I’ll be straight with you, I don’t know much about business. What I don’t know about business can be directly translated, then compounded annually into what I don’t know about online businesses. Living here in the Bay Area, all I know is you’re here one day and then gone the next and there’s about ten more Starbucks left as a reminder. I also know it’s risky stuff, but the payoff can be monstrous. If it were a sport, as it is to some, it would be “Extreme Gambling.”
Wonsuck Chin’s documentary “E-Dreams” gives a nice behind the scenes look at what happens to the online startup company “Kozmo.com.” The film mainly focuses on Joseph Park, the Korean banker who started Kozmo.com. Although the guy wears the same clothes throughout most of the film, I found him to be a nice enough guy. He wants to work hard and cash in, like any good American. But we never really see what inspires Park. If it’s just money, that’s not all that interesting. If it’s for the power, we never really see that.
“E-Dreams” starts us on day one of the company and follows team Kozmo all the way to where they are today and how they got there. Where is that, you ask? I won’t say. But the journey is like being a part of cake batter. Things are spilled and cracked, you’re mixed up. New ingredients are thrown in by the second, you’re whipped and stirred then popped in the oven. Only time will tell how the whole thing comes out.
Along the way we’re privy to Park’s bold and downright savvy business moves. Chin was given full access to the Kozmo crew and to Park himself. Before long, Park and Co. are number 21 on the charts of online businesses. Starbucks wants in as does Amazon.com. Things are movin’! Things are shakin’! Kozmo.com is headed toward that great big pot of gold. Then, BOOM! It’s the end of the movie.
This film moves fast, but then again so does Park and Kozmo.com. It’s a scary ride too. You walk away seeing the ultimate gamble that is…or was…starting a new company in the fickle online market. Although I really liked this film, it’s just so fast paced and so surface level, it almost feels trite. In the end I wanted to know more about what drives people to take such seemingly huge risks. I also want to see what happens to those who succeed and those who fail.