Easy.Com, Easy.Go OK . . . we've weeded out the wanna-bes. Who's still with us?
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"Let's be quite honest," says Neil J. Closner,president and CEO of BabyUniverse.com, a 12-person Fort Lauderdale,Florida, e-tailer of infant products. "Anybody who gotinvolved in this business had their eye on an exit strategy, eitherto be acquired or go public. That was in our game plan aswell." Now that a public offering is unlikely and manypotential acquirers are struggling to finance their own operations,the game plan is to stay on and run the company for several moreyears. How does Closner, 27, feel about that? "Honestly, Idon't know," he says. "My mood changes day today."
Others are more philosophical. "I didn't anticipate itto be a get-rich-quick scheme," says Betsy Burlingame, founderand president of Expatexchange.com, a New York City-based Web servicefor expatriates. "It's a very long-term focus. You buildrelationships and a community and then later bring in e-commerceand make money."