A pizza-ordering service grows byte by byte.
A scene from the movie "The Net" could end up changing the way pizza shops--and possibly other retail and service businesses--market their products. After entrepreneur Tim Glass watched the movie and saw Sandra Bullock order pizza via the Internet without ever leaving the comfort of her computer chair, he knew he had to get a piece of the pie.
"I was trying to come up with an everyday application for the Internet, and after I saw [that scene], I thought everyone could relate to that and it could make a really good business," says Glass, 38.
Glass' Seattle-based company, CyberSlice Inc., isn't fiction anymore. After researching the market, developing a software application and securing agreements with more than 1,000 pizzerias in several major markets, Glass launched the savory site (http://www.cyberslice.com) in December. Pizza fans input their addresses to call up menus from restaurants in their areas. Once an order is placed, Glass' patented software translates it into a voice-mail message, rings up the pizzeria, relays the order and then returns an e-mail message confirming it.
Glass is the first to admit the idea is slightly ahead of its time. "We don't expect to see a tremendous flow of orders today or tomorrow," he says, "but what is important is that we know [Internet commerce] is going to be huge sometime in the future, so we got in early to gather merchants and build the company."