CardCube: 1999 Called, They Want Their Startup Back

Two years ago, I speculated that the credit crunch would kill pointless web 2.0 startups

(See: “Dude, Where’s My Revenue Model“).

What I didn’t see coming was a comeback for crap late 90s startup ideas.

Take CardCube. CardCube is billed as “an e-card surprise with a difference”.

Unfortunately, their billboard ads suck sufficiently that I had no idea what “the difference” was:

Upon reading their T&Cs, it turns out that “the difference” is…

#1. They Charge For Their Lame E-Cards

You have to pay £1.50 for a service that everyone else offers free. Neat niche!

Due to the unique nature of Card Cubes SMS sending, before you send this greeting you agree that you are over 16 years of age, understand that sending this e-Greeting will cost £1.50 billed to you’re mobile phone and have the billpayers permission to send this e-Greeting.

#2. CardCube Can Sell Your Personal Data

Agree to their T&Cs, and expect to be inundated with postal mail, junk SMS & emails for products you have zero interest in.

We may pass your personal details to other companies whom we think may wish to contact you about other products and services.

You consent to us and people to whom we pass your personal details to contact you by post, email, SMS and phone.

#3. You Can’t Link to

…if you’re a user, or you’ll be breaking their user contract.

You may not link our website to any other website without our prior written consent. If we give any such consent we can revoke it at any time.

Enjoy your e-card surprise with a difference!



  1. says

    Wow I just watched the on site presentation – the “with a difference” is apparently that they will send the recipient a text letting them know that they have an ecard – Just the thing because people in this day and age really struggle with emai, right 😛

  2. MeteredLines says

    Oh god, awful memories of an (ex) client wanting this

    It was going to be the next big thing. E-Cards.

    It was 2007.

  3. says

    The worst part is that someone / some people actually put money into this poor idea. Surely the next time someone approaches them, even if it’s with a great idea supported by a strong marketing push, they’ll be so afraid of losing money on another bad investment that they’ll decline. Everyone is a loser (even the people that could’ve benefited from the great idea).

    The funny thing is, I’m not entirely opposed to the concept. I’ve seen worse ideas make tons of cash and offer people some sort of value… but they had a superior promotional push. They knew how to present and ultimately sell a product / service / idea.

    Presentation and perception play a far bigger role than you think. Want proof? Think about the last purchase you made and let us know, right here (as a reply to this comment). Don’t be scared!


  4. says

    The linking thing is badly worded. They may have meant that you aren’t allowed to link out from their site to any other site.

    Still … that’s dumb of them.


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