Back in 2004, Matt Rutledge started Woot.com with the simple premise of one deal a day. By 2010, Woot had grown into a rather massive empire, one which sold to Amazon for $110 million dollars. Unfortunately, since then, it’s gone quite downhill. It’s not really a “deal-a-day” site at all any longer, and the magic has been drained out of it. Rutledge recently spoke with D Magazine about Woot and his experience with Amazon, and it’s a great read. This section is particularly bizarre:
At length, after a bit of business talk that maybe resembled a cousin of an actual breakfast meeting, Rutledge blurted out a question that had been troubling him: “Why did you buy Woot?”
So there sat Bezos at the breakfast table, faced with a question for which he was apparently unprepared. Many painful seconds passed without an answer. Rutledge let the pause lengthen as long as he could bear it and was just about to tell his host to forget it, when Bezos finally spoke.
He looked down at his plate. Bezos had ordered a dish called Tom’s Big Breakfast, a preparation of Mediterranean octopus that includes potatoes, bacon, green garlic yogurt, and a poached egg. “You’re the octopus that I’m having for breakfast,” Rutledge remembers Bezos saying. “When I look at the menu, you’re the thing I don’t understand, the thing I’ve never had. I must have the breakfast octopus.”
Well, that’s certainly a creepy answer. Anyhow, Rutledge has learned a little something from his time at Amazon, which he cut short at no small cost. He’s decided that he shouldn’t sell out his idea, nor allow it to be bastardized. Fortunately, he got paid a pretty penny to learn that lesson, and with those earnings he’s decided to try the same idea all over again.
Enter Meh.com, a new daily deal (that’s singular) site in the model of the original Woot, but with a decidedly unexcited twist. It launched to the public today, and it’s off to a strong start. The writing throughout the site is great, the puppet videos are amusing, and as for the deals, well, we’ll see. If you don’t like it, you can always click the “Meh” button.
And lest you fear that Amazon killed Rutledge’s sense of humor or his touch for satire, be sure to get a look at his avatar on Meh.
The forum icon used by Matt Rutledge (a.k.a. “Snapster”) on Meh.com.
Previously in Woot news: Amazon Buys Woot, CEO Pens Amusing Letter