December 20 - January 9, 2005

Jim Carrey
Gets Lemony...

Owens's Big Break...

Five Kickass

The True
Meaning Of



Five Eisnerian Transgressions...

Five Rites Of Passage...

Five Sojourns Into The Stands...

Five Cabinet Resignees...

Five Movies With Robots...

 Five Kickass IPOs

An IPO means money (or "improved pregnancy outcome"). Here are five that made a bundle (but not a "bundle of joy"):
Boston Chicken. Before the tech boom, IPOs needed a hook to catch the imagination of investors. Boston Chicken's hook was a doozy. They spun their chickens in a rotisserie oven before selling them. Everyone else just sold plain old chicken. Do you understand the magnitude of this? They spun their chickens! The idea was worth millions! Oh, and then they changed their name to Boston Market, went bankrupt, and got bought by McDonald's.

Netscape. So Boston Chicken joined the evil monopoly in their industry. But Netscape had integrity---they fought their industry's evil monopoly of Microsoft. But, um, that didn't work out too well. The thing of it is, monopolies don't get to be monopolies by losing. Netscape's IPO made money, and now you can find Netscape's fine products on AOL. Hey! There's a monopoly that lost!

Webvan. Going to the grocery store sucks. Buying stuff on a computer is fun. So Webvan's idea of delivering groceries seemed like a winner, and its IPO took off. For about ten minutes. Then people realized that driving perishable food around to people was pretty damn expensive. Also, impulse purchases are a large part of a supermarket's profits. Webvan customers bought less than their in-store counterparts, because somehow that People magazine story of Oprah's latest man/diet/cyst troubles seemed less compelling online.

Perot Systems. Ross Perot was already a billionaire and two-time Presidential candidate when his company made its splashy IPO. People trusted Perot's business acumen and liked his, well, craziness. Perot's company is still around and profitable, but it's trading at about one-third of the debut price. Damn those Republican dirty tricksters! First they try to disrupt Ross's daughter's wedding, now this.

Google. Meet the new boss. Google's IPO was a bit more democratic and just as successful as other over hyped predecessors. Google's role as Internet kingmaker will be complete once they make HoleCity come up as the "I'm Feeling Lucky" site for a search on "Profitable IPO."

Emil Gam