Nov 30, 2004

yearning for long lost dotcoms

Even with all the whiz bang of today’s web(s), not a month goes by when I don’t yearn for some of the early dotcoms.  Who didn’t love the at-my-beck-and-call convenience of Kozmo, and their on-demand Odwallas?  Or the friendly delivery guys from Webvan and their green plastic buckets?  Or even the feel-good organic-or-free-range dilemma vibe from

The one I’m missing presently is the erstwhile  Remember them?  Perfect integrators of content, commerce and community; the ones who smartly planted the “add to wheelbarrow” button in their interactive garden planner?  Darlings of the IA crowd, was one of those early “trusted brands” of ecommerce; the ones you knew you could go to 24/7 with your “basil or bellflowers on the kitchen window sill” question, and find an answer you could believe in.

The problem was, very few of us early adopter types were actually planting basil or bellflowers.  We were just marveling at wonderful it was that if we ever needed to, we could buy basils or bellflowers (as well as soil and shoes and spades) from those nice, smart folks in Austin.  You know the rest of the story, so feel free to insert your own awful pun about dying on the vine.

But tonight, as I ponder that age old holiday question – will this year be the year we do a live Christmas tree instead of a chopped one? – I wish were here to help.  Not that Google isn’t helpful, mind you; there are plenty of sites advising me that it’s probably not the best idea, since I can’t be trusted to regularly change the oil in my car, much less water a plant on a daily basis and then replant it outside.  But Garden would have told me all that with style, in a unique voice, wrapped in great nav, and with a perfectly matched set of cross-selling sidebars that, with luck, would have helped me cross a few folks off my Christmas shopping list.