just procrastinating

Monday, September 27, 2004

Back to the Grind
Since I'm just starting a new job, here is a pretty funny article about my last job:
The news that Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC) is gasping for breath shocked me a bit. No, not that the company is failing and anticipates a wind down of operations and a potential Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing -- frankly I never understood its business, nor really cared to. What shocked me about Commerce One is that I realized that I had completely forgotten that it existed.

This is a company that in 1999 had a market capitalization approaching $20 billion. Its success, and that of its industry, seemed assured. The biggest question on people's minds was whether it would dominate business-to-business e-commerce (B2B) or whether rival Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA) would gain that distinction. B2B was happening, it was coming, it was real. It was going to be a $1 trillion business by 2005!!! The hype was total. Business 2.0 had a cover story on the competition, calling it a "no-holds-barred death match" between the two companies. Well, we have the answer as to which one would survive the battle: Commerce One lost. Trouble is, Ariba didn't win. It's sort of like the old discussions of which Hollywood hunk was America's next big star: Erik Estrada or Adrian Zmed. Zmed may have had more staying power, but he could still probably eat completely unmolested by fans in your average Olive Garden.
It's fitting that this is winding down now. It's kind of a nice bookend.

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