Surely by now you have read my profile of Woot.com founder Matt Rutledge. Surely. The World Cup is over, so that’s no excuse. (USMNT lost. Same difference.) You know that part at the end where I mentioned a couple of silly e-commerce concepts that Rutledge might possibly explore, including CrapWithFriends.com? That one I explained. But I didn’t explain Spite.com, saying that the notion lay beyond the scope of the article. That was a lie. I was just being lazy. I was approaching my word limit and just wanted to be done with the story. Forgive me.
Okay, so here’s how Spite.com would work: as with CrapWithFriends.com, the idea started when someone at Rutledge’s company saw that the URL was available and then tried to invent a business model. They did some research and found that humans are the only animal that feel spite. (My findings suggest otherwise. Squirrels, for instance, seem to me to be capable of spite. But whatever.) To illustrate the notion of spite, the site would assign you to a group of, say, five people when you elect to buy something. One member of the group would be randomly selected to receive a 50-percent discount on the item. But there’s a catch: all five members of the group must go through with the purchase. Otherwise no one gets the item. You see how spite could stop a whole bunch of potential sales.
Anyway, at this point it’s just a dumb idea. For now, Rutledge is concentrating on the (unbelievably late) launch of Meh.com.