Re: RH: the official hype on Zaplets

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From: Mike Masnick (
Date: Tue Jun 27 2000 - 09:26:21 PDT

At 01:34 AM 6/27/00 -0700, Rohit Khare wrote:
>[I leave it as an exercise to the reader to enumerate the assumptions
>embedded within. My email client is up and running 95% of the time,
>but it surely doesn't have my attention. And DHTML email still
>doesn't make sense as a "platform". It's just emailed bookmarks! What
>am I not seeing here? --Rohit]

I've discussed Firedrop with two different people who were thinking of
taking jobs there, and no one seems to be able to figure them out. They
have all the makings of a huge flameout...

First of all, they released some Zaplets a while back. The only Zaplet
I've ever received (or heard of anyone receiving) was to test it out (which
proved to be quite a pain). I haven't seen any indication that this is
spreading by word of mouth about how great it is - and if ever there were a
product to do that (assuming it was great) this would be an easy one to

Second, *all* of the hype seems to be coming from "friends" of Kleiner
Perkins. Also, it seems way too strong. They're hyping it as if they're
trying to convince people that they're not hyping it, and all the users
actually think it's a big thing... If that's the case, where are all those
users? Finally, when hype focuses on founders rather than what the company
is doing I get worried. While that's not totally true in this case there
are a number of stories out there about how one of the Firedrop founders
used to work for the CIA.

Third, their big claim was that people won't have to "go" to a webpage any
more since it will be sitting in their inbox... Okay, well, that means I
need to "go" to my inbox and find the right message. To me, this is a much
bigger pain then going to a webpage.

Fourth, they make a huge assumption that people are going to be willing to
pay them for this functionality. Why? The only customer they seem to dig
up in every article is the Republican Party.

I also like the comments from the CEO of Evite about Firedrop (link below)
where he basically says they tried to do the same thing a year ago, but
customers didn't like it or understand it. I believe it... It's not like
they're solving a need, they're trying to create a need based on something
they think is cool. What's the problem they're solving? I don't see it.

But... the hype keeps on coming. I keep trying to figure out what I'm
missing as well...


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