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(Philly.com)   Bust out the Beenz because I want to party like it's '00 again. First, investment corporations catastrophically overvalued Facebook and now internet-only grocery stores are back   (philly.com) divider line 41
    More: Amusing, beenz, Facebook, Center City, Long Island City, Mayor Nutter, bell peppers, delivery trucks  
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3588 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Oct 2012 at 8:53 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



41 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-10-02 08:17:10 AM  
GroceryGateway.com has been around forever, subby. I have over 200 orders with them. It's a fantastic service.
 
2012-10-02 08:55:23 AM  
Not pictured: Acres of animated .gif sprites.
 
2012-10-02 08:59:43 AM  
So, they only do out calls.
 
2012-10-02 09:01:21 AM  
Freshdirect never went away. I actually hate them. I live in a neighborhood with lots of great food markets. But for some reason some of my lazy neighbors rather use Freshdirect. My apartment is on the first floor, facing the street, and there is a fire hydrant right outside my window. So when the FD truck comes to the neighborhood, they park at the fire hydrant right in front of my window, and go do their deliveries around the area. Since the truck is refrigerated, they have to keep the engine and big AC system running, sometimes for a few hours on end, right outside my window. One of these days they will come back to find something pierced their radiator while they were away.......
 
2012-10-02 09:04:20 AM  
But do they accept Flooz? That's the real question.
 
2012-10-02 09:05:23 AM  

Joe Peanut: Freshdirect never went away. I actually hate them. I live in a neighborhood with lots of great food markets. But for some reason some of my lazy neighbors rather use Freshdirect. My apartment is on the first floor, facing the street, and there is a fire hydrant right outside my window. So when the FD truck comes to the neighborhood, they park at the fire hydrant right in front of my window, and go do their deliveries around the area. Since the truck is refrigerated, they have to keep the engine and big AC system running, sometimes for a few hours on end, right outside my window. One of these days they will come back to find something pierced their radiator while they were away.......


Sticking your penis in a radiator is never as pleasurable as you would think.

/or so I've been told....
 
2012-10-02 09:12:22 AM  
Good! I hope it spreads to Denver, CO! We have no decent grocery delivery services like this and I need one.
 
2012-10-02 09:16:46 AM  
Reporting live from the scene.
 
2012-10-02 09:17:03 AM  
Hell, I would pay a LOT for a grocery delivery service around here. I have no car. It's an hour walk to the nearest real grocery store (only a few blocks to a convenience store, but they don't stock much). So it's either take a cab to and from the grocery, or it's a dusty can of $8 spam and a half gallon of three days past the expiration date milk from the convenience store, or it's order in pizza (the only restaurants that deliver around here).
 
2012-10-02 09:20:12 AM  
Stupid buttons.... Let's try that again.

www.doctorhousingbubble.com

And also, who says that buying things online doesn't always work out?

www.hospitalitycity.com
 
2012-10-02 09:23:14 AM  
I never understood the facebook thing. Yes, I understand that corporate panel members are out of touch with the internet and facebook is just the hippest thing they could apply to a advertising growth model never used before but the expected value of facebook was so ridiculous even a moron see that it would fail. And all this was found out before the IPO.
 
2012-10-02 09:23:37 AM  

safeinsane: But do they accept Flooz? That's the real question.


Bitcoins Spergerrands.

Around here, Peapod never went away, either. Then again, they had the sense to pull back from the "OMG, we must go nationwide!" idiocy that killed the 1.0 dotcoms. Remember, folks, unlimited growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
 
2012-10-02 09:25:19 AM  

Joe Peanut: So when the FD truck comes to the neighborhood, they park at the fire hydrant right in front of my window, and go do their deliveries around the area.


Call over your friendly traffic enforcement officer. It might cost a few donuts or coffees, but a few parking tickets should be enough to get them to move.

And if that fails, YouTube and Consumerist.
 
2012-10-02 09:26:36 AM  
Isn't that weird, I'm on my way to a great party in London with the founders of Boo.com!
 
2012-10-02 09:29:00 AM  

mortimer_ford: I never understood the facebook thing. Yes, I understand that corporate panel members are out of touch with the internet and facebook is just the hippest thing they could apply to a advertising growth model never used before but the expected value of facebook was so ridiculous even a moron see that it would fail. And all this was found out before the IPO.


What about screwing non-insider investors don't you understand? Like day traders and mortgage-based investors who came before them, there are greedy suckers, who just knows they are going to be a millionaires on a single investment strategy champing at the bit to buy some useless crap based solely on media hype. How do you think the 1% became the 1%?
 
2012-10-02 09:38:54 AM  

JackieRabbit: mortimer_ford: I never understood the facebook thing. Yes, I understand that corporate panel members are out of touch with the internet and facebook is just the hippest thing they could apply to a advertising growth model never used before but the expected value of facebook was so ridiculous even a moron see that it would fail. And all this was found out before the IPO.

What about screwing non-insider investors don't you understand? Like day traders and mortgage-based investors who came before them, there are greedy suckers, who just knows they are going to be a millionaires on a single investment strategy champing at the bit to buy some useless crap based solely on media hype. How do you think the 1% became the 1%?


Your comment should be read twice, because it's spot on and not enough people understand it.
 
2012-10-02 09:55:22 AM  
www.global-air.com

As cute--or possibly annoying--as the sock puppet was, Pets.com was never able to give pet owners a compelling reason to buy supplies online. (new window)
 
2012-10-02 09:57:29 AM  
Let me just leave this here for the Seattle contingent
media.cnbc.com
 
2012-10-02 10:00:37 AM  

Kirby Muxloe: Let me just leave this here for the Seattle contingent
[media.cnbc.com image 200x150]


As a delivery driver for Amazon Fresh, I was going to give them a mention
 
2012-10-02 10:03:56 AM  
Don't you worry about blank, let me worry about blank.
 
2012-10-02 10:14:36 AM  

wildcardjack: Call over your friendly traffic enforcement officer. It might cost a few donuts or coffees, but a few parking tickets should be enough to get them to move.


They get tons of tickets all the time. They really don't care about that.
 
2012-10-02 10:22:01 AM  

JackieRabbit: mortimer_ford: I never understood the facebook thing. Yes, I understand that corporate panel members are out of touch with the internet and facebook is just the hippest thing they could apply to a advertising growth model never used before but the expected value of facebook was so ridiculous even a moron see that it would fail. And all this was found out before the IPO.

What about screwing non-insider investors don't you understand? Like day traders and mortgage-based investors who came before them, there are greedy suckers, who just knows they are going to be a millionaires on a single investment strategy champing at the bit to buy some useless crap based solely on media hype. How do you think the 1% became the 1%?


No, I don't understand a lot about the economy. Put a dollar sign on a number and math goes from science to Twilight Zone. But I knew enough that facebook would take a sh-t on itself and the only way I can imagine being screwed by the tub girl of Wall Street is unwillingly. Anybody who threw their money at that, insider or not, deserves no sympathy.
 
2012-10-02 10:31:03 AM  
I had PeaPod in the Chicago suburbs, and it was a lifesaver with two small kids and a deployed husband (back in the ol' days of ought two). They also picked out fresher produce than I could ever find at the store...I wonder if they were picking from the new deliveries in the back. Nothing like it where I live now!
 
2012-10-02 10:33:36 AM  

planes: [www.global-air.com image 150x195]

As cute--or possibly annoying--as the sock puppet was, Pets.com was never able to give pet owners a compelling reason to buy supplies online.


Sure they were, but with some of these businesses, that was precisely the problem.

Suit 1: "Let's sell fifty-pound bags of dog food over the Internet and offer free shipping!"
Suit 2: "It'll really drives the eyeball count up! We'll have mindshare! Conversion rate of ad banner clickers into paying customers will go through the roof!"
Intern: "But doesn't that mean we lose money on every sale?"
Suits (in unison): "We'll make it up in volume!" 

And 20 years later, there was Groupon.
 
2012-10-02 10:38:47 AM  
DNRTFA, but: Criminey do I miss Webvan. Webvan was *awesome*. Better produce and meat than you could get in the grocery store, and often cheaper, brought to your door, when you wanted it to be, by a smiling delivery dude who was prohibited from accepting tips. Freakin'. AWESOME.

Webvan failed for two reasons, imho. (1) They over-expanded, and did so in a crazy way -- they built out facilities at huge expense before they had really built up the demand and proved their worth in their original test markets. (2) They seemingly had no idea how important the non-advertising side of PR was -- they never fought back against the -utterly-ridiculous- FOD campaigns waged by their B&M competitors and, in turn, lazy journalists employed by the papers/local tv news that took huge amounts of ad money from said competitors. I don't know how many times I had to argue with someone about "but, the news said you have to tip?" or "I read somewhere that, since you don't get to pick your produce, you get rotten stuff?" FFS, no, the worst [$produce] they stocked was better than the *best* example at the horrid Safeway down the street.

Yeah, some things -- paper goods, cases of soda, etc -- were cheaper if you went to a Big Box store, but sometimes not, if you factored in gas and/or any value for your time. Yeah, sometimes (often enough to be occasionally frustrating) you'd get a weird substitution (for free) or a "sorry, we're out," which then meant you -had- to suffer through going to the supermarket if you wanted to stick with your menu plan, but still.

Awesome supermarket trip, brought to your door and unpacked onto your counters and into your fridge, with better products, when you want it.

I really loathe their management for not fighting a better public image campaign, and for being too agressive / misguided / arrogant? just as they seemed to be solidifying.... and I grind my teeth every time I'm picking through a pile of just-this-side-of-rotten avocados at the grocery store.

planes: As cute--or possibly annoying--as the sock puppet was, Pets.com was never able to give pet owners a compelling reason to buy supplies online


Something something shipping 50-pound sacks of dog food for free something.

I will never forget a "state of the tech economy" dog-and-pony show I went to back in the day, when one of the speakers blithely asked, "ok, VC reps up on the stage, admit it - how many of you have $50million or more in a pet dot com?" At least four hands shot up. Man, "Nuke the site from orbit" would have done a great deed for humanity.

mortimer_ford: Put a dollar sign on a number and math goes from science to Twilight Zone.


LOL. People who know nothing about accounting seem to assume that accounting is like arithmetic, or maybe higher math. Nothing could be less true, it seems, sometimes.
 
2012-10-02 10:39:52 AM  

Twilight Farkle: Suit 1: "Let's sell fifty-pound bags of dog food over the Internet and offer free shipping!"


Heh. That would have been an awesome, and relatively high brow?, simulpost. Missed it by the time it took me to rant about Webvan.
 
2012-10-02 10:56:32 AM  

Mister Peejay: Not pictured: Acres of animated .gif sprites.

 
ejones2art.weebly.comejones2art.weebly.com
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www.11points.comwww.11points.comwww.11points.comwww.11points.comwww.11points.com
www.11points.comwww.11points.comwww.11points.comwww.11points.com
www.harlanellison.comwww.harlanellison.com

You've seen these:
www.11points.com 
 
2012-10-02 11:03:24 AM  

SFSailor: Twilight Farkle: Suit 1: "Let's sell fifty-pound bags of dog food over the Internet and offer free shipping!"

Heh. That would have been an awesome, and relatively high brow?, simulpost. Missed it by the time it took me to rant about Webvan.


Thanks for the rant; Webvan kept our office fed back in the day, and our experience was much like yours - fantastic. The irony was that within a few years, all the major grocery stores offered delivery like Webvan did. They'd had the infrastructure built up (and depreciated) for decades, it just never occurred to them to use it.

I was off by a few years on the timeline; it's been barely ten years since the crash, it only feels like twenty. Past performance may be no guarantee of future results, but sometimes it's a pretty strong hint. Like the E*Trade guys said in the 2001 superbowl: Invest wisely.

/raises a toast to the once and future TieClasp.com, Pimentoloaf.com, and eSocks.coms of the world.
 
2012-10-02 11:29:24 AM  

SFSailor: DNRTFA, but: Criminey do I miss Webvan. Webvan was *awesome*. Better produce and meat than you could get in the grocery store, and often cheaper, brought to your door, when you wanted it to be, by a smiling delivery dude who was prohibited from accepting tips. Freakin'. AWESOME.


This

/Also really misses WebVan
//Should have hung-on to the last plastic bin they left me.
 
2012-10-02 11:38:03 AM  
Not that Facebook was in the article... but since you mentioned it. The FB IPO was nothing at all like the .com bubbles. This was more like the 2008 financial crisis... an intentional plan by financial entities to hoodwink the general public and allow insiders to grow rich on the backs of the masses.

Facebook wasn't accidentally overvalued. FB was intentionally massively overvalued so that FB's capital investors could get their initial investments the hell out of a company that still has no long term prospect of significant profitability as soon as possible. More than 50% of the shares sold in the IPO came from existing shareholders, and not the company, which is essentially unheard of in a stock as hot as FB was supposed to be. If investors are convinced a company will succeed, they rarely sell more than 20-30% of the shares available at IPO.

The stock price was set almost exclusively to allow recent investors who put in hundreds of millions of dollars in investment capital (Goldman Sachs and DST Global) to get back out a profit after FB stock stabilizes at a mere fraction of the IPO price. By contrast, the primary investors in Zynga and Groupon have yet to sell ANY of their shares.

The whole deal was a way for large banks and capital investment moguls to knowingly dump massive losses on individual investors. That position seems to be supported by a significant number of credible reports that Morgan Stanley had distributed "accurate" growth forecasts to a select group of investors on the morning of the IPO but withheld those forecasts from the public and other paying customers.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-17/goldman-to-cash-out-1-billio n -of-facebook-holding-in-ipo.html

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/facebook-i-p-o-raises-regulato r y-concerns/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405270230344840457740777413636 2 662.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2148670/Facebook-IPO--Mark-Zu c kerberg-sued-shareholders.html
 
2012-10-02 11:47:16 AM  

Joe Peanut: wildcardjack: Call over your friendly traffic enforcement officer. It might cost a few donuts or coffees, but a few parking tickets should be enough to get them to move.

They get tons of tickets all the time. They really don't care about that.


Then start issuing your own tickets...

i.ebayimg.com

On the glass. Pat it down well.

I still recommend the YouTube and Consumerist route. Shame and embarrass the company and they'll either issue an edict to not park in knowing violation or sue you in complete ignorance of the Streisand effect.
 
2012-10-02 11:52:52 AM  

SFSailor: LOL. People who know nothing about accounting seem to assume that accounting is like arithmetic, or maybe higher math. Nothing could be less true, it seems, sometimes.


Bookkeeping is adding up all the dollar signs to figure out what you're spending and left with or owe, and all of the record-keeping around it. Accounting is knowing how best to legally structure contracts, purchases, payments, and tax deductions to maximize dollars every year. Accounting is partly formula, partly voodoo, and partly luck, compared to bookkeeping that's mostly just a giant never-ending ledger.
 
2012-10-02 12:00:04 PM  

Keyser_Soze_Death: SFSailor: DNRTFA, but: Criminey do I miss Webvan. Webvan was *awesome*. Better produce and meat than you could get in the grocery store, and often cheaper, brought to your door, when you wanted it to be, by a smiling delivery dude who was prohibited from accepting tips. Freakin'. AWESOME.


This

/Also really misses WebVan
//Should have hung-on to the last plastic bin they left me.


WebVan is a classic example of how venture capitalist greed can destroy an otherwise viable business. They were doing just fine until their original investors, which included Benchmark Capital, Sequoia Capital, Softbank Capital, Goldman Sachs, and Yahoo!, became inpatient with the company's growth and encouraged an expansion that required so much infrastructure that the cost outstripped sales growth to the point of un-sustainablility. Had WebVan been allowed to grow at a reasonable pace, it would probably still be around today.
 
2012-10-02 12:05:47 PM  
I can't wait for Kozmo.com to come back. I want a single bag of Skittles delivered to my door, for supermarket retail prices, in the middle of the night, with no delivery charge and a no-tipping policy! Because it's the glorious internet future!

Hmm, if the good old days are coming back, better break out my old .sig file.


############################################################
#                  #                                       #
#     Semiotix     #           there is no spoon           #
#                  #                                       #
#      music       #  TEL 212.555.1010 * FAX 212.555.1011  #
#      movies      #  AOL KEYWORD semiotix * CABLE semiox  #
#     microcode    #   http://www.geocities.com/semiotix   #
#                  #   ICQ 19443 * se habla the future     #
#                  #                                       #
############################################################


 
2012-10-02 12:23:55 PM  

wildcardjack: I still recommend the YouTube and Consumerist route.


Agreed. I recently bought a GoPro camera. Will keep it charged near the window from now on.
 
2012-10-02 12:42:21 PM  
Glad to see there's some Webvan love. Had a fear that I was gonna get a rash of "OMG YER TOTALLY WRONG I GOT A ROTTEN PEAR ONCE AND COKE WAS $40/CASE!!1!" responses. ; )

Twilight Farkle: Thanks for the rant; Webvan kept our office fed back in the day, and our experience was much like yours - fantastic. The irony was that within a few years, all the major grocery stores offered delivery like Webvan did


But but but! Webvan sourced lower down the food chain, and had -much- tighter QC / inventory-turnover procedures. As I have seen (at least around here (B'more)) the "grocery store delivery" pickers drawing from the produce section at the store itself, I have -zero- faith that I'm going to get anything but the "about to go bad" and/or "was on top" produce and meats. Then they tack on the minimum order and delivery charge. Fark them.

It may be tinfoil-hat-ist of me, but I can't help but think there might have been _some_ "you know, we could bury that Webvan company, that's threatening to destroy our business model, with a hearty whisper campaign and a bit of increased ad-spend, then, when they're gone -- but once they've sold people on ordering groceries on that thar "web" thing -- we can sell our about-to-be-leftovers-and-discarded crap, using trucks we bought from their liquidation auction!" thoughts at the big players.

I seriously miss Webvan. I also don't get why they weren't more aggressive counter-fighting the ridiculously incorrect impressions people had of them. I'm guessing it was the techy-hubris of "but our product is just better!" combining with short-sighted greedy-asshat VC decisions to kill a great company. Sigh.

Gr8Zen: FB's capital investors could get their initial investments the hell out of a company


Thanks for that. The persistent "LOL Facebook IPO failed!" annoys me. The IPO was -perfect- -- the launch shares sold for auction price, in their entirety (iirc - if I have that wrong, correct me).

It was -perfect- for the Important People. After-market investors? Employees who were handcuffed until a few months after IPO? Who cares about those schmucks, right?

foxyshadis: Bookkeeping


Well, to be fair, I kinda think "bookkeeping vs. accounting" is getting into "cabernet vs. merlot" hair-splitting in the face of "it's numbers! Don't they just add?!" / "wine sucks! pass me a bud lite!" general knowledge. But your point is an excellent one.

semiotix: I can't wait for Kozmo.com to come back. I want a single bag of Skittles porn DVD delivered to my door


(Weren't they the ones that did porn and condoms in addition to ice cream and skittles, or was that another short-lived SF-only bubble toy company?) 

/ have to go grocery shopping tomorrow... not looking forward to it
 
2012-10-02 12:43:42 PM  
I still occasionally see trucks with a logo (it looks like a peach) from an online grocery retailer back in the early-mid 2000's. I can't remember the name of the company, and I wonder whether they're still in business, or somebody else just bought a surplus truck at a bankruptcy auction.
 
2012-10-02 01:04:58 PM  

SFSailor: (Weren't they the ones that did porn and condoms in addition to ice cream and skittles, or was that another short-lived SF-only bubble toy company?)


I don't know if Kozmo.com sold porn or not. But they were famous for the "one bag of Skittles, no markup, no questions asked" policy, which is of course what did them in. Delivering individual porn DVDs would probably have been a viable business model, at least until your delivery employees started getting raped and murdered. (And, well, broadband. But the raping and murdering would have shut you down first.)
 
2012-10-02 01:07:40 PM  
SFSailor: I believe all or nearly all of the IPO shares sold for $37 or more. The initial investors called it a "failure" because FB share buy orders (which couldn't yet be processed) had reached as high as $48 by the time sale was set to begin. The delay in trading gave more time for the updated Morgan Stanley forecasts to make the rounds, or at least the gist of it, and by the time shares actually started to change hands, no one wanted to touch FB for more than $40, and the vast majority of fund managers were walking away entirely.

In that sense, the extra 30-60 minutes cost the people who made vast ill-gained profits further billions of dollars. For them it was an epic failure.
 
2012-10-02 01:24:56 PM  

Cybernetic: I still occasionally see trucks with a logo (it looks like a peach) from an online grocery retailer back in the early-mid 2000's. I can't remember the name of the company, and I wonder whether they're still in business, or somebody else just bought a surplus truck at a bankruptcy auction.


seattletimes.com

HomeGrocer.com IPO'd in 2000 just before the crash, got bought out by Webvan 6 months later, and died with Webvan. The brand/trademarks were bought out by Amazon and live on as part of Amazon's grocery delivery service. (Amazon can afford branded trucks regardless of whether they have a HomeGrocer or an Amazon Fresh logo on 'em.)
 
2012-10-02 01:53:17 PM  

Gr8Zen: In that sense, the extra 30-60 minutes cost the people who made vast ill-gained profits further billions of dollars. For them it was an epic failure.


Thanks for the details. "OMG! We sold out completely at list price, but didn't get the 50% bump we expected based on absolutely nothing!" No sympathy here.

Ya' know, if more people had the slightest inkling of what -really- happens in Big Money Investment Banking, I think the notions of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and anti-OWS sentiment would be laughingstocks. But that may be my wild imagination acting up again.

I don't know -that- much about it, but I know enough to have a bit of sympathy for the dude in the "JUMP YOU F**KERS!" protest jpg.

/ poor, poor Webvan
// maybe Amazon can rekindle (badum-tish) the idea? Fingers crossed!
 
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