in turned, created a profitable business model, something currently doesn't exist in this market." Apparently, the business model wasn't too profitable, and technically, it still doesn't exist. You see, as I was preparing to write a story about Melodypark's solution to online piracy, which would indeed be a great breakthrough, I received an email from the company stating that it had ceased operations effective today, September 25th. While I am deeply saddened that this company has failed before it ever really got off the ground, I think it's a reality check for those of us in the "dot com business."
Certainly, it is a well known fact that Internet start-up companies are capable of making quick millions with the right idea and the right people and financing behind it. But it is also well known that many Internet companies are here today and gone tomorrow. Some of the more notable ones are discussed below.
Atomic Pop announced on September 12th that it had laid off almost all of its staff. Now, what's so incredible about this venture is that it was formed by Al Teller -- the former head of MCA Music, President of CBS Records, and CEO of Alliance Entertainment.
Psuedo.com, the self-described "interactive broadband entertainment network" closed its doors on September 19th. The company had been operating since 1994.
EZCD.com, which received $500,000 in funding from SITI-Sites in January 2000 ceased operations in August 2000.
Xenote.com, formed in 1999, ceased operations on September 22, 2000.
MP3DOM.com is asking for voluntary contributions to keep its site going.
And the last site I'll mention is Scour.com, which I'll assume is in response to the lawsuit filed against them by the RIAA, the MPAA, and the NMPA, recently dismissed 80% of their staff.
The moral of the story here is that while the Internet brings enormous potential, along with it comes great risk as well. There are talented people who work long hours to bring innovative ideas into fruition and make them profitable, but the Internet takes no prisoners. One interesting caveat in closure - indie sites are growing and flourishing, and those who are not seem to be holding steady.
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