Clickshare Set Back
A statement by Felix Kramer, former Marketing Director and Member,
Board of Directors of Clickshare Corporation
(For a more recent update, see
Over the past year, as Marketing Director of Clickshare, I've kept you
informed of the progress made by this service that many people have seen
as a promising solution to the problem of how to buy information online.
Measured by "Internet Time," it's been dangerously slow going.
But to this day, the opportunity remains: there is nothing else like
Clickshare out there, aggregating microtransactions. Though it is less
likely, we might still get the chance to find out if Clickshare could be
broadly adopted. (I still believe in it.)
However, I'm sorry to inform you that we recently reached a fork in the
road -- and took a wrong turn. Here's my abridged version:
- During the first half of 1996, we had an opportunity to involve
badly-needed partners, but we spent untold hours and months on
negotiations that ultimately went nowhere because of internal
disagreements at Clickshare.
- Since then, in spite of the resulting frictions, our technical
team completed work on our software and integrated that software into
three web sites including a demonstration server of The Christian
- On September 13, on the occasion of Venture Market East, we
publicly announced that the Clickshare Service was commercially
- We had laid the groundwork to move forward within the online
community: potential content and service providers, strategic partners,
analysts, journalists and funders.
- You can see the overall results at the archive of the 1996
Clickshare Home Page on this website and the "mindshare" results -- coverage in the top online publications -- at Clickshare in the
News, also archived on this website.
- But for months, prospective publishers and investors had told
us, "come back to me when you have a professional management team
and some paying customers." We were amateurs -- people without the
experience or profile to negotiate the deals and build the organization.
In August we finally began a national search for a CEO.
- Guess what? We found just the right person, who had built an online
information service from the ground up (it was later sold for eight
figures), and who was willing to take a chance running a startup. We
were ready to go -- we'd even set the stage for an ideal
attention-getting launch of our reincarnation.
- Unfortunately, we were waylaid by "founderitis." One
co-founder (the controlling stockholder) was so committed to his views
and so unwilling to relinquish control that everyone else eventually
left -- including, most importantly, the incoming CEO, the core
technical staff who had designed and built the system, and yours truly.
Personally, I must come to terms with having little to show for a year
of my life -- though I've gained many attentive readers online and some
good friends. I also gain some satisfaction from the knowledge that I
have never had to exaggerate or misrepresent Clickshare. And I'll try to
steer clear of people so convinced of the inevitability of their
company's success that they often can't perceive their own best
What happens to the key players who have left (all of whom, in my
opinion, acted honorably and openly)?
All of us except Callahan will be making the rounds at Internet World in
NYC this week; you can write us to arrange to meet us then or at some
other time to talk about Clickshare or discuss other opportunities.
- David M.
Oliver and <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
co-founder, former President, and until recently Managing
Director-Technology (the principal architect and developer of the
Clickshare Service), has recently accepted a position
with IBM's Internet Division.
- Michael Callahan <email@example.com>, co-founder and
former Member, Board of Directors (currently based in the Bay Area), has
resumed his studies in math theory while continuing his consulting for
Stelias Workgroup and becoming involved with the Coda distributed file
system project at Carnegie-Mellon University.
- Felix Kramer <firstname.lastname@example.org>, until
recently Marketing Director and Member, Board of Directors (currently
based in NYC), has begun looking for the next unusual, unique or
never-been done-before project to launch and promote.
- John Kemp <email@example.com>, until
recently, Clickshare programmer, continues as Internet Manager of AdventureGoat Online, a
web-based adventure travel information service, also has many ideas.
- Wayne Tvedt
until recently, Clickshare programmer,
is currently working as a software consultant in Cambridge, MA.
- Our incoming CEO remains anonymous.
As shareholders, it is in our economic self-interest for Clickshare to
succeed without us. Clickshare continues discussions with content and
service providers and investors. The outright sale of the software
remains a strong possibility. I hope that some savvy publisher, ISP,
credit card company or other entity will come to terms with
co-founder William P. Densmore, Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
who will shortly regain his titles of Chairman and CEO of Clickshare.
Thanks for your interest, patience and support. Feel free to forward
this to any interested parties.
Clickshare Home Page | Kramer Communications Home Page |Clickshare For
This page (http://www.nlightning.com/clickshare/setback.html) written 9 December 1996 and updated 7 March 1997; archive of site added at later date.