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Death Becomes You

Companies that have found success with death-related products

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This story appears in the August 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

You're all familiar with the figure of Death- eternal, faceless hunter garbed in black, clutching his ancient sickle. Known as the media generation, Gen X has been drilled with countless images of death. Is it any wonder, then, that young entrepreneurs have grown comfortable surrounding themselves with the nature of death, revealing a progressive openness not seen with past generations?

Todd Michael Krim, for instance, ventured into the macabre when he founded his West Hollywood, California, company, FinalThoughts.com Inc., in 1999. The world's first free posthumous e-mail service, FinalThoughts.com allows you to leave personal messages of all kinds: sentimental thoughts for loved ones, instructions on how you want your funeral arranged, who gets to adopt your pet python...you get the idea. "When people hear about [my company], they immediately assume it's morbid, scary and dark," the 31-year-old Krim explains. "But death isn't scary; it isn't dark. It's natural."

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