$20,000,000 – Party like it’s 1999
Oh, how I remember the days before the dot com bubble burst.
The stock market was soaring. Every college dropout would launch a “start up” from his garage. Investors would throw money around. Stock IPOs. Lavish parties.
Total euphoria, coast to coast.
Then Microsoft was told to split up its operations.
The stock market crashed.
The dot com’s shut down one after another, like dominoes stacked alongside a yellow brick road; no Wizard of Oz waited at its very end.
Roll forward to 2010.
Popular online social media / city guide amalgam Foursquare announced that they secured $20 million dollars in a series B investment round. In other words, money was thrown into the corporate pit in order to sustain the viability of the operations and its 27 or so employees.
What exactly is Foursquare providing the online community with – that’s the obvious question. The not so obvious one is, how do they plan to monetize this free service? Local ads? Special offerings and deals served in a platter of Monopoly “gaming”?
The ground is still shaking, ten plus years after the big dot com crash. The likes of Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare aren’t doing things any different than in 1999 – it’s the scale that differs: grander, more global but still without a realism and lacking substance.
I’d hate to see that $20,000,000 end up in thin air, or even worse, at a chapter 7 bankruptcy details. But those that don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it.