You gotta figure that every web entrepreneur waits (prays!) for a call or email that goes like this: “Hey dinky but popular outfit with a loyal customer base — super-huge company here. We want to buy you and make you rich. Have a nice day.”
Woot.com got a call like that from Jeff Bezos’s Amazon.com. They announced the deal on Wednesday. It’s speculated that Amazon paid about $110 million for the company that sells only one item per day at discounted prices, until inventory runs out. The next day, it moves on to another item such as you know, a water gun or a home pedicure kit.
Already, Woot is playing a part in the e-book reader price war between Amazon and its Kindle, and Barnes & Noble and its Nook, by selling Kindles cheap. (But sorry, It sold out before many of you woke up.)
The deal opens up a monstrous growth opportunity for the suburban Dallas outfit. But it doesn’t appear to have taken the starch out of the company’s irreverant CEO Matt Rutledge, who told employees that they should continue doing what they do best — whatever that is.
We plan to continue to run Woot the way we have always run Woot – with a wall of ideas and a dartboard. From a practical point of view, it will be as if we are simply adding one person to the organizational hierarchy, except that one person will just happen to be a billion-dollar company that could buy and sell each and every one of you like you were office furniture. Nevertheless, don’t worry that our culture will suddenly take a leap forward and become cutting-edge. We’re still going to be the same old bottom-feeders our customers and readers have come to know and love…