Auctioning The Startup on eBay?

An interesting auction I stumbled upon via an article at Read/Write Web.  It seems that a startup company I have been seeing around has now decided to move their company to the next level.  This is a different way of approaching a sale of a startup company.  I would think that the people behind Talkr Audio, LLC would want to get the best dollar for their assets, but I’m not sure eBay is the best approach to doing the deal.  Apparently, they have completely bootstrapped the company and that is a great thing when it comes to making the biggest amount of return on the investment of the LLC but then selling it via an auction site won’t get the right buyers in my opinion.  The assets of the company are listed as:

All assets of Talkr Audio, LLC, including:

  1. The domain names talkr.com, talkr.net and talkr.org.
  2. The site located at Talkr.com, including all code, html, images, designs, etc.
  3. Server leases for the current servers. (These servers are month-to-month rentals, which can be terminated with the providers).
  4. A Google Analytics account integrated with Talkr.com
  5. A DynDNS account for managing DNS
  6. A SiteUptime.com account for managing site monitoring.
  7. Up to 20 hours of my time to transition the site over to its new owners. We can arrange a consulting fee for additional hours if necessary.

Read/write Web has a statement that caught my attention most out of the news of the startup auction. 

"How many more web 2.0 startups are going to put themselves up for sale or stop development? It seems like a bit of a trend right now…"

This statement caused me to think whether we are seeing a new trend in online business 2.0?  We hear of the VC’s not having anything to sink their money into because of the new environment, but here is a company that could use an investor with the proper vision and has to resort to auctioning the business on eBay.  It’s as if we are returning to a time when farms are going into foreclosure.  Can we expect that companies that don’t make the grade with funding can be abandoned no matter how great their business plan?  This seems like a good stage for those with a little cash to snap up some of these companies.  Perhaps someone with an entrepreneurial spirit such as Jason Calacanis with a little extra in the wallet could go on the hunt for these companies and tie them up in a neat little bow for the likes of Google or Yahoo and walk away without much of a worry for the big price tags being spent on other such startups.  At the moment Talkr.com carries with it a reserve of $10,000.00 but not really a "Buy It Now" amount.  I’m sure with an email or two this could be accomplished.  The auction ends on January 25.  I will follow how the story ends and I am going to try to contact the people at Talkr.com to find out more details.  In the meantime, do your own research and let me know if you want to get in on this auction.

I should disclose that I have nothing to do with Talkr or any other part of this sale on eBay.  I’m an entrepreneur that would love to see how this plays out.  I would be involved, but like I said I’m an entrepreneur and I’m broke, and I have yet to figure out a way to make a buck off the sale. ;)  Good luck to the folks at Talkr. 

Tags: Talkr, , , , , , , ,

Comments

  1. I think the overlooked variable here is business smarts/business plan. VCs want to sink their money but they don’t want to sink it blindly a la 1999.

    It’s easy to start a “Web 2.0 startup”. All you need is a good idea and some programming skills. That doesn’t equate to business smarts or a business idea.

  2. I might add that the resources involved in the site are pretty mom and pop. Doesn’t speak to a professional setup on Talkr’s part.

    Google Analytics account? They are free aren’t they? DynDNS? Why are they using DynDNS? Why not manage your own DNS? SiteUptime? Great for starters but they should be rolling their own monitoring – memory usage. load. services other than http. MYSQL max connections.

    Seems like a “basement” company.

  3. Chris Brooks says:

    I’ll add my $.02.

    First, Talkr isn’t dead: the business and the service will continue. However, Talkr needs a wider set of skills than I can provide it. In particular, it needs someone doing sales. Podcasts aren’t as easy to monetize (today) as textual content — the space simply isn’t mature yet. The right corporate parent will be able to provide more resources, generate more revenue, and provide more “business smarts”.

    Second, is it wise to run 3rd party analytics, DNS and site monitoring? Absolutely. Although hindsite suggests that I made some mistakes in Talkr’s development, choosing to outsource those services are not among them. If there’s a cheap and reliable way to outsource functions that aren’t central to your value proposition — do it and move on. (Of course, where off-the-shelf tools weren’t available, we rolled our own reporting and monitoring tools as well.)

    Thank you for your comments.
    -Chris

Speak Your Mind