"As one after another major Internet site is disabled by unknown computer vandals, Web companies which have so far managed to escape the so-called denial-of-service attacks are wondering who will be next." — Wired News, February 9, 2000
You! You could be next! Get launched! Increase traffic! Create buzz! Let's get real: Who was hurt during the denial-of-service blitzkrieg that happened early this year? One couch potato was kept off buy.com and forced to get in his car and drive to a mall for his impulse buy du jour.
Hello! A nice collection of Hummel figures is no substitute for a life! But what really happened? How did that DOS scare change Web biz? Web sites that were already as visible as pock marks on a Victoria's Secret model became even more visible! Their names appeared over and over again in the media; they were referred to as quote-unquote leading brands. In the crumbling, brick-and-mortar world, this is called "free advertising."
And who was responsible for all of this hoopla? It wasn't the FBI. It wasn't the White House. It wasn't Orrin Hatch. It wasn't the Flat Earth Society. And it wasn't those of us at e-conjob.com, the startup that I work for — although it did give us a great idea.
Worried about who will get shut down next? Losing sleep thinking that it might be you? Hey! Let e-conjob.com hack your site for you! No muss, no fuss — just tons of free advertising!
What are the benefits of an e-conjob hack job? For one thing, we don't know what we're doing, so it will be a hack hack job: We guarantee that we'll knock you off for only a couple of days — tops. Here are some other reasons to let us hack you off.
Turschlussangst. Here at e-conjob, we're not just a bunch of dotcom sleazebags: Darth, our head of R&D, just finished a two-week course in German. Translated from digi-Deutsch, Turschlussangst means "fear of the closing door." Think of it as the Web equivalent of Fahrvergnugen. In Net terms, it means that if you can't log onto a site, then suddenly there will be nothing that you would rather do.
Instant publicity. Nothing happens on the Web other than shopping and heavy breathing. The digital news services will love you for giving them something to write about.
Expansion of audience base. The print rags, insecure about their Gutenberg-press baggage and eager to appear hip 'n' happening, will pick up the story. Readers, insecure about their habit of getting news from a print rag, will log on. Can you spell IPO?
You'll know we did it ... and be saved the insomnia that comes with wondering whether it was the FBI, the Flat Earth Society, a Zionist-Freemason conspiracy, or Orrin Hatch.
E-conjob cares about you! Let e-conjob disable your site for a few days, and you can take that dream ski vacation! More and more of the world's middling companies are counting on e-conjob to put their Web site out of business — and on the map! As a client of e-conjob, you not only get our vision, our strategy, our innovation, and our commitment to excellence; you get our shoddy digital ethics too!
Remember our slogan: Anyone can invent new technology. We at e-conjob are here to f*** with it.
This is the latest episode in The Spy's continuing saga, "Working Behind Enemy Lines." You can find the entire spy chronicles on the Web (www.askthespy.com).
A version of this article appeared in the May 2000 issue of Fast Company magazine.