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Quibi before Quibi: The inside story of Jeffrey Katzenberg’s first dot-com failure

The story of Pop.com and its flameout two decades ago reveals how Hollywood has always wanted what the internet has.

Quibi before Quibi: The inside story of Jeffrey Katzenberg’s first dot-com failure
[Photo: SGranitz/WireImage via Getty Images (Katzenberg); ]
, which he had finally shut down months before. And both DreamWorks and Imagine had certainly seen more disastrous results just from a single movie that bombed.

沙巴体育手机登录more than anything, pop was a symbolic failure. its trajectory—what went right, what went wrong—contained elements of so many dreamworks endeavors. there was the hype, the hubris of a new, never-before-seen entity. there was the star power of not just skg but imagine. there was the initial, though not lasting, enthusiasm of steven spielberg. there was the sweat and toil of katzenberg. there was the remove of geffen—and allen, who yet again ponied up the funds. there was the absence of any real business plan or truly experienced people selected on the basis of something other than a prior history with disney. there was money that was freely spent. there was the untimely shift in the market; the belief that the broadband revolution was right around the corner.

at the same time, it can’t be denied that pop was ahead of its time, as would become clear when, years later, the video-sharing website youtube became one of the hottest websites in the world. allen’s prediction that by 2000 the world would be interconnected via high-speed internet was off by a few critical years. but the essence of his idea was correct. once again, dreamworks had trouble synchronizing the dream and the reality.


Part of this article first appeared, in different form, in by Nicole LaPorte. Copyright © 2010 by Nicole LaPorte. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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About the author

Nicole LaPorte is an LA-based senior writer for Fast Company who writes about where technology and entertainment intersect. She previously was a columnist for The New York Times and a staff writer for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and Variety

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