When Wozniak and Jobs put together Apple Computer in 1976, their startup capital was about $1,300. To raise that sum, Jobs sold his old Volkswagen bus and Woz sold his HP calculator. And, from such humble beginnings, the most valuable company on the planet was born.
Which brings me to this:
Nearly four-tenths of a billion dollars for.............an app to find someone to walk your dog. What in the actual fuck.
To be clear, I love dogs, and I love high-tech startups. But honest to God, this kind of thing sickens me, and it is representative of the post-financial-crisis world in which we live, wherein countless billions of dollars have been hurled at the stupidest, most fraudulent, most asinine schemes in the history of free enterprise.
Allow me to present their revenue stream:
So you can get someone to walk your dog around the block starting at twenty bucks. Starting? What do the more expensive walks include?
First of all, take it from someone who at any given time in his life has had three dogs galloping around his household, anyone who doesn't have time to walk their dog around the block shouldn't have a dog in the first place. Walking my big mutts at 5:30 in the morning is my favorite time of day. If I actually had to hire out the act of strolling my dogs around on a regular basis, I'd feel like a douche beyond all measure. Seriously, what's the point of having a dog if you're not going to spend time with it?
Second, what the hell is the business opportunity of joining the poor souls who actually need to walk dogs to earn a living with the other poor souls who are such wage slaves that they have to pay someone to walk family members? Jesus H. Christ, I feel sorry for the both of you!
But how does wag work, you ask? Well............
As you can see in the left graphic, you get to see the walk your dog enjoyed while you're sitting in Conference Room 107 trying to pretend to pay attention to some boring-ass budget meeting when, in fact, you are looking at the historical record of your dog walking around the block.
And, on the right, you can see darling graphical representations of dog shit and dog piss so you can see what the little fellow has been up to. It's a good thing the innocent dog pictured cannot comprehend what's being communicated to others about him on this report.
All right, all right, enough bitching on my part. With nearly $400 million to blow, they must have absolutely phenomenal service. I mean, who am I to say? So let's check, out the composite of all the Yelp reviews, shall we?
Ohhhhhhhh kay. So the lowest level, 1 star, dwarfs all the other higher ratings combined. So people hate the service. Take Danielle, for example:
Hmmm. OK, well maybe those hundreds of millions didn't go to service. Maybe they went to an awesome social media presence. What's their Twitter account look like?
Umm. A little over eight thousand people. And they are following 758 others, which i think is a way to garner followers. How about my little Twitter account? Me, a one-person business with $0 in funding. How do I compare?
So I follow almost no one - -9 people - - and have nearly three times as many followers. Shouldn't I have a billion bucks in funding, then?
All right, so let's see. They have a stupid product. People hate the service. And they have a very low social media presence. So I can only conclude that the financial opportunity for those dealing with domestic pets in monstrous. Obviously there are no public companies that provide dog walking, but let's take a look at the most visible pet-oriented IPO in years, which is Chewy.com. They must be doing great, amiright?
Seriously, this is insanity. Wag isn't going public. Wag isn't going to get sold to someone with even more money and less intelligence than the original investors. I strongly suspect they're going to collapse in a heap.
This is NOT how free enterprise is supposed to work, and all I can conclude is that there are a lot of people in this world with access to vast, vast amounts of endless capital yet barely have two IQ points they can rub together for warmth.