Seems like a decade ago... a toast to wine.wooters


@narfcake’s post remembering Pluto as a planet reminded me that 2006 was also the summer we launched wine.woot with David Studdert of Wine Country Connect. @JasonToon’s October announcement of the site coming out of beta is still live over there actually, as is our first beta offer back in May. David’s industry insight (and trustworthy style!) led to our collaboration to take advantage of a then-new supreme court ruling that was set to sweep the country and allow wine producers to directly ship their wines to consumers.

David Studdert of Wine.Woot selects wines for discounted sales. Credit Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

It was more than just the dot-woot site it appears today (amongst 6 or 8 or 10 others). For me and my team, it was a first key test of our horizontal growth strategy while keeping the daily deal model energy intact. For David and his team it was ground breaking innovation in an industry with a harsh outlook on online viability. David invented the first direct-to-retail portal for wine makers to participate in and I combined that into an event based platform people were familiar with. For us both it was a creative and energetic grass-roots movement that connected fans of wine within the woot audience directly to winemakers at the most progressive domestic wineries.

Here 10 years later, I’m of course proud of what we accomplished but also left feeling like there was more to achieve than we were able to. The daily deal model was again applied in a way that really makes me proud but we were attached at the hip and limited in many ways. Was the staffing efficiency and url-brand-connection to Woot the reason for Wine.Woot’s success or was it actually friction against success, complicating and slowing investment into what was groundbreaking on it’s own measure? It’s impossible to know for sure and, as usual, at least some of both is true.

Did you ever try wine.woot? Did you enjoy the rather distinct community that formed? If you did, you contributed to something mildly interesting in the wine and commerce industries, enjoyably successful to our companies, and absolutely pivotal in the lives of two guys. Cheers to you my friends.

/giphy cheers