Breadline, Meet John

For the second time in less than nine months the “dot-com” I’ve been working for has run out of money and closed…
I know what you are saying, “How could you let that happen John? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Right?” Yup, that’s what I thought when I took the job at Vast Solutions.

  • They were a spin-off of an existing large company (PageNet) and the spin-off itself didn’t occur until around the time I arrived. Who spins off a company in such a way that it can make it only four months before the board votes to shut it down?
  • They had money to start with. In fact, we asked repeatedly, “How much do you have? At your current burn rate, how long will it last?” We always heard, “…until the third or maybe the fourth quarter. Plenty of time to get some more money and have our products ready.”
  • In the January time frame they laid off around 30-40 employees and did cost cutting measures (nothing drastic, but sensible stuff) to make sure that the money would last until they said it would.
  • They weren’t giving off any of the alarm bell warning signs like offering lowball salaries but lots of “options”.

Then, in the end, when a planned merger failed to go through the board had the place shutdown faster than you could say startup/shutdown.