The Webvan Pen

Yesterday I visited Hi5 and when I was there Paul Lindner, the architect, handed me a Webvan pen. He’s holding the pen in this video. We talked at length about what’s going on in social networking (they are signing up 100,000 new members a DAY, which is about half the growth rate of Facebook but still very phenomenal). Anyway, he handed me the pen to remind me to always look beyond the hype. Webvan, if you don’t remember, was a famous online grocery service that blew through millions of dollars back in the heady days of the late 1990s.

It’s a pen I’ll always treasure and it’s sitting here reminding me to look deeper at the companies I report on. My more in depth interview with Hi5′s CTO will be up next week.

Sorry I’ve been a bit absent this week. I overbooked myself. I’m speaking at Streaming Media West in a couple of hours. Plus I’ve been getting a steady stream of videos up on ScobleShow (check out TapTu there, a new mobile search engine that, in our little test, blew away Google).

And, of course, I’m still digging through lots of feeds for my link blog. I see that the Google Reader team added some new features which I’ll try out later.

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15 thoughts on “The Webvan Pen

  1. Mr. Scoble, did you know online SHOE sales are bigger than online grocery sales now? How messed up is THAT!? Webvan, Peapod, MyHomeGrocer… all those guys had the exact right idea at the exact right time for the exact wrong market. But, you know what I’m doing about all that… We just won’t make up any pens. ‘Course… it’s not a product until there’s a t-shirt. Or so we used to say at Apple.

  2. Mr. Scoble, did you know online SHOE sales are bigger than online grocery sales now? How messed up is THAT!? Webvan, Peapod, MyHomeGrocer… all those guys had the exact right idea at the exact right time for the exact wrong market. But, you know what I’m doing about all that… We just won’t make up any pens. ‘Course… it’s not a product until there’s a t-shirt. Or so we used to say at Apple.

  3. Max: yeah, I’ll do one of those. It might need to be next week, though. I’m totally booked this week and have TONS of photos to process sitting on my camera already. Sigh.

  4. Max: yeah, I’ll do one of those. It might need to be next week, though. I’m totally booked this week and have TONS of photos to process sitting on my camera already. Sigh.

  5. Robert, could you publish a good still photo of the pen? I’d like to stick it up over my monitor. To remind me to look beyond the hype, but also as an object lesson in great use of symbols.

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