My first startup… finally goes bellyup

Alas, I’m doing research for a business strategy class I’m taking and happened to look up Network Commerce at Yahoo Finance. Trading has ceased completely, and going to their home page reveals that they’ve dropped into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in a grim way: “Regardless of any action taken while in Chapter 11, Network Commerce believes the total proceeds of any or all sales or liquidation of its business and assets will not be sufficient to satisfy fully the claims of its creditors. Accordingly, Network Commerce believes its equity has no value and its existing shareholders will not receive any distributions on account of their shares of common stock under any plan that may be confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court under Chapter 11.”

My first startup was The Internet Mall, Inc., and we rode the hype of ebusiness, dotcoms, and the rest of those crazy days, ending up selling the company to Network Commerce for a cool $3 million. Which was good, because we were at a crisis point in the firm and it was “sell or collapse”. But we didn’t tell them that.

And so it all comes down to … a bunch of domain names and some code that no-one wants any more.

Ah well. The dotcom experience was about being experienced, I think, as Hendrix would have put it.

Still, even a penny stock is better than the ugly death of bankruptcy.

And my second startup, iTrack.com, is doing better, having been absorbed by Financial Content, a small but well-run company that’s providing financial data to quite a few big investor and banking sites. Thank goodness, I still have a bunch of their stock too!

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