The company’s principal failing – and there were many, it was burning cash at a rate of $1m a day – was to forget that in the new economy the old rules still apply. The promised riches of the e-business revolution are nothing if not seductive but as soon as you forget about basic financial stewardship, you’re dead.
In April Boo’s finance director left in after just two months. A strong financial hand might have saved the company.
But it wasn’t until last week that that strong hand, in the form of liquidators from KPMG, arrived. And though too late to do anything but a salvage operation, they are optimistic that some value can be found in what remains.
The collapse should serve as a reminder to businesses, old and new. And already some have sought to drive this message home. PwC has warned that Boo is not the only dot.com in danger of running out of money because of unsustainable cash burn rates.
True, but equally Boo’s collapse should not be allowed to mar the repuation of every player in the sector.
Entrepreneurs with millions of pounds of other people’s money burning a hole in their back pockets need strong financial advice. Boo.com forgot that. It’s up to accountants to ensure no one else makes the same mistake.
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