- Posted by Johanna on February 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Me neither. But Sean Kleefeld reminded me.
To recap: A year ago, Wowio was something of an online success story, making thousands of dollars for participating publishers. Six months ago, Wowio was acquired by Platinum, a dodgy company with a shady track record. The changes they implemented, including eliminating most of the free PDFs, were unpopular. Then the payments stopped.
Now, if I’m reading Sean’s post correctly, Platinum hasn’t ever caught up with the Wowio obligations and has no definite date on which they’ll be able to. The company president, Brian Altounian, said (over Twitter, of all things) that they had to get more investment money since there wasn’t enough revenue coming in, and investors didn’t want to pay “old debt”. Given Platinum’s track record, I wonder how likely it is that anyone wants to pump more money into the company, especially given the current economic environment.
Most fascinating about Sean’s post is that Altounian shows up in the comments to spar with him. Understandably, the official doesn’t like people pointing out what bad shape his company’s in or how low the readership has dropped, but the explanation boils down to “you don’t understand how big business works; we’re trying our best”. Sean responds:
… it’s a superiorly bad business decision to either A) buy a company which owes any amount of debt with no plan for repayment, or B) buy a company with no knowledge of the debt it already has. I’m not familiar with the due diligence that may have been done on your part, certainly, but the only other option I’m seeing is amoral … I simply do not understand how a business run so poorly can continue to operate.
In a followup at Digital Strips, Brigid Alverson reviews the Wowio site as a new reader.