The end has come for many Internet companies, and right on schedule. It’s often said nine of ten new businesses fail in the first few years. Why would dot-coms think they were exempt?
Entrepreneurs and staffers likely need advice about what to do with the remains after the last chapter, eleven or seven, is written. So, I humbly offer my 101 Things to Do With a Dead Dot-Com.
Those stock options? Not quite worthless. First reprint the grant letters and stock certificates on the finest quality two-ply. Then reissue them… in rolls. Now their form and fate will equal their market value.
Make a big deal out of news of your company’s demise. Plant your story on sites that feed on failure, such as StartUpFailures.com and F*****Company.com. Do it creatively enough, and you can launch a new career as an author and speaker on dealing with disappointment.
Auction off your domain name on eBay, or sell it on your defunct site itself (as WorkingWeekly.com has done). Even better: Threaten to point the poisoned URL at competitors unless they pay you.
Archive your site with services such as AfterLife.org in hopes future generations will appreciate your brilliance. But don’t confuse your few former customers with a site preserved in virtual amber. Apply to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers for a new top-level domain for the dormant business, .tst for .toast.
Finally, join a venture capital firm. Then you can laugh at former competitors who desperately try to stay afloat by now seeking money from you.
Those are my 101 suggestions. What, you ask? Where are the other 96? In the language of digital computers binary 101 equals five. That counting system may explain a lot of dot-com financial reporting, too.