Dont Forget to Hit the Send Button

Wonder why some startups are tanking? Hint: Same as some VC firms.

Some companies have no business plan or no product. Others have a product, but we hope theyre not banking their profitability on it—no matter how creative their press release is.

Take Learning Worlds Attacher, a utility that reminds a forgetful user to send an attachment with an e-mail. It works by scanning the text of an e-mail for key words such as "attachment" and "file." Then if the user clicks "send" without an attachment, the Attacher will pop-up a dialog box, which asks, "Send Anyway?"

Please. This is just one instance where technology goes too far. OK, so it is only $9.95, but what about all the productivity lost in having to click "No" for half the e-mails where keywords are present, but no attachment needed? Hello? VC money isnt for free any more!

Instead, Learning Worlds should dedicate their resources to publishing their creative press releases—theyd probably make more money. They call forgetting to send an attachment "post-traumatic attachment disorder," and their COO says, "If we can save just one poor soul from the heartbreak of attachment disorder, it will have been worth it."

How about developing something truly useful—like a graphical user interface for a telephone? If theres no problem, dont fix it.