Re: shuts down, Idealab blamed

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From: Tony Berkman (
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 07:39:55 PDT

Drats!!! I got one of these gizmos as a gift. Now I have to revert back
to being unhip....

At 01:09 PM 10/25/2000 -0700, Mike Masnick wrote:
>Forgive me if this has been posted before. Keeping up with FoRK (and
>constantly clicking on seems to be a full time job these
>days, so I'm consistently a few days/weeks/months behind (what's this?
>We're discussing politics now? What happened to the rants about love and
>marraige and kids and stuff?).
>However, I'm very surprised that Modo is shutting down so soon. While it
>might not be the greatest solution out there, I'd heard from quite a few
>people who actually thought the device was pretty cool and useful.
>According to the article, sales were increasing at a good pace. They blame
>Idealab for pulling the funding, which also seems odd. You'd think that
>Idealab would like to have a successful company in a hot space that isn't a
>clear "me too" play like so many other companies they have. I have no idea
>if the Idealab rumors are true, but it seems like a bad move to me.
> -Mike
>Modus Operandi Fails
>By Jayson Matthews
> wanted to break the mold in the portable lifestyle space, but
>became just another casualty in the online war for profitability today.
>In an email to registered users late last night, San Francisco-based Scout
>Electromedia announced that its project will be closing its doors,
>effective immediately. Though reasons for the closure were not given, a
>former employ that spoke with under conditions of anonymity
>blames an alleged pullout of financial support from idealab!, one of the
>company's backers.
>Debuting last September in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York,
> was hoping to "idiot proof" the wireless space by developing a
>simple yet stylish portable "lifestyle device" (The Modo) for the 18-34
>year old demographic. The Palm-sized device's brightly-colored, graphically
>rich design offered a daily guide to bars, restaurants, clubs/DJs, live
>music, movies, sporting events, coffee shops, museums, shopping, and just
>about everything else its staff of 12 editors could hunt down in each city.
>Running off a pager network, the device updated itself automatically each
>day, requiring only a one-time $100 purchase fee.
>"Our retail was doing incredibly well," says the former employee. "Orders
>were doubling and tripling. That's why this came as such a shock."
>The source points to rumors that venture capital firm idealab! pulled its
>$10 million majority investment in the company without notice, but
>officials at idealab! denied the rumor.
>In its short history, Scout had enlisted several big name retail, content
>and technology partners to push, including Virgin Megastores,
>DKNY, Fred Segal, Village Voice Media and PageNet.
>"I think everybody's assumption was that we'd at least make it through
>Christmas," continues the former employee. "That's when we really expected
>to pick up even further in the retail space."
>October 25, 2000

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