Profitless Internet Firms Insist They’re Unfairly Labeled as Profitless Internet Firms

SAN JOSE, CAL. ( – Arguing they are being unfairly labeled as money-losing dot-coms, nearly 400 money-losing dot-coms announced this week they were “just kidding about that dot-com bit,” and should really be considered profitable Old Economy businesses.

“People see an ‘e’ or an ‘i’ in your name, and they automatically assume you’re some kind of Internet company,” said William Lansing, head of NBCi, the publicly-traded Internet arm of NBC. “It’s simply not fair to be lumped in with that group.” was really in chemical services, says former CEO

Asked what group NBCi should be lumped into, Lansing replied: “Investment banking. That sector looks good right now.”

Two years ago, companies were scrambling to affix the valuable “.com” to their names and position themselves as Internet players. Today, that same .com is a sign of weakness, and investors have punished almost every firm in the sector. But according to Robert Ewald, president of Internet postage service E-Stamp, luring investors and pumping up stock prices has nothing to do with his company’s sudden claim that it is an energy services provider.

“Frankly, I am quite baffled that we’ve been pegged as just another profitless dot-com, and seen our stock trade below $1, when our direct competitors, Philips Petroleum and Exxon Mobil, are up handsomely this year,” said Ewald.

Ewald bristled at the suggestion that E-Stamp is labeled a dot-com because it is a dot-com. “Not necessarily,” he said. “The ‘E’ in E-Stamp could stand for ‘Energy.'”

Not all dot-coms, however, were shying from their Internet roots. Some simply insisted they’d been “pigeonholed” in the wrong sector of the market.

“Everybody calls us an ‘e-commerce company,’ but that’s a myopic and ill-advised conclusion,” said Stephen Riggio, Acting CEO of struggling e-commerce firm “I think the best way to look at is as a strong, profitable infrastructure company, like a Cisco or Sun Microsystems.”

However, if infrastructure stocks fall out of favor, Riggio said he would not deny that his company is Intel.

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