Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Sharper Guillotine Blade

As Richard Solo waxes, it appears my old mates at The Sharper Image are headed for an ignominious end. With rumors of bankruptcy in the Ionic Breeze-laden air, investors are dumping stock, and the lawsuits are looming large. Personally, having invested a decade of my life in the company's success, I'd hate to see it end this way, but it sure seems headed that way.

What's needed now is an investment group to buy the company, liquidate/reduce the footprint of the stores, and focus on relaunching the brand as an online destination. For instance, a line of products from Engadget and Gizmodo: focus on taking preorders for the Optimus Keyboard, and the like. A clearing house for new, cool and hip products: Japanese phones, concept products, mixed with old reliables like USB-powered devices at low prices. And finally, they would need to mix the business model: RSS feeds of the cool blogs with pay per click ad revenue, mixed with revenue from product sales and affiliate commissions for indirect complimentary services, like music downloads etc.

In fact, I wonder if there's a point man the investors could look to. A proven innovator and enterpreneur. Could this be...the return of....RT?

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