Fw: Clickshare Set Back

Rohit Khare (khare@w3.org)
Tue, 10 Dec 1996 11:53:56 -0500

A chillig morality tale of usiess developmet.


PS. (ca you guess which keys o my keyoard are roke?)

> From: Felix Kramer <felixk@panix.com>
> To: clickshare-update@clickshare.com
> Subject: Clickshare Set Back
> Date: Monday, December 09, 1996 11:59 PM
> (This message is being sent to you because you've expressed interest in
> past in Clickshare. If you wish to be removed from this list, please
> to: corp@clickshare.com.)
> Over the past year, as Marketing Director of Clickshare, I've kept you
> informed of the progress made by this service that many people have seen
> a promising solution to the problem of how to buy information online.
> Measured by "Internet Time," it's been dangerously slow going. But to
> day, the opportunity remains: there is nothing else like Clickshare out
> there, aggregating microtransactions. Though it is less likely, we might
> still get the chance to find out if Clickshare could be broadly adopted.
> still believe in it.)
> However, I'm sorry to inform you that we recently reached a fork in the
> road--and took a wrong turn. Here's my abridged version:
> * During the first half of 1996, we had an opportunity to involve
> badly-needed partners, but we spent untold hours and months on
> that ultimately went nowhere because of internal disagreements at
> Clickshare.
> * Since then, in spite of the resulting frictions, our technical team
> completed work on our software and integrated that software into three
> sites including a demonstration server of The Christian Science Monitor.
> * On September 13, on the occasion of Venture Market East, we publicly
> announced that the Clickshare Service was commercially available.
> * We had laid the groundwork to move forward within the online community:
> potential content and service providers, strategic partners, analysts,
> journalists and funders.
> * You can see the overall results at <http://www.clickshare.com> and the
> "mindshare" results -- coverage in the top online publications -- at
> <http://www.clickshare.com/pubpack/clickclips.html> (or, quite soon, at
> own web site <http://www.nlightning.com/clickshare> if these are not
> reachable).
> * But for months, prospective publishers and investors had told us, "come
> back to me when you have a professional management team and some paying
> customers." We were amateurs -- people without the experience or profile
> negotiate the deals and build the organization. In August we finally
> a national search for a CEO.
> *Guess what? We found just the right person, who had built an online
> information service from the ground up (it was later sold for seven
> figures), and who was willing to take a chance running a startup. We were
> ready to go -- we'd even set the stage for an ideal attention-getting
> launch of our reincarnation.
> * Unfortunately, we were waylaid by "founderitis." One co-founder (the
> controlling stockholder) was so committed to his views and so unwilling
> relinquish control that everyone else eventually left -- including, most
> importantly, the incoming CEO, the core technical staff who had designed
> and built the system, and yours truly.
> Personally, I must come to terms with having little to show for a year of
> my life -- though I've gained many attentive readers online and some good
> friends. I also gain some satisfaction from the knowledge that I have
> had to exaggerate or misrepresent Clickshare. And I'll try to steer clear
> of people so convinced of the inevitability of their company's success
> they often can't perceive their own best interests.
> What happens to the key players who have left (all of whom, in my
> acted honorably and openly)?
> * David M. Oliver <http://www.gang.umass.edu/~oliver/resume.html> and
> <oliver@gang.umass.edu>, co-founder, former President, and until recently
> Managing Director-Technology (the principal architect and developer of
> Clickshare Service), has lots more ideas about electronic commerce, user
> management, and delivery personalization and is looking for interesting
> opportunities.
> * Michael Callahan <mjc@stelias.com>, co-founder and former Member, Board
> of Directors (currently based in the Bay Area), has resumed his studies
> math theory while continuing his consulting for Stelias Workgroup and
> becoming involved with the Coda distributed file system project at
> Carnegie-Mellon University.
> * Felix Kramer <http://www.nlightning.com>, until recently Marketing
> Director and Member, Board of Directors (currently based in NYC), has
> looking for the next unusual, unique or never-been done-before project to
> launch and promote.
> * John Kemp <advgoat@berkshire.net>, until recently, Clickshare
> continues as Internet Manager of <http://www.adventuregoat.com>
> AdventureGoat Online, a web-based adventure travel information service,
> also has many more ideas.
> * Our incoming CEO remains anonymous.
> All of us except Callahan will be making the rounds at Internet World in
> NYC this week; you can write us to arrange to meet us then or at some
> time to talk about Clickshare or discuss other opportunities.
> As shareholders, it is in our economic self-interest for Clickshare to
> succeed without us. Clickshare continues discussions with content and
> service providers and investors. The outright sale of the software
> a strong possibility. I hope that some savvy publisher, ISP, credit card
> company or other entity will come to terms with co-founder William P.
> Densmore, Jr. <densmore@clickshare.com>, who will shortly regain his
> of Chairman and CEO of Clickshare.
> Thanks for your interest, patience and support. Feel free to forward this
> to any interested parties.
> Felix Kramer
> Former Marketing Director and Member, Board of Directors
> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
> Felix Kramer/Kramer Communications felixk@panix.com
> Online promotion & marketing http://www.nlightning.com
> voice: 212/866-4864 fax: 212/866-5527
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