RE: Firedrop + $90 million = ??!

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From: Damien Morton (
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 00:32:19 PDT

From an enterprise perspective, it could end up being a lot like
outlook/exchange while not being bound to MS. On the other hand, do you
really want your ASP being run by ex-CIA, given that every peice of
information you work with will probably go through their servers (well, Im
sure their wet-dreams include this kind of thing).

Its a dumb name, and completely misleding. Any *-let is tainted by the whole
client-side java experience.

Assuming rich web-based email, what can be done? Zaplets seem to be
exploring that space. Is it any wonder that ascii-bigots are scratching
their heads.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Masnick []
> Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 2:26 AM
> To: Adam Rifkin; FoRK@XeNT.CoM
> Subject: Re: Firedrop + $90 million = ??!
> At 02:59 PM 10/17/00 -0500, Adam Rifkin wrote:
> >Question mark. Question mark. Exclamation mark.
> >
> >> From: Technologic Partners <>
> >> Subject: VentureWire, Tuesday, October 17, 2000
> >>
> >> o Collaboration Technology Firm Zaplet Gets $90 Million
> My comments as posted to Techdirt late last night:
> Throwing Money At Zaplet
> Contributed by Mike on Tuesday October 17, @02:34AM
> from the sucker-money dept.
> Okay, for anyone who has spoken to me about Zaplet (formerly
> Firedrop) they
> won't find my reaction to this a surprise. However, the fact
> that Zaplet
> just raised $90 million more proves to me that investors are
> still throwing
> way too much money at ridiculous ideas. I've already
> convinced two friends
> not to go work there, but Zaplet has all the makings of a
> major flameout.
> It has huge backers and lots and lots of hype, though a lot
> of the hype is
> about the CIA history of one of the founders (warning sign: hype about
> entrepreneur, and not the company) However, I don't know anyone who
> actually wants the product. It's an idea that a couple people
> think is cool
> in search of a market (warning sign: who the hell actually
> wants this?).
> When Zaplets first launched I never received one. Not that
> I'm the standard
> for what's hot, but I'm out there enough that, if something is really
> catching on, I tend to hear about it. All I heard from a few
> friends was
> "What the hell is this? It's basically HTML email and it doesn't even
> work." All of the hype was written up in magazines that were
> "friendly" to
> the investors of Zaplet (warning sign: no "ground up" demand
> hype). They
> also claim they're going to change the way people do
> business, but if you
> look closely it means they need to change a lot of behaviors
> to get this to
> catch on (warning sign: changing behavior is damn difficult).
> Finally, it
> appears that the $90 million they've just raised is being
> used to convert
> the company from a "consumer" perspective to an "enterprise"
> one (warning
> sign: that's what struggling companies say to convince their
> investors they
> have a chance). One final scary note, the quote from
> President Alan Baratz
> is one of the key quotes that any experienced fundraiser will tell you
> never to say to an investor, as it shows your inexperience: "All these
> companies are potential partners, not competitors." Anyone
> want to tell me
> what I'm missing here?
> -Mike

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