Kozmo: Bubbles and Personality
When you see an article written about the late 90s bubble, chances are that an example rolled out will be Kozmo. There is a good reason for that, including the hundreds of millions raised and the $150 million deal with Starbucks. But it was an incredible service, probably one of my favorite dotcom companies. It filled a real need, but some of the choices made it an unrealistic business. Perhaps today, and managed better, this is a business model that would work after some adaptation. Say with a minimum order (preventing someone like me from ordering a single Gatorade because he’s too lasy to walk downstairs) and a little more forgiving delivery window (not guaranteeing an hour). In addition to the DVDs and Ben and Jerrys, it could also be a last mile service for internet retailers. Perhaps also a partnership with Redbox.
One of the things that I loved about the site is that it wasn’t just a useful delivery service, it was stuffed with personality from the bike messengers to the orange jackets/messenger bags to the dropboxes. Even if someone doesn’t try this again, it’s personality is something that every new business should aspire to to help forge that customer connection. Here is a nice article from back in the day if you missed out on Kozmo.