Old Stuff From Dead Companies

Today I was running a workshop on creating successful online marketing campaigns. By way of introducing myself, I talked through a couple of early campaigns in which I was involved. One was Flowers For Al and Don, and another was a silly little video I made, parodying an Apple ad that was popular at the time.

It’s funny to look at the page that hosted the video now. This was back in 2002, three years before the launch of YouTube. It was seriously painful to embed that Quicktime player correctly, and we worried that the movie files were too big for downloading at 12 MB. Click to see it full size:

Old CapeScience Page

I’m sure I wrote that page, so it’s funny to see the sub-heading “WebLogs and Crosslinks”. What can I tell you? It was 2002.

While searching for that movie, I discovered mirrored copies of website that my employer’s company operated: CapeClear.com and CapeScience.com. Neither URL works anymore, because Cape Clear was bought by a company called Workday in 2008.

Then it occurred to me that I might own the last copy of these sites, particularly CapeScience. Then I remembered the Internet Archive, and they’ve got some imperfect versions of the site from the early days.

Still, it’s odd to think that on my backup drive I have these all of these old assets of a 40-person company that doesn’t exist anymore. Why am I keeping them? Good question. I guess I’m a bit of digital pack rat.

Do you have old stuff from dead companies on your hard drive?


  1. oh yes. heck, I have almost every website I’ve made since ’98. (I lost the ones prior to that due to an ex formatting the wrong harddrive. There were tears involved. I’m not sure why. Oh, probably because I was 19, but still.)

  2. I have some website revisions, manuals, and other documents I’ve written for companies that have disappeared, been bought, or have morphed beyond recognition. I always find it a bit bothersome that I seem to take the persistence of links and archives on my own site more seriously than the vast majority of organizations (including news sites!) that have full-time web staffs.

    1. Indeed. My favourite example is TSN.ca, which seems to have broken every link to their site that’s pre-2008. At least, all the links from my site to theirs are broken.

      And, of course, they make their money by wrapping ads around content.

  3. HI Darren,

    If I actually ‘fessed up the amount of ancient shit I have I would probably get divorced or sued 🙂

    I can admit to having a complete collection of shrink wrapped Cape Clear products (remember shrink wrap?). I also have a seemingly unlimited supply of the original cape clear compass post-its.

    Still think it was a dumb idea to spin out cape-science as a seperate brand and URL.


  4. Good points here about maintaining links. As you suggest, it ought not to be too much to ask for companies with full time webmasters and content producers to ensure that those links remain useful.

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