Is the tech economy down because we're all fucking around on the Internet during work hours, or are we fucking around on the Internet during work hours because the tech economy is down? This is one of those chicken/egg questions that keeps me up at night. -- Master Squid
Man, the people of earth want to use the Web! It's crazy!
First they put the Web on the television machine with WebTV,
and now people are using this here Webvan thing to get the Web
brought to their house. Beaujolais!
Now, I haven't used Webvan at all, so don't take this as, like, gospel or
something. But I've seen plenty of these crazy Webvan trucks going around the
City, and I've talked to some friends who've used it, and I think I understand
how it works.
The deal is that you contact these WebVan guys at webvan.com, and you schedule
like a one-hour window when they will come to your house, kinda like
SuperShuttle. The van comes, which is like a little small corrugated panel truck
like you see all the time delivering beer, except it's got "WEBVAN" written all
You get in the back of the truck, and then they drive away to go pick up or drop
off other people. While you're in there, they drive around, and you get to use
the Web. They must have some Ricochet modems or something, because OBVIOUSLY you
can't be dragging, like, twisted-pair cable behind one of these things. That'd
I haven't seen the inside of these things much, but it looks kind of
uncomfortable, since there aren't any windows or anything. BUT people LOVE the
Web, so I can imagine that it's worth it for some folks. From what I've heard
that have all these health-nut snacks that you can chomp on in big plastic
buckets. But no beer, because, like, DUH, you're driving around in a van. Even
if it wasn't illegal, you'd probably collapse from heat exhaustion in the back
of those trucks after just a couple of Heinekens. You'd go into convulsions and
shit. Which is too bad, because I mean, BEER is the best part of using a computer.
Anyways, these WebVan guys are savvy goddamned businessmen, you know? They get
the same essential clientele as a cybercafe or something, but NO REAL ESTATE
OVERHEAD! No rent, no expensive bathrooms or property taxes or even janitor
guys! They just drive their customers around in the back of a van like illegal
immigrant lettuce pickers or something! Dying of heatstroke and NO BEER! And
they're PAYING for the privilege! Then the Webvan guys hose the truck out at the
end of the day, and beaujolais, you've got a BUSINESS MODEL!
Personally, I woulda thought this would never work, since it's so disgusting and
dehumanizing and stuff being treated like cattle in the back of an 18-wheeler.
And EVERYBODY's got a computer now anyways, right? But I see TONS of these
Webvans driving all over the place, so it must be good business. God bless these
guys. Go check it out!