Uncategorized29 Nov 2015 10:31 am

During breakfast today, my son and I were talking about the DOT com bust, and, it got me to thinking about the company I was working with at the time. They created a large number of DOT com businesses. With no rhyme or reason to them. They created an auction site, with all the overhead of a big company, so it cost them $87 dollars to list a hammer on their auction site. And like the rest of the DOT com nonsense, they were losing money hand over fist. So what does a big company do? It bundles all of their failed DOT com businesses into a holding company, call a team meeting together, and announce that they are firing everybody and shutting down the business. I was fortunate as a consultant at the time. I was working for the parent companies E-Commerce web site, which they pulled back into the parent company, before the armageddon date for the rest of the digital businesses. We were all in the same building at the time. It was absolute madness. People were shredding documents so fast that the clogged EVERY shredder in the building. People were walking out the door taking their computers, boxes of their stuff, fax machines, printers, anything not nailed down. And the company was so naive that they didn’t have security at the building. Just call an all hands meeting and FIRE everybody. It was one of the most bizarre days I will ever remember from my career. About 6 months later, an invoice from the web hosting company for the digital businesses that were shut down ended up on my desk. I looked it over, and it was not of the same format that I had been receiving in the past for my web hosting services. It looked like a odd maintenance fee. So I started to dig in a little further. It turned out that one of the digital businesses bought a 5 million dollar EMC Symmetric Disk Storage array system. And they shipped it to the web hosting company. It was a company asset. NOT a lease like the rest of the equipment at the hosting center. Typical for the group president of the failed DOT com business to piss away 5 million on a piece of hardware. And then, after they fired everybody in the business, it was FORGOTTEN. The web hosting company had turned off all the lease equipment. But, the 5 million dollar disk array was still sitting there. ME: Lets Bring it back and use it. This caused the parent company all manor of consternation because they could not figure out how to account for a 5 million dollar asset that was not on their books. I had weeks of arguments with them about accepting the asset. And, then I had to convince the hosting company that it was my asset. And we wanted it back. That also took weeks. Because they typically did not accept customer hardware. They simply leased equipment to the customer. That discussion took weeks. And was so bizarre that the first time I sent a truck to retrieve the hardware they turned away the truck. Finally I got the parent company to agree to accept it, and the hosting company to part with it, and it was returned. And i remember the parent company telling me that they used the EMC array for their first SAP implementation. It had terabytes of storage that worked perfectly for their SAP project. Funny to remember all of that after talking to Josh about the DOT com boom and bust.

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