Worthless Stock Certificates

Longtime readers know that I'm a bit obsessed with worthless stock certificates. I like to keep them around and displayed so that I see them on a regular basis. They are a reminder that we make mistakes in the venture business. I think it's a good idea to remind yourself on a regular basis (particularly when markets are like they are now), that everything you touch doesn't turn to gold.

We are moving our offices upstairs to a new office and we've spent a fair bit of time this week cleaning out old files. I came across a big stack of worthless stock certificates from the Flatiron Partners portfolio and thought I'd share one of them with all of you.

Kozmo stock cert
Kozmo was a decent idea that actually worked in NYC. But in the mania that existed in 1999, the company raised hundreds of millions and went on a spree opening up something like 18-20 cities. That expansion was largely unsuccessful and the result was that the company went under. We lost our entire investment as did all the other investors.

On a week when we are celebrating lots of good news in the Internet world, I think its useful to also remember what didn't work and why so we don't repeat those mistakes.