An Open Letter to Webvan
God, I miss you.
I still think of you often. I miss how you cared for me. I miss the friendly demeanor of your big strong delivery men and women. I miss how you made my life better.
Why did you have to leave me? How could a company be so damn good and so damn stupid at the same time? Webvan, you were a sexy little enigma.
I've tried to fill the void you left in my life. I tried using another delivery service, but they didn't have your commitment to being on time, nor your svelte little delivery window, nor your tight IT integration, and certainly not your delicious gourmet goods. Oh, you had the goods alright.
My daughter is growing up in a world without Webvan. The weekly drudgery of going to the grocery store is becoming a fixture in her life and it saddens me. She no longer even remembers what Webvan was. She hears me cry out, "I miss Webvaaaaaaaaan!" every now and then, and she mimics it, but I can tell that her heart isn't in it. She was too young to understand.
I've heard people say a lot of bad things about you in the last few years. They've mocked your high-tech warehouses and the hubris of your ambitious plans. I never begrudged you those things, Webvan. It was a different time back then, a more romantic time, filled with dashing heroes driving handsome delivery trucks.
There is one thing I don't understand though. I heard that you were losing money on every delivery here in San Francisco. Is that true, baby? Why didn't you come to me and ask for delivery fees? Don't you know how much you meant to me? I would have paid more. I'm hurt that you never asked. Maybe I'm partially to blame. I should have let you know how much I cared. I know it wasn't all about the money, but you should know that just as I opened my heart to you, I would have gladly opened my wallet as well.
I don't know what you're up to now. I mean, I know about the bankruptcy and all, and I'm not a spiritual man, but I do feel that somewhere the soul of Webvan still exists. Maybe it's in the hearts of your now-elsewhere-employed delivery people, or perhaps embedded in your long-abandoned $1,000,000,000 warehouses, but I feel like it's out there. Somewhere.
I'll never forget you, baby.
That's all I wanted to say.