Part 6: I left General Magic to start Fatbrain.com, an online professional bookstore, around the same time Pierre left. Like him, we had a fearsome competitor—books.com with 250,000 titles—and a fresh upstart named Amazon. Pierre had Onsale and a variety of others few can remember. But unlike AuctionWeb, we were not a flea market, so we could attract investors.
In the small world department, both our companies were growing fast and we needed industrial-strength Internet. So we both rented space at Best Internet, where they had chicken-wire cages for our servers. We brought our own padlocks for the latches and set our servers on the concrete floor.
The first three cages were filled with AuctionWeb’s Sun server on the right, Fatbrain’s in the middle, and one from a startup called Hotmail on the left. We saw each other when our servers needed work, which was often.
Best Internet was a sight to behold.