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ChowMarket a Disaster; We're Doomed

Jim Leff | Dec 5, 200106:35 PM

Listen, I kind of don't know how to say this to you guys.

We built a dynamite ChowMarket, with great products at a fair price. We've had a trickle of orders over the last three days, and the trickle has slowed. I am flabbergasted at the results. They are unprecedentedly bad. Jaw-droppingly, unprecedentedly awful. We haven't just been slapped by resolute disinterest; it's been a knock-out punch. Not just "bad economic times" or "wait and see". We're cooked.

I've spoken to some of you privately about this, and apparently--in spite of our dire warnings--few of you understood that this was our last gap attempt to keep Chowhound up and running. At this point, we're trying to figure out how to get out this without losing thousands of dollars on the t-shirts and other stuff that everyone had been so enthusiastically asking for so long (we have sold 41 of them, and the orders have slowed to a drip). We needed 150 subscriptions to each of the three editions of ChowNews (which was just a GREAT idea) to break even. We've received a total of 48 to all three.

Listen, the situation is way, way too dismal for a zealous "c'mon, guys!". We're way way beyond that point. If a miracle doesn't happen, it's back to Zagat for all of us. And if you think I'm just being alarmist, trying to greedily shake down a few more orders, consider that I have never, ever lied to all of you before (nor have I ever been greedy). Listen, don't say I didn't warn you.

I put a statement like this on our popular LA board. We got a flurry of orders. Four of them.

Note: we won't charge a dime for ChowNews if we can't fulfill the full six month subscription. Don't worry (to the couple dozen of you who subscribed: we LOVE you for it and would never gyp you. Watch for an email).



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