Industry Standard goes titsup.com

Can't survive on $40m a year

Industry Standard, the mag that chronicled the dotcom boom and bust, has joined the ever-growing list of companies to go titsup.com.

Employees were told of the closure in a memo issued yesterday in which the magazine's publisher, Standard Media International, said it was seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Only 15 of the 180 staff employed by the mag will be retained until either a buyer is found or it folds for good.

Siliconvalley.com has reprinted excerts of the 'Dear John' memo in which management try to explain why they've thrown in the towel.

Says the memo: "The company's 'vital signs' have been dropping precipitously in the face of a severe correction in the overall market," the memo stated.

"Managing a company through the contraction of 2001 rather than the expansion of 2000 proved to be extraordinarily difficult," it said.

You can say that again. The memo also said that revenues had tumbled from $140 million last year to $40 million this year. Despite the reduced - yet sizeable - turnover, losses spiralled to more than $50 million. Didn't anyone notice?

It seems incredible that a company publishing a magazine is unable to survive on $40 million turnover a year.

No matter. Like most of the dotcom generation, the Industry Standard is now history.

So too is its famously lavish "roof-top" parties that were fuelled by the optimism of this new age. We attended the lavishly expensive bash at a top London restaurant that marked the launch of the Industry Standard in the UK. That was less than a year ago. Little did we know then that we were, in fact, attending its wake. ®

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