The folks at Wired magazine did an article yesterday featuring 9 Chilling TV Ads From the First Dot-Com Bust. I’m sure you’ll recognize many of the names involved and even some of the ads. Looking back at some of the companies that failed, we can see obvious reasons. Shipping costs for big bags of dog food and cat litter were deadly for Pets.com. And who knew that Flooz points were a great way to launder illegally gained money. Of course it didn’t help any of the companies to spend boatloads of money on television advertising, especially Super Bowl ads. Read through the descriptions and you might pick up some good tips to avoid problems in your own business.
There is also a lot more to understand from these stories of failure. We often have visitors to our Web site suggest we should offer various products for free or for significantly less than the current price. There is already a lot of free content (start with the nearly 2000 blog posts) on the site. I love free stuff as much as the next guy, but it doesn’t help pay the mortgage or utility bills. Thus we do offer a number of products for sale. It is a business after all and we need to make money or we’ll be just another historical story like the nine companies featured above. So I hope you’ll find some interesting products on the site to buy so the mortgage gets paid and the lights stay turned on.
On the same note, it seems that every user (myself included) can tell Corel what to do. Yet many of those suggest ideas don’t consider the costs involved. When I wrote last summer Why You Shouldn’t Expect a Mac Version of CorelDRAW and laid out the business reasons why I don’t expect a Mac version, it brought a lot of excuses from readers. Those readers just didn’t get the point that previous Mac releases brought massive losses. Maybe there are more Mac users now, just not enough to justify Corel take such a massive risk. Corel does not have massive piles of cash laying around and no business can justify projects that are nearly guaranteed to be money losers.
When I threw out the idea Could Apple Buy Adobe or Corel? back in March, just the name Apple scared away many readers. I’ll do a follow-up on this in the near future, but the key here is that Apple could give Corel a massive cash, talent and marketing infusion. I think such a purchase is a huge win-win for both companies and their product lines.
I also encourage you all to read the latest edition of the Graphics Unleashed Newsletter. It contains link to posts from this blog from the last three weeks as well as some extremely important information for users of CorelDRAW X4 and earlier.
Whew, that’s made a pretty good dent in my mailbag!