I like Pud. I didnt want to, because its not my nature
to like people who are famous and hipsterish, but then I discovered
hes only a punk ass kid, so nothing hes doing has the
serious weight of grown up actions.
Thats really the whole point of Fucked Company its
just for fun. Its not a financial pro forma investment tool,
its not a very productive form of revenge, and nowadays its
not really that interesting because it may as well just link straight
to the Nasdaq.
But there are lessons to be learned from the FC phenomenon. Why
did it take the fancy of the New Economy crew? Why did people participate?
What did it portend in the long run? What should we take away from
what weve seen?
The facts that you may or may not already have down.
FC (I say this for expediency, not for fear of saying "fucked"
like those chumps at siliconvalley.com) has been around since May
2000 when a 24 year old web designer codenamed Pud started posting
the rumblings about dot.coms that are about to flail as they came
across his email.
It started out as a game where you get points for predicting fucked
companies, but its main appeal quickly headed towards the vicarious
folk who like to hear about other peoples fucks. It evolved
from fun to money-making as more and more people heard about it
t-shirts, mugs, special sections of rumor, ad nauseum. It
even made Yahoos and Rolling Stones Site of the Year
An important note: fuckedcompany is not as "for the people"
as it first appears. I understand it to be true that Pud doesnt
include his buddies failures, and he got himself a pr agency
to talk up the website. But fair enough, its his site, and
it you want, youre more than free to blow your $35 and get
www.pudsbuddiesfuckedcompanies.com if you want.
Now on to the more interesting, if less factual, speculation
Why did we care about FC?
The most interesting aspect to FC is the thought that everyone
loved reading about others failures while confidently basking
in the glow of their own success. "Ha ha, that guys a
jack ass," you said. "What a fucking idiot to think that
they could make that work," you intoned, as you got ready for
your own investor meeting to discuss your fourth round of funding.
Its classic human nature, the "it wont happen
to me" mentality that has funded a thousand ventures into dumb
ideas. We want to see other people fail where we ourselves tread.
FC gave a sense of superiority to those who werent included,
just like the Darwin Awards did in 1998 and the Bush Senior administration
Its not so funny now though because the other guy is laughing
at me. Of course, maybe thats just from my perspective; equally
of course, maybe its your perspective four months from now.
Who cared about Fuckedcompany?
Primarily people who needed some justification to say fuck at the
office. The knowing grin of a man who feels hes pushing the
envelope. Stupid wankers.
Was FC more than dumb ass entertainment?
Sure, right now, Pud is trying to sell you access to the restricted
files where you can see the real dirt. "You wouldnt believe
whats in here," says the sales pitch.
Again, this is exactly the point. I dont believe whats
in there. Its not good information. I pity the foo who
based their financial portfolio on anything they saw in FC. Its
really just a spot for dumb ass employees to post their uninformed
Whos the chump? The guy who raises $30 million, gets a $100,000
cash bonus and then watches his company tank from a beach in France,
or the dumb ass who works night and day for $35K, mortgages a nice
house based on worthless stock options, then whines to Pud because
hes working for a company that was never viable in the first
place? Hed be in the same place if the whole New Economy fantasy
had never happened in the first place (except for the mortgage and
Dont trust the word of the posters, because they really dont
Jesse Simons, an FC Hall of Famer for his leading role at Nonstopnet,
checked out his dossier at FC when his company went under earlier
this year. "There was no data," he said. "It was
just venting for immature employees. They could have had something
productive there, like a dialogue about where our strategy went
wrong or why the funding wasnt right, instead it was just
If you need further evidence, heres a comment on the rumor
that Juno is laying off a bunch of people next week.
Apr 23 2001 09:37PM EST
Youd be surprised:
Very useful, highly informed commentary yes, but not something
Id give any weight to when judging whether or not to invest
in the company, or even to work there.
As a test, I sent in a FC alert on Anvil. I said "The Ed in
Chief Kent Lewis was fired for thrashing all the computers with
a walking stick," and that "Kent got a tax-free BMW while
all us staffers were stiffed for our last months pay."
Well have to see how far it makes it along. Im too mean
to pay the $75 monthly rumor fee, and I couldnt find a pirated
password, so someone will have to let me know.
Where does Pud go from here?
Interest has waned for FC. We all know the New Economy was just
a large exercise in pr; we all know that 85% of new businesses fail
in the first 4 years; we dont care that some company weve
never heard of before is laying off 45% of its staff, which is actually
only 15 guys who we also dont know or care about, except that
their tastefully decorated office space is now available at cut
No. Instead of continuing with Fuckedcompany, Pud needs to exercise
his skills at register.com. With a penchant for catchy names with
the word "fuck" in them and a mailing list of thousands
of IT managers who control their own firewall settings, he has a
career path most only dream of. Mark my words, next time you see
Puds name it will be in the one truly successful Web industry-
good old-fashioned porn.
Pud started the decline of the media snake eating its own tale.
Were just about 40% digested today, with everyone on the "were
doomed" bandwagon. Perhaps we can learn to stick to the facts,
keep success and failure in perspective, and move on to new ideas,
maybe even ones where people dont expect something for nothing.
Yet the spirit of the New Economy lives. As a true entrepreneur
and dot.com master, Jesse Simons took advantage of the situation.
His resume now reads "Member of the Hall of Fame in Yahoo Lifes
Site of the Year 2000."