Magazine article Marketing

Leader

Magazine article Marketing

Leader

Article excerpt

Boo's failure does not mar the whole dotcom economy

'Yah Boo Sucks', 'From Boo to Bust', and 'Bang goes Boo' were just a few of the headlines in the financial pages of the weekend press to remind us that the dotcom backlash has arrived with a vengeance. Boo's demise is all the sweeter for some critics because its founders were young, photogenic, and Swedish. The "dotcom couple from casting central", as a Sunday Times report referred to them.

Added to their youth was their relative inexperience, and what some regarded as a new-age arrogance. That they managed to spend [pounds]115m in venture capital funding since the beginning of the year is, according to some, a clear sign that Boo's management was out of control. But this is all disputable, and Boo's founders have been quick to claim that lack of management support from their investors and non-executive directors contributed to the company's collapse.

Whatever the truth, the standing of the two young Swedes has not been helped by their reported profligacy. First-class flights, the best rooms in the best hotels, and posh homes in London paid for from company coffers, smack of a lack of corporate governance. But attempts to tar the whole of the dotcom economy with the Boo brush are unfair.

Boo, like any business that goes bust, had financial and management problems. Along with the limited experience of its management, its central premise -- high quality sports goods via the web--was always questionable. …

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