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Give Us Your Tired PowerPoint, Your Failed Plans ... 105

Posted by timothy
from the artifacts-sought dept.
SEWilco writes: "The Seattle Post-Intelligencer points out that failed business plans are wanted for history. Professor Kirsch is creating a digital archive documents or personal experiences from the Internet bust at businessplanarchive.org so they can be preserved for historians. He mentions they have difficulties such as only finding two days of records about NY electric taxicabs which ran for 15 years around 1900. /. did review Business @ The Speed of Stupid, which is a contemporary examination of recent failures. And don't bombard them which suggestions that their PowerPoint collection should also be archived in a less proprietary form, as they already know that."
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Give Us Your Tired PowerPoint, Your Failed Plans ...

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  • Hrmm... (Score:1, Troll)

    by T3kno (51315)
    Does my idea for dehydrated water count?
    • It's super cheap, super effective, good for ya. Everyone loves it, we'd practically give it away.

      Then we'd charge $200 an ounce for the solvent.

      Hey, it's better than some fast food ideas [chinchilladas.com] I've come across...

      -B

  • by Clue4All (580842) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:42PM (#3783573) Homepage
    1.) Release large project as open source software for anyone to use and distribute as they wish.
    2.) ???
    3.) Profit

    Needless to say, I think it needed some work.
  • Step 1: Convince investors that OS can be a viable business model

    Step 2: ?

    Step 3: Profit.

    Is anyone out there Genuinely Doing Well in the business of OS? I know RH has (almost?) turned a profit, but other than that, what's out there?
    • Many commercial firewall appliances are linux/bsd based. There's Tivo. There (was) empeg.

      It seems that if you can manufacture an appliance, then yes, you can profit from OS.

      Also, if you run your own business as a consultant, just think of all the money you could make offering full solutions, without having to pay for the software. Database, web, and file and print servers on a network you wire, for example. Get a few dozen clients, and rotate their 'day' of your admin time, charging more for emergency visits (visit, nah...use ssh!).

      • Many commercial firewall appliances are linux/bsd based. There's Tivo

        TiVo isn't a great example. They're not profitable, and don't look to be anytime soon.

        And the only firewall company I personally know anything about, Watchguard, isn't profitable either.

    • If you look it at althoug Suns stocks are down they are very profitable business and will be around for awhile. Red Hat couldn't touch Solaris in a profitability comparison( gotta get flamed for this, cause Linux is free, wait Red Hat aint, Linux none profit???)

      If you look at HP as well there Nix makes them money in the high end markets.

      And IBM, they have a number of OS's that have more than paid for the R&D that was put into them.

      And GASP, M$, seems to be as well.

      Puto
    • There is one thing everyone seems to forget about: all Linux companies WERE profitable before investors came in with bags full of money saying:

      "hey, folks, looks like you are about to explode! Here are a few milions of dolars, we would like to invest in your company, in order to make a biger bang faster! Please spend the many as fast as you can, there is plenty more where this came from."

      So, bang it did, folks expanded like crazy just to get that pile of money going of the table, and then suddenly the same investors realised that income isn't going to be 10x bigger next year as they hoped, and withdrew the support for the "next round of financing".

      What's worse, the huge pile of money also attracts the folks who simply want to grab from this pile and don't care about the company, and for some reason really greedy investors seem to LOVE this kind of folks (give me a nice buzzword, and Power point presentation, and I'll eat from your hand)...

      In short, the reason why three major Linux companies aren't profitable today is very simple: they were practically forced to overinvest in the past, and they are still paying the bill.
    • I've worked for lots of companies that used OSS, and did quite well by it, e.g. DHL uses Samba and Perl all over the place. To look for companies which make money selling OSS is to miss the point completely. OSS is good for users, which includes (at least potentially) most businesses.
  • by b_pretender (105284) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:46PM (#3783605)
    I've got a plan to start a company around failed business plans.

    First I need funding, but then I'll be able to collect failed business plans and turn them in for this project. After obtaining enough *mind share* we will be known as the place to turn your failed plans in. The plan is very extensible in that we will recycle, not-so-bad plans and sell them on the *internet*. Within no time we will have the *highest market-share* of any online businessplan company!

    Now, give me some VC, dammit! ...so I can buy Aeron chairs.

  • My Plan (Score:1, Redundant)

    by zulux (112259)
    1) Sue people who copy the Patented Underpants Gnome Business Method *
    2) ??
    3) Profit!

    * Patent pending.
  • Eazel (Score:3, Funny)

    by AirLace (86148) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:49PM (#3783626)
    Worked at Eazel, and we certainly had a failed business plan or two. Only problem is, we used StarOffice and not PowerPoint so I guess that's a handfull of documents that won't go down in history. Mail me if you're interested anyway.
  • Pet psychology is the silliest business I ever heard of. Divx movies were a close second. How about a good business idea, such as Pre-paid Illegal Services? [uncoveror.com]
    • The sad thing is I suspect most pet psychologists (and pet psychics) are doing quite well for themselves.

      • Yes, they probably are raking it in. There's a sucker born every minute.
      • I knew you were going to say that.
      • Psychology and Psychiatry are just pseudo-sciences invented to push pills. They have invented so many disorders, and drugs to cure them that everybody has one. It's a bad business if bad means dishonest, but not if bad means unprofitable. Psychics? I predict that you will give a con artist your money! The future is a book that isn't written yet, you can't skip ahead to the end. There is no such thing as a psychic! They didn't forsee 9/11, or the wildfires out west, or anything like that. They'll be getting rich as long as there are stupid people though. Here is another bad business idea. Taco bell naming things without researching what the name means in Spanish. Chilito = little dick Gordita = fat girl
  • by SheldonYoung (25077) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:58PM (#3783672)
    http://www.slashdot.org/plan.ppt
  • It was for an educational simulator to teach microcontroller programming. I knew we were in trouble when our advisors said Say, you guys would go further if you did something with the internet. Does it have a website?

    And no, I'm not kidding.

  • by Pave Low (566880) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:01PM (#3783687) Journal
    Surprised By Wealth

    By Eric S. Raymond

    A few hours ago, I learned that I am now (at least in theory) absurdly rich.

    I was at my machine, hacking, when I got email congratulating me on the success of the VA Linux Systems IPO. I was working on my latest small project -- a compiler for a special-purpose language I've designed called Scriptable Network Graphics, or SNG. SNG is an editable representation of the chunk data in a PNG. What I'm writing is a compiler/decompiler pair, so you can dump PNGs in SNG, edit the SNG, then recompile to a PNG image.

    "Congratulations? That's interesting," said I to myself. "I didn't think we were going out till tomorrow." And I oughtta know; I'm on VA's Board of Directors, recruited by Larry Augustin himself to be VA's official corporate conscience, and it's a matter of public record that I hold a substantial share in the company. I tooled on over to Linux Today, chased a link -- and discovered that Larry Augustin had taken the fast option we discussed during the last Board conference call. VA had indeed gone out on NASDAQ -- and I had become worth approximately forty-one million dollars while I wasn't looking.

    Well, that didn't last long. In the next two hours, VA dropped from $274 a share to close at $239, leaving me with a stake of only thirty-six million dollars. Which is still a preposterously large amount of money.

    You may wonder why I am talking about this in public. The first piece of advice your friends and family will give you, if it looks like you're about to become really wealthy, is: keep it quiet. It's nobody else's business -- you don't want to look like you're gloating, and you don't want to be deluged with an endless succession of charity appeals, business propositions, long-lost best friends, and plain bald-faced mooching.

    Trouble with the "keep it quiet" theory is that I've made my bucks in a very public way. When you're already a media figure, and your name is on the S-1 of a hot IPO, and email from friends and journalists starts coming in like crazy as the stock breaks first-day-gain records, playing it coy swiftly ceases to look like a viable option.

    Besides, it wouldn't be fair to dissemble. I serve a community. I'm wealthy today because my efforts to spread the idea of open source on behalf of that community helped galvanize the business world, and earned the respect and the trust of a lot of hackers. Larry thought that respect was an asset worth shelling out 150,000 shares of VA for. Fairness to the hackers who made me bankable demands that I publicly acknowledge this result -- and publicly face the question of how it's going to affect my life and what I'll do with the money.

    This is a question that a lot of us will be facing as open source sweeps the technology landscape. Money follows where value leads, and the mainstream business and finance world is seeing increasing value in our tribe of scruffy hackers. Red Hat and VA have created a precedent now, with their directed-shares programs designed to reward as many individual contributors as they can identify; future players aiming for community backing and a seat at the high table will have to follow suit. In this and other ways (including, for example, task markets) the wealth is going to be shared.

    So while there aren't likely to be a lot more multimillion-dollar bonanzas like mine, lots of hackers are going to have to evolve answers to this question for smaller amounts that will nevertheless make a big difference to individuals; tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, enough to change your life -- or wreck it.

    (Gee. Remember when the big question was "How do we make money at this?")

    The first part of my answer is "I'll do nothing, until next June". Because I'm a VA board member, under SEC regulations there's a six-month lockout on the shares (a regulation designed to keep people from floating bogus offerings, cashing out, and skipping to Argentina before the share price crashes). So it's not strictly true that I'm wealthy right now. I will be wealthy in six months, unless VA or the U.S. economy craters before then. I'll bet on VA; I'm not so sure about the U.S. economy :-).

    Assuming the economy does not in fact crater, how is wealth going to affect my life in six months? Honestly, I think the answer is "not much". I haven't spent the last fifteen years doing the open-source thing for the money. I'm already living pretty much exactly the way I want to, doing the work that matters to me. The biggest difference the money will make to me personally is that now I should be able to keep doing what I love for the rest of my life without worrying about money ever again.

    So I expect I'll just keep on as I've been doing. Hacking code. Thinking and spreading subversive thoughts. Traveling and giving talks. Writing papers. Poking various evil empires a good one in the eye whenever I get a chance. Working for freedom.

    I expect most other hackers confronted with sudden wealth will make similar choices. Reporters often ask me these days if I think the open-source community will be corrupted by the influx of big money. I tell them what I believe, which is this: commercial demand for programmers has been so intense for so long that anyone who can be seriously distracted by money is already gone. Our community has been self-selected for caring about other things -- accomplishment, pride, artistic passion, and each other.

    OK, so maybe I'll break down and finally get a cell phone. And cable broadband so I can surf at smokin' speed. And a new flute. And maybe a nice hotrodded match-grade .45 semi for tactical shooting. But really, I don't want or need a lot of stuff. I'm kind of Buddhist that way; I like to minimize my material attachments. (My family gripes that this makes me hell to buy Christmas presents for.)

    I'm not going to minimize my attachments by giving it all away, though, so you evangelists for a zillion worthy causes can just calm down out there and forget about hitting me up for megabucks. I am *not* going to be a soft touch, and will rudely refuse all importunities.

    I'm not copping this harsh attitude to protect my money, but rather to protect the far more precious asset of my time. Because I don't want to have to become a full-time specialist in deciding whose urgent pitch to buy, I'm going to turn everybody down flat in advance. Anyone who bugs me for a handout, no matter how noble the cause and how much I agree with it, will go on my permanent shit list. If I want to give or lend or invest money, *I'll* call *you*. (Sigh...)

    And yes, there are causes I'll give money to. Worthy hacker projects. Free-speech activism. Firearms-rights campaigns. Tibet, maybe. I might buy a hunk of rainforest for conservation somewhere. Megabucks are power, and with power comes an obligation to use it wisely. I'll give carefully, and in my own time, and only after doing my homework -- too much charity often kills what it means to nurture. And enough about that.

    Ironically enough, one result of my getting rich is that I will probably start charging for speaking appearances, now that nobody can plausibly accuse me of doing it for the money. I won't charge open-source user groups or schools, but I will cheerfully extract a per diem from all the business conferences that keep wanting me to to boost their box office. Charging a price for my time will separate the expensive conferences that attract powerful people from the marginal events where the hacker community would get less leverage from my presence.

    For the same reason, I'm still going to insist that anybody who wants me to give a talk has to cover my expenses and eliminate hassles. But I also expect I'll still carry my own luggage. And I'll never get too proud to crash on somebody's daybed when the local user group is too broke to cover a hotel.

    But enough trivialities; I'm going to get back to work. I've got the SNG compiler stage almost done. Next up, I need to refactor the pngcheck code so I can give it a report-format option that generates SNG syntax. Then, I need to think about supporting MNG...

    --
    Eric S. Raymond
    • by Arctic Fox (105204) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:22PM (#3783791) Homepage Journal
      Thanks for the repost. I liked his quote referring to betting on VA Linux instead of the US Economy. Ooops. If only I could moderate this thing.... +1 Sucks to be You.
    • ESR annoys me. His constant need to remind people how influential/rich/skilled he is with a sickening false modesty. His self-publicising.

      This article is a perfect example, what is the point of it? What is he saying? Basically, he is saying - "Look at me - I am rich!", it has no informative value beyond that. Of course, he should have listened to those who told him to keep quiet, not so much because he might get people begging him for money, but because it makes him look like a total fool when his riches turn into dust.

      • ESR always was unbearably smug and self-righteous - particularly considering just how little code of his is in a typical Linux distro. Let's just look at a few quotes, minus the rambling and fluff:

        I'm on VA's Board of Directors, recruited by Larry Augustin himself

        we discussed during the last Board conference call

        When you're already a media figure

        the respect and the trust of a lot of hackers

        there aren't likely to be a lot more multimillion-dollar bonanzas like mine

        I'm a VA board member

        Megabucks are power, and with power comes an obligation to use it wisely

        anybody who wants me to give a talk has to cover my expenses and eliminate hassle


        The whole essay was a big "LOOK AT ME!" but he's gone remarkably quiet of late. I guess I'll leave you with this final quote.

        Remember when the big question was "How do we make money at this?"
    • Doing the math, it looks like he was given about 150K shares. Had he sold all shares as soon as the SEC allowed [yahoo.com],
      he would have made about $6 million at $40-50/share. If he were to sell them all today, it would be worth less than $140K.

      According to Yahoo Finance [yahoo.com], it appears that he didn't exercise any [yahoo.com] of his options.

      At least he put his money where his mouth was... but was it worth it?

      --SONET
      • Nice to see that. That's it makes me happier. What was all that "Wow all this money, i haven't even noticed!". "Oh, I don't care about it!". "Oh don't ask for it, don't call me. No matter what: famine, illnesses, religion, whatever yada, I am busy!". "Oh, pay me when I give a conference, I am rich my time is now more valuable". "I may do some charity conferences though but they have to pay me the hotel".

        Sorry, this does not intend to be flamefait, it's only that I can't believe that last post...

        (Pd: VALinux was nice for hardware, I own some VA servers. After closing the hardware biz, I have no other biz with VA to do. I would have paid a premium for their servers...)
  • most of the . bombs didn't have a business plan. that's what made them go from having tons of VC in the bank to a bust on wall street.
    • by Maserati (8679)
      The .bomb I worked for could contribute several business plans from 2000 alone. Add in the three they went through in 2001 before ad revenues dropped into four figures...
  • Two hundred thousand variants of

    Step 1: [insert genius idea]
    Step 2: ?
    step 3: Profit!

  • How about (Score:3, Funny)

    by jcsehak (559709) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:07PM (#3783717) Homepage
    Getting thousands of dollars worth of equipment, a T1 line, a shack on a plot of land somewhere in the desert and sending thousands of people millions of emails that they don't want?

    Oh wait, that's wildly profitable. My bad.
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:19PM (#3783781)
    I came up with the idea of the "1-900 Porno FAX" business. Since computers, at the time, started having fax modems, the idea was to be able to send out halftoned porno pictures via a fax machine. A person would call a 1-900 number, enter their FAX telephone number, and perhaps a special category of what they wanted. The service would then call them back and send them a picture. Kind of a porn-on-demand kind of system. The market was probably golden around then.

    I got the idea when I took an offensive picture, added some words, and FAX'd it to a company I didn't like. Then I realized, hey, people would actually PAY for these pictures! An early dot-com idea was born.

    No. I never went anywhere with it. I don't think my parents would have cared to have funded it, either. That, and my early tests were done through my work at Sears. They might have claimed intellectual property, since I did it on their time. Hahaha. ;)
    • halftone porno?!? Man, that's like trying to watch scrambled adult movies...

      "is that a breast?!? I think I saw a breast! Wait..that might just be a nose."

      Uh, of course, I'm speaking hypothetically.

    • This is a good idea, but I know of a more efficient Porn-on-demand system; the Internet. ;)

      Actually, Sears could only claim intellectual property on it if you were working in a job which related to this. I.E. If you were in a FAX or IT development position...

      Well, either that or if you signed a NDA/NCA which precluded any work you may come up with while employed there.
      Caveat employee... :p
      • This is a good idea, but I know of a more efficient Porn-on-demand system; the Internet.

        Perhaps I'm showing my age. This predates common usage of the Internet/NSFnet. IT development? Ha! I sold computers and electronics. The free cell phone was quite the perk back then. Even if it was in a very large bag and the handset was good enough for self defense.
  • 1) Start internet company
    2) get 'bought out' by microsoft
  • Odd (Score:3, Informative)

    by Juhaa (588855) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:35PM (#3783872)
    I've looked over this site, there was no way to browse the biz plans they have already gathered. Is this some sort of a scam? Are they just getting us to do all the work and keeping it themselves or using in their own research? I don't see a give back, all I see is mail your biz plans. This is a scam.
  • although the format is proprietary, isn't that a part of history? I don't remember anyone presenting off of PDF or some other format. the content is one part of the plan, the presentation of it is another. i'd like to see if there's a correlation between silly transition effects and animations and the amount of money lost by a dot com.
  • And don't bombard them which suggestions that their PowerPoint collection should also be archived in a less proprietary form, as they already know that.

    Plus, the failed plans just wouldn't be as "Speedily Stupid" if they weren't genuine PowerPoints.

    (Interoperable formats would connote that the person did actually know something, just not about business.)
  • An apparently growing archive of Dot Bomb's... http://ebituaries.whirlycott.com/ [whirlycott.com]
  • by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:56PM (#3783963)
    I was in a dot-bomb; we bombed out I think not so much because of a really stupid plan, just bad execution. There's an old saying, a class A person will do better with a class B plan than a class B person will do with a class A plan. I'll leave the company info in that we were an advertising dotcom, and we managed to swim around blindly with no direction until the Internet stock bubble burst and we were S.O.L.

    Besides that, I hate Powerpoint, on principle alone. Explain stuff to me, or let me see it. We were trying to hire a developer, and while I was talking to the guy, explaining that no, 2600 mag wasn't named for an Atari and cool stuff like Linux on handhelds that he was having the geek hot sweats over, my CnEO (Chief non-executing officer) decides "enough of that, let me show him the Powerpoint slides". You can see the change where this guy realizes he's gonna have a tech-person clueless boss spinning directionless firing off orders from a random buzzword generator. He declined our offer.

    I had to have talks with my CEO, try to get him on track sometimes. They had the idea "we're a startup, we don't have to be perfect" and I'm thinking, we have to strive for perfection more cause we have no cushion to fall back on. MS has billions to ride out a storm, we don't. When I asked him how many people he thought wanted to quit, he said he didn't care, I'm thinkin, this should make him anxious to find out and not lose half his staff, but he just wanted to end the convo with me. He missed a meeting with some investor bank because he forgot where it was supposed to be. We took 14 months to get a project manager, the CEO lying about it was one of the reasons I got so mad that I just didn't care anymore, and the whole place had that opinion of spinning our wheels and nobody cared. At least he was fully buzzword compliant, with team-building this and that (I tried to get a doctor's note - I can't teambuild today, I have a bad back. I can't do any team-building where I have to lift more than 20 pounds). And he often said "We have to build it perfect" and "we build it fast cause we just have to get it out there for people to see it" in the same paragraph without getting, or completely ignoring the contradiction.

    Business plans often aren't the problem as much as those (mis)executing them.
    • This reminds me of an excerpt from Peter Lynch's "Beating the Street:"

      The extravagance of any corporate office is directly proportional to management's reluctance to reward the shareholders.

      In other words, the better run companies pass on the gaudy office space and letterhead and get down to business. I too worked with a egomanical company a few years back on a contract job to build a web site for a national newspaper (names withheld to protect the guilty). This small, local company was rolling in money because of good networking and a connected CEO. But the CEO couldn't help but spend twice as much money as he was bringing in. Today, his company is an also ran.

      It's the type A personality's fait accompli. Always putting the cart before the horse, forgetting the importance of working hard and working smart.

      • This is also stated in Parkinson's Law by C.Northcote Parkinson. Basically he states when companies start building presidential offices, with luxury furniture the company is already going downhill. Basically if the company is working so hard to fulfill orders and make market, it has no time to update office space.

        If you have'nt read parkinsons law, read it. It is years old, not very PC but still amazingly relevant
    • No relation to Powerpoint, but my company's clients WERE the dotcoms. (I had a datacenter). In almost one week, I lost half my clients.I had to sell :(
    • F A N T A S T I C post, thank you!

      "...fully buzzword compliant..."

      That's priceless! -- I don't care whether you can think outside of the box. Can you think outside of the cliche?

    • > There's an old
      > saying, a class A person will do better with a class B plan than a class B person will do with a class A plan.

      Heh. Reminds me of my last fulltime job (which ended just over a year ago). I worked for a company that, in a word, sold consulting services to dot-coms. One of these companies we sold services to actually had a pretty good business plan that passed my sniff test . . . unfortunately the company collapsed by the end of 2000. Talking to the lead engineer who handled this account, the problem wasn't the technology or the business plan -- it was bickering amongst management.

      As for my last employer, I joined them after the alternative telcom services provider I was working for declared bankrupcy, looking for some long-term job security. This employer ran out of work when the number of dot-coms thinned out too much & the survivors cut their operating budgets to the bone, & laid me off in May of last year. As for the telco, my ex-coworkers had a job until that September.

      Geoff
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here is mine:
    Attn., First, I must solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction. This is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and "top secret". We are top officials of the Federal Government Contract Review Panel who are interested in importation of goods into our country with funds that are presently trapped in Nigeria. In order to commence this business, we solicit your assistance to enable us transfer into your account the said-trapped funds. The source of the fund is as follows: During the regime of the last Military transitional government of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, government officials set up companies and awarded themselves contracts which were grossly over invoiced in various ministries. The present democratic government of President Olusegun Obasanjo set up the Contract Review Panel and we have identified a lot of inflated contract funds that are presently floating in the Central Bank of Nigeria ready for payment. However, by virtue of our position as civil servants and members of this panel, we cannot acquire this money in our names. I have therefore been delegated as a matter of trust by my colleagues in the panel, to look for an oversea partner into whose account we would transfer the sum of US$31,320,000.00 (Thirty-One Million, Three Hundred and Twenty thousand United States Dollars) in which we hope to use in purchasing Agro Allied equipment, and to enable us to own properties and invest in the stable economy of your country. Hence, we are sending you this email message. We have agreed to share the money thus: 1. 20% for the account owner (you) 2. 70% for us (the officials of the CRP) 3. 10% to be used in settling taxation and all local and foreign expenses. Due to our poor Telecommunication system and for purpose of strict confidentiality you are to respond via Fax No: 234 17590503 or e-mail: danike@spinfinder.com Please acknowledge receipt of this message for proper briefing on the safe modality for the execution. Yours faithfully Dr. Daniel Ike NOTE: PLEASE QUOTE THIS REFERENCE NUMBER (DI/06/02) IN ALL YOUR REPONSE.
  • This kind of reminds me of the Dot-Gone [bbc.co.uk] art exhibit which had scores of business cards from failed dot-coms. Kind of cool actually, since I wasn't eighty-sixed by one.
  • Many years ago I came across Edison's business plan for the electric light. (It's in "The electrical manufacturers, 1875-1900", Passer, Harold Clarence. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1953, LC Number 52010754, and no, it's not on line, but there's a copy in the Baker Library at Harvard.) Edison claimed that the entire investment in the system would be paid back in less than a year. That didn't happen, but you realize, reading the numbers, how profitable electricity was when it was replacing illumination by coal gas.
  • by Paul the Bold (264588) on Friday June 28, 2002 @02:06AM (#3784935)
    Liquour Store and Cough Drop Emporium.

    Sure, it sounds like a great idea, but it would attract more cops than a donut shop. No more underage sales, and your regular customers will find themselves busy with mandatory community service.

    Speaking of donut shops, here is another guaranteed failure: opening a donut shop next to a Krispy-Kreme.

    Starting a software company to produce a superior desktop product to compete with Microsoft Windows.

    The All Parker Posey Video Store

    The Salmon Rushdie Memorabilia Shop (in Tehran)

    The Martha Stewart Stock Market Advice Hotline
  • I have plenty of failed business plans; I have a picture of Xerox, Enron, and Worldcom's accounting rooms....

    Might even be able to find blueprints of the buildings downtown..

Algol-60 surely must be regarded as the most important programming language yet developed. -- T. Cheatham

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