Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, May 02, 2021

Gee, what a surprise. It looks like R.H. Donnelly’s $350-million purchase of Business.com last year has run aground, as both the company’s value and the acquisition’s accompanying talent have evaporated.

In the past year, its shares have plunged 95% on worries about the company’s hefty debt-load, a softening economy, and investor worry about whether the door-stopping printed directories it has gobbled up are going the way of the drive-in movie theater or the eight-track player (a familiar refrain these days).

But we’re not here to praise or bury the phone book. Rather, what caught my eye was the recent departure of Jake Winebaum as the head of Donnelly’s Internet efforts that are aimed at preventing precisely those worries from coming to pass.

Last summer, Winebaum and his backers sold Business.com, a company they founded at the height of the dot.com boom, to Donnelly for the handsome sum of $345 million in cash. As part of that deal, Winebaum agreed to take on the role as Donnelly’s chief Internet guru. At that time, in August, Donnelly was worth more than $3 billion. Today, the whole company’s market cap is worth less than what it paid for Business.com - $338 million at Thursday’s close of $4.91. Ouch.

Fortune editor Richard Siklos wonders if he’s the only one who’s got an irrational fascination with the kind of heat that Business.com attracts. It’s true, the main attraction is the dollar figures that have been attached to it: First $7.5 million a decade ago for nothing but the URL, and then this 9-figure sum for… Well, still not much more than the URL. It’s a rare scam that ever pays off so handsomely, so consistently.

I can’t wait to see what the next purchase price for this domain name will be, probably only a couple of years from now. Will the next headline trumpet a “Billion-Dollar Business.com”? If that’s too rich for your blood, then you can opt to do “bidness” for a relative bargain instead.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 05/02/2021 12:23:43 PM
Category: Business, Internet
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It’s no secret that the bold “city that never sleeps” tagline primarily applies to nocturnal opportunities. And so it is that some guidance is required for navigating early-morning pursuits in Manhattan on the weekends, when most of the natives are sleeping it off.

This is in contrast to people elsewhere in America, who often maximize their Saturday-Sunday time by starting the free-time ticker barely after dawn has struck. I can’t think of a better way to sum up this incongruity than this:

That puts you on track for about a 7 a.m. breakfast, which is tricky business in these parts. Most restaurants that are open at that hour in the city are big chains — Starbucks and McDonald’s, for example — adhering to national standards that don’t quite fit in Manhattan. (We see this elsewhere, as well, like the use of a driver’s license as the standard form of identification in a place where no one drives.)

I’m not as bad as others, who consider noon the optimal weekend wakeup marker. But true, the only way I’ll see 7AM on one of my off-days is if I back into it — just before collapsing into the “previous” night’s slumber.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 05/02/2021 11:41:08 AM
Category: Food, New Yorkin'
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