The Year the Dot-Com Bubble Burst
Image: GDS Infographics via Flickr

I caught this article today about 1000Memories, which offers free online memorials for the dearly departed, getting $2.5 million in venture funding. At first I tried to figure out what this company offers that isn’t already available online. 1000Memories touts that its memorials are free and will stay up forever. Forever! And it will do so without placing advertising on the memorial pages. It seems like a good deal compared to, which charges people to sponsor pages (this example is for my grandmother, who passed away last year). But then I had to ask: Is this service really needed? You can create a memorial page on Facebook (this one is for a police officer killed in the line of duty in New Jersey). It’s free, too. There are ads, but they are still fairly discreet and the people on Facebook are used to them now. And that takes me back to the pledge to stay free and limit the advertising (and also not sell your information). How is this business going to make money? There’s no up-front explanation. Are the investors hoping to build a user base that becomes a valuable asset after it reaches a certain scale? Reader comments on the first article I cited revealed a serious skepticism, not just about this company but over news generally about increasing investor frenzy and sky-high valuations.

Here are a few of the comments:

another bubble about to burst?

LOL wow $2.5 million….i tell ya investors are throwing money into anything now days. Its a good idea but i really dont think you need that much money to fund it. And not to sell ads is crazy. Who is going to pay for hosting, support, etc?

It’s a new business model. Get funding, pay for expenses, run out of money…get more funding, pay for expenses, run out of money..get more funding, and so on…quite ingenious

The skeptics could be wrong, but I’m trying to be a little less gullible than I was during the dot-com bubble.