Disney Co.-backed Go.com isn't going anywhere. The portal is discontinuing operations and firing 400 employees, most of whom worked in Sunnyvale, Calif. Assets, including the Go.com URL and search-engine Infoseek, will be sold. All outstanding shares of the Disney Internet Group, a tracking stock, will be converted to Disney common stock.
Disney's answer to Yahoo and America Online, Go struggled through several business models trying to find a strategy that would make online content profitable. It couldn't.
It's the latest failure of an Internet venture backed by a media giant. In September, the much-touted Pop.com, a proposed entertainment site backed by film directors Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg, was aborted before launching.
Giga Information Group analyst Kazim Isfahani likens Go to Pathfinder, Time Warner's ill-fated online venture created to bring eyes to the media empire's publications. "This points out that the larger, more staid organizations haven't gotten the Internet right yet," Isfahani says. "You have to understand the Internet at a granular level."