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The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Pleo 40

Posted by kdawson
from the and-a-dinosaur dept.
robotsrule writes "This article contains notes from a 1-hour phone call with Ugobe founder Derek Dotson, now CEO of Innvo Labs Corporation, the company that acquired the rights to Pleo at the recent bankruptcy auction. Dotson reveals the hidden story behind Pleo's rise, fall, and resurrection including intriguing facts about the money trail and what he feels caused Ugobe to fail, including how he had to save Pleo's future on more than one occasion. He also lays out in plain detail Innvo Labs's strategy to help owners of older Pleos and those whose units were swallowed up by Ugobe's bankruptcy." We've been following the Pleo saga for years.
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The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Pleo

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  • What is a 'Pleo'? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrMista_B (891430) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @10:59PM (#29893111)

    Yeah yeah, slashdot editors suck, etc. - but expecting your readers to do your work for you is pushing it, and I'm a long-term reader.

    Pleo: what is it? why should I care?

    Else = Idle

  • by murdocj (543661) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @11:00PM (#29893115)

    When I read

    Ugobe was a heavyweight company poised for explosive growth and burdened with all the associated expenses and overhead that implies, so they needed a huge explosion in sales. Derek still believes Ugobe would have survived and done well if they could have raised their last round of funds.

    I was reminded of a .com that I worked for during the boom years that had a nice product that would support a small company. But of course, you couldn't get rich creating a small company, so instead they projected a sales curve that started out low and rose exponentially, and thus they could remain "on track" for that "explosion in sales". Ugobe sounds like deja vu all over again...

  • by macshit (157376) <miles.gnu@org> on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @12:00AM (#29893357) Homepage

    an animatronic dinosaur briefly sold from 2007 to 2008, which disappeared fairly abruptly at the end of 2008, apparently due to some corporate shenanigans/infighting

    Hmm, so its failure had nothing to do with the fact that very few people actually want an animatronic dinosaur?

    [If the price were extremely low, it might manage a bunch of sales via the "what the hell" route, but the Pleo seems to have been a lot too expensive for that, and it's not exactly a stable business strategy in any case.]

  • by SpinyNorman (33776) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @04:51AM (#29894555)

    According to TFA they did about $20M in sales before going belly-up. I don't know if that's wholesale or retail, but it must represent approx 500K-1M units, which doesn't seem too shabby. Presumably they could have sold a lot more if it had been more engaging and better delivered on the promises made.

  • by macshit (157376) <miles.gnu@org> on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @05:03AM (#29894593) Homepage

    According to TFA they did about $20M in sales before going belly-up. I don't know if that's wholesale or retail, but it must represent approx 500K-1M units, which doesn't seem too shabby.

    It seems to have been priced in the range of $250 - $350 (I've seen different numbers in different places), so around 50k – 100k units.

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