Before the rise of Amazon Prime, Blue Apron or Netflix, there was another e-company that wanted to deliver goods right to your doorstep. This company, Kozmo.com, quickly rose to power before failing after the dot-com bubble burst. The documentary entitled e-Dream chronicles the meteoric rise and subsequent fall of Kozmo.
In 1998 former investment bankers Joseph Park and Yong Kang came up with the premise for Kozmo. They wanted to be able to deliver books, music, movies, and groceries directly to their customer’s home within the hour. They used bikes, public or private transportation in order to make their shipments. The business, due to its revolutionary premise, quickly took off.
The result was immediate success. Starting with only a handful of employees, Kozmo grew to 18 locations worldwide and had 1,100 employees on the payroll. Yet just as quickly as the company expanded, it found failure. Following the Nasdaq Crash of 2000, Kozmo was almost immediately put out of business. Despite receiving investments from giants such as Amazon and Starbucks, the bursting of the dot-com bubble was enough to put Kozmo out of business.
The film does a fairly surface level job of delving into the story. It spends more time focusing on the ‘character’ of Joseph Park and establishing him as this brash visionary who just had bad luck and timing. By showing the countless interviews and news programs that Park takes part in, the film wants the viewer to know that Park was a huge hit. Yet while watching these numerous interviews Park does, one can’t help but notice how his inexperience and rash decision making ultimately helped quicken his company’s downfall. The film might suggest the dot-com bubble burst was the only issue for Kozmo, but most discerning viewers can deduce that Park’s personality did not help matters.
What is really interesting about this film is that despite the fact Kozmo was a very innovative company, they ultimately failed. It goes to show that just having a brilliant idea does not guarantee success. There are always extenuating circumstances in the success or failure of every business and Kozmo was no exception.
This review was written by AR staff member Curtis and originally appears on this site.