Weekly Web Watch: Extra! Extra! Read all about it. These companies are f***ed.

This week, you’re going to have to use your imagination. You’re going to have to believe me that when I write F***edCompany.com, I really mean that other word without the asterisks.

This week, you’re going to have to use your imagination. You’re going to have to believe me that when I write F***edCompany.com, I really mean that other word without the asterisks.

This week, you’re going to have to use your imagination. You’re

going to have to believe me that when I write F***edCompany.com, I

really mean that other word without the asterisks.



And lest you think I’m being profane in an attempt to be funny, let me

assure you that there is nothing funny about investors being wiped out

and hard-working people suddenly finding themselves without jobs, which

is what F***edCompany.com is all about. Subtitled ’The Dot-com Dead

Pool,’ it’s where you can find chronicled the slide to doom of dozens of

Internet companies that were once darlings of venture capitalists, Wall

Street and countless small investors. There’s all the bad news and rumor

you could wish for, and if you’re looking after the reputation of a

dot-com, this site should make you quite afraid.



Executive firings, resignations, missed funding rounds, layoffs, Chapter

11s, inexorable stock slides, they’re all here. Of course, The Industry

Standard does all this as well, but what F***edCompany.com lacks in

smart tabulated data, it makes up for in tone of voice. Take for example

the following: ’Rumor has it that employees at BigVine.com are being

laid off in mass proportions. Those not laid off are trying to get laid

off so they can get out of a bad thing - with severance. The quandary

the survivors are grappling with is how to get fired without totally

f***ing the company, so that their options might still be worth

something.’ And this about SingleShop.com: ’They are ’the world’s first

e-shopping service provider.’ What kind of play-on-words claim is this?

Rumor has it they just laid off half their staff. Good. For the laid off

staff, that is.’



What gives the site an added twist of the knife is the fact that it’s a

game. You get points for picking companies on the slippery slope. The

more severe the subsequent blows to the company, the more points you

get.



The more people who pick a company, the fewer points you get. There are

not, as far as I can gather, any prizes, apart from the macabre pleasure

of seeing your name in the list of the top 100 scorers.



When a company finally bites the dust it gets inducted into the site’s

Hall of Fame, like streaming media news site FastTV, whose main

investor, Prince Khaled Al-Nehayan, crown prince of the United Arab

Emirates, last week pulled the funding plug, leaving all 79 employees

jobless.



You can also score, though more modestly, for pointing out when

companies seemingly have a death wish. Take the deadpan reference to the

beautifully deadpan press release

(biz.yahoo.com/bw/000705/ca_shaman_.html) from DiarrheaSolutions.com,

extolling the virtues of an online ’diarrhea health community’ where

sufferers share ’message boards, chat rooms, support groups, newsgroups,

personal stories and testimonials.’



Of all the death-watch sites out there, F***edCompany.com best conveys

the anger, bitterness and black humor that tends to show up when people

bare their teeth in the face of annihilation, financial or

otherwise.



The people posting here are the ones losing their jobs, or who fear they

are about to, the small investors staring over the brink, the ones

dancing on the graves of their own soon-to-be-ex employers. So PR pros,

take a time-out from reading Fast Company to read about some companies

that weren’t so quick.



- Stovin Hayter is editor-in-chief of Revolution. He can be contacted at

stovin.hayter@revolutionmagazine.com



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.