History Lessons

Dot-Com Cautionary Tale Kozmo.com Is Back, Baby (Kinda?)

We hear an ominous knock and open the door to see... THE GHOST OF INTERNET PAST.


The tech biz is so bubbly right now, some days you can’t help but look at Techmeme and think, “Gee, I wonder if the Web 1.0 guys ever think about giving it another shot?”

Guess so. Via @dankois, behold Kozmo.com, which claims to be in the process of a relaunch. You know, the online delivery business and notorious 90s flameout, which was just one sock puppet short of being the cultural synecdoche for the entire damn turn-of-the-century Internet bubble. It’s most recently appeared in the news as a series of references in reviews of Bleeding Edge.

“Remember us?” the page asks. “We’re relaunching soon with the vision to fulfill your online order incredibly fast, and on-demand.” Because why wouldn’t you want to compete with Fresh Direct, Ebay Now, Wun Wun, and, oh yeah, Amazon?

Domain Name Wire (which is apparently a real news outlet) spotted the beginnings of a “relaunch” back in July: “Yummy Foods, LLC runs Yummy.com, a grocery delivery service in Los Angeles. Last year it was granted two U.S. trademark registrations for the term “Kozmo”, which it intends to use for its delivery service.” Looks like they recently secured the domain somehow, which according to WhoIs was just updated on August 23. That probably set them back approximately $1.67 and a bag of half-eaten Funyuns, if that.

So it’s not really the same company, which hey, could probably be a good thing. It’s not even clear whether they’re actually planning to sell something on the site. We’ve placed a call to the company to get some more details; it’s entirely possible that this is a big prank, viral marketing for the new Pynchon novel or hell, something related to @horse_ebooks for all we know.

Please feel free to share your zaniest memories of the 90s Internet-bubble excess in the comments below. Betabeat will be figuring out how to pre-order six boxes of Fruit Roll-Ups, two liters of Mountain Dew and a VHS of The Matrix.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com