Monday, July 28, 2008

TV Recommendation: Startup.com

If you want to see an entertaining documentary about the rise and fall of a dot-com (GovWorks.com), and you have Showtime, set your DVR to record Startup.com tomorrow at 9:45am on Showtime's Showcase channel. I first saw the film a few years ago, and I'm looking forward to watching the whole thing again. One (out out of many) entertaining moments occurs when the GovWorks principals walk out of a meeting with Kleiner Perkins -- the storied venture capital firm that backed Google and Genentech among other companies -- and one of the twenty-something GovWorks employees says of the Kleiner Perkins partner they just met, "That guy just doesn't get it".

The GovWorks story reminds me of Aaron Edelheit's point in a post last month ("Thinking of Investing in China?") that "Sometimes large economic trends do not make great investments". The GovWorks founders were clearly ahead of the curve on a trend: the trend of individuals paying parking tickets and otherwise interacting with local governments online. The question they may not have considered was why the local governments would need to rely on the private sector to provide this sort of service for them. Here in the wilds of New Jersey, for example, the state has its own website where you can pay parking tickets online.

2 comments:

Albert said...

Hey Damien,

I see that Aaron sort of gave you the smackdown earlier. He seems a little bit stuck up on his blog, but whatever ("Don't despair"). He's already staked at least some of his reputation on DSNY in what he probably considers a far more important forum for security analysis.

DaveinHackensack said...

Albert,

Edelheit did say that he doesn't answer questions about individual stocks on his blog, in response to my question about DSNY (though he doesn't seem to respond to general comments frequently either). I noted this in a comment following my related post, "A question for Aaron Edelheit regarding Destiny Media Technologies". He's under no obligation to answer any of my questions on his blog, and maybe there's some compliance reason why he doesn't answer such questions there, but I don't know.

He also hasn't updated his DSNY thread on the VIC yet either. That I find a little more surprising. Then again, he hasn't updated his HEM thread in over a month either. Perhaps he will update both tomorrow, after HEM announced earnings. We'll see.

Edelheit does seem somewhat aloof on his blog, but that's his right as well.

For those curious about the Damien reference, this is what Edelheit addressed me as, perhaps because his screen resolution was set too high or the prescription on his eye glasses needs to be changed.