Many businesses that need desktop computers, servers, and networking hubs and routers — especially businesses in Asia — already buy recycled rather than pay retail. But what else might be available secondhand — intranets? Online shopping carts? Advanced site searches?
The Website Recycling Co. (www.webreco.com) offers the wares of defunct or cash-strapped etailers, portals, and content publishers; most of the sites come complete with domain name and software, as well as hardware. Users can browse each site and access detailed site evaluations and technical reviews, or they can shop à la carte. Gage Andrews, Website Recycling’s president, helps dotcoms to recover “more than 1 or 2 cents on the dollar” by matching them with companies that might not want to pay list price for custom source code.
Web sites on the brink can also turn to Recognition Group (www.recognitiongroup.net), a New York advisory and investment firm that, among other things, helps ebusinesses recycle their assets. Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, a Recognition Group managing partner, has seen a few ups and downs himself: He’s the former CEO of govWorks, whose rise and fall was chronicled in the documentary film Startup.com.
While struggling to unload its intellectual property and proprietary hardware, govWorks hired a small firm that worked on restructurings. “But they had no exposure in the technology marketplace,” says Tuzman, “so there were a lot of questions about how to market the assets.” Valuing those assets raises some questions, too; before you buy, a little tire-kicking would be in order.