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"Wow, a free book! All this work and no revenue ... these guys must be broke!"



Business Models for the New Economy

"Our management has limited experience operating a business, has had no experience in managing and operating a business development company, and has little or no experience in corporate finance and corporate mergers" - Prospectus warning from UTEK, a business development company that finances new technologies for universities

Let's take a closer look at some of the most blatantly idiotic internet business models that got some people rich and left a lot of others scratching their heads and wondering what went wrong.

Alladvantage: Pay users 53 cents an hour to surf, plus referrals. Pay $40 million within 3 months. Hire competent tech people to keep users from cheating. Run out of money. Go bankrupt. pThisq pcompanyq pthoughtq pbuildingq paq pbusinessq paroundq pwebsiteq pURLsq pstartingq pwithq P pandq pendingq pwithq Q pwasq paq pgoodq pideaq. Create your own money. Realize that your money will never usurp conventional U.S. currency. Become laughing stock. See

TreeLoot (Virtumundo): Entice users to the site by duping them into trying to click on a monkey's head in a banner. Surfer clicks anywhere on banner and gets to site. The user can now click all over an image of a money tree with promises to win cash. Meanwhile, monkeys "drop clues" while asking for user's personal information and promising "Banana Bucks" (we're not sure what the current exchange rate is between 'Banana Bucks' and 'Beenz') Company now has huge list of monkey names, email addresses, and interests. Monkey advertisers purchase names and spam monkeys. Monkeys get angry and switch from Yahoo to Hotmail for email services. Sell things to people for cheaper than they cost. Have CEO make appearances on otherwise legitimate news programs evangelizing the idea. "We sell a substantial portion of our products at very low prices. As a result, we have extremely low and sometimes negative gross margins on our product sales" . Stick banner ads all over the place to try to recover the money. Realize that it doesn't work. Find another hyped buzzword (B2B). Change business model. Await death.

Bla-bla: Gather as many sites as you can that attract those good old "eyeballs". Since there are apparently no copyright laws on the web, these sites should be collections of non-copyrighted jokes and images. Common content includes tit tattoos, mutilated penises, and sexually explicit cartoons, like Fred Flintstone getting blown by Betty Rubble. Make sure at least one ad loads per picture view. Make about 100 grand a month in revenue from hapless advertisers who will see you at the bankruptcy line…make plans to meet on beach in Fiji with advertisers. Get bought out by Here's a simple one. Offer items for much higher prices than available at a store, promise rebates that will bring the actual price down to next to nothing, then delay or just flat out don't pay the rebate. Wait a few months. Show the courts how much revenue you were bringing in. File Chapter 11, then retire.

Webvan: Entice George Shaheen to leave Andersen Consulting to be the CEO. Expand operations before ever proving the concept of profit. Get Shaheen to leave by paying him over $300,000 for life. Die. "We now have the money we need to complete our vision of crushing the old-line media behemoths" - James Cramer, Co-founder. This business model was great: up-to-the second financial news for such companies as…you know…the globe….dot com? Never mind. Hmmm…trying to find Microsoft on the internet, but you have no idea where to go? Tired of struggling with difficult search engines? And who can keep all those domain name endings in order? It's like trying to order from a Chinese restaurant menu and not having any pictures or descriptions, right? Enter Realnames! Just type in "Microsoft" and automatically you'll go right to that nebulous web address, "". Now how's that for astonishing?!