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Unfortunately, there's only so much that a great team can do with a really lousy idea. One of the things pets.com was supposed to have going for it was a CEO (Julie Wainwright) who had been successful at multiple previous ventures, who'd been specifically picked out for the post by one of the VCs (Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad). That wasn't enough to keep the business going.

pets.com is an amusing piece of Internet history, but it is also a rounding error. For every pets.com there are thousands of companies that lost a (relatively) small sum of money and hundreds that made a small return.

actually I think pets.com might have been Hummer Winblad's first losing investment. in any case they admitted afterwards that it was a mistake on their part -- they were worried they were getting to the opportunity late and overcompensated. so it really was a classic bubble situation.

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