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WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

original woot.com logo circa 2004Five years ago, in late 2003, Woot Inc. was incorporated and plans were set in motion to develop Woot's 1.0 software.  Our website launched in July 2004 with no advertising, no information as to who we were, of course zero reputation to rely on, and a fairly rude in-your-face attitude still exhibited in our "what is woot" section.  To make matters almost purposefully scarier, our first product was in fact a $400+ Robotic lawn mower and our Who-Is info was registered under an attorney.  Were we one of those newly defined phishing sites, drumming up credit card numbers and not shipping product, or was this somehow legit?  Schadenfreude as a marketing strategy? 

Tens of thousands of folks signed up in the first month or two Woot was established, many to observe the expected other shoe to drop and laugh at the victims.  However, in month two we passed 5,000 actual customers who bought something and it started to become fun to participate (in between the server crashes).  Incredibly the crude we'll-do-this-as-a-hobby store that we set up off to the side of our wholesale business was gaining attention and traction.  The NY Times and bunches of other media dropped in and things really picked up from there. 

To commemorate our enjoyment of how bold and pioneering we felt these first 5k customers were to support us, we pulled out all stops.  We gave them all 5 bucks off free ship codes and mailed them some fairly cheap looking but individually numbered "Charter Member" paper certificates.  We even splurged for foil printing!  We sat back enjoying the thought of what was certain to be a nice "WTF snail mail?" moment for them all. 

 

Woot Charter Member Certificate

Now back in these early days, we didn't really have a support staff, the website was prone to plenty of quirks and our logistics didn't have much logic to them. (hey we have changed... right?)  I'm sure we irritated, disappointed or at least bored plenty of these first 5k buying woot members and they continued their enjoyable risk-taking early adopter travels elsewhere on the internet, popping up at Digg, Flickr, YouTube, and other flash in the pan 2004/2005 Web 2.0 ventures :)

So how many Woot Charter Members are still out there who remember us?  How many people are they likely responsible for telling about Woot?  What do they think about the neighborhood now that a million more people followed them?  What core observation and advice did they have that we've still ignored to this day? 

Curious CEO's want to know these things.  I'm announcing a "virtual reunion" thread here on this blog post and giving $10 off gift/coupon codes for Charter Members who check in on this thread over the next week or so.  This is 0.3% of our members, so I'll also email them of this plan later today or very few may notice.  Probably hard to have it not look like spam but what the heck, they were gullible enough to buy from us back then.  

So, Charter Members, enjoy a Free Daily Shirt.woot (or a $5 pre-reckoned one), some Cheap(er) Wine or whatever craptacular gadget you might find at woot.com or sellout.woot through the end of 2008.  You deserved it back then, when you survived what I'm sure was the riskiest ecommerce proposition since Amazon's 1995 "internet" launch must have been.  And those customers probably didn't get diddly. 

Have questions about the origins of Woot?  Are you a 2004 or 2005 almost charter Woot Member wanting to brag?  Anyone feel free to comment here, you just won't all be getting paid. 

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster

as a charter member myself, I proudly claim my $10 prize. thanks self.

DMG


quality posts: 0 Private Messages DMG

Woot Charter Member number 2327 checking in. I was one of the people to get in on Woot's very first Banjo of Consternation back in the day and I'm still mad that I only got TWO out of my ordered THREE craps! (PAAAaaaAAaaaanCAAAAAKES!, a pair of cheapo computer speakers count as TWO craps, NO WAY!!) Now that I think about it, I don't think I ever did use my free shipping code that came on the back of the certificate back in Fall '04. Admittedly I haven't actually bought anything from Woot in several years either even though I do still check it every night. This may also be the first post I've ever made on Woot, too.

all your woot are belong to us

pzykotic


quality posts: 0 Private Messages pzykotic

I'm not even sure when I joined, but I'm sure I missed the boat... but then I got the next boat! THE BOAT OF AWESOME.

Edit: Missed boat confirmed! Too bad '05s rule and '04s drool.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
DMG wrote:Woot Charter Member number 2327 checking in. I was one of the people to get in on Woot's very first Banjo of Consternation back in the day and I'm still mad that I only got TWO out of my ordered THREE craps! (PAAAaaaAAaaaanCAAAAAKES!, a pair of cheapo computer speakers count as TWO craps, NO WAY!!) Now that I think about it, I don't think I ever did use my free shipping code that came on the back of the certificate back in Fall '04. Admittedly I haven't actually bought anything from Woot in several years either even though I do still check it every night. This may also be the first post I've ever made on Woot, too.

all your woot are belong to us


awesome - you win first to post AND it's your first post. I wonder how many charter members who haven't ever posted there might be, hadn't even considered that for some reason. thanks for your support.

macmarkaleer


quality posts: 0 Private Messages macmarkaleer

June 2005 here...but active...see?
order date item qty
24123347 8/11/2008 Timex Clock Radio for Sansa e200 & c200 Series 1
24062364 8/4/2008 Timex Clock Radio for Sansa e200 & c200 Series 1 blog discuss
24006902 7/29/2008 Black & Decker CP120B 20 Watt Power Backup Battery Pack 2 blog discuss
23848800 6/28/2008 Syma Fairy Remote Controlled Micro Helicopter 2 blog discuss
23777363 6/19/2008 Wireless FM Transmitter 3 blog discuss
23748376 6/16/2008 Sandisk Sansa e260 4GB Media Player 1 blog discuss
23657655 5/28/2008 Cube Memory 2GB MicroSD Card with SD Adaptor 1 blog discuss
23573559 5/17/2008 Motorola H350 Bluetooth Headset 1 blog discuss
23526456 5/9/2008 Mighty Kite Mini-Kite 3 blog discuss
23171866 3/28/2008 Soyo Freestyler 500 Bluetooth Headset and Bluetooth USB Adapter 1 blog discuss
23144673 3/27/2008 La Crosse Projection Alarm Clock/Weather Station 1 blog discuss
23123294 3/25/2008 Nike Sport Kit Carrying Case for MP3 Players – 2 Pack 1 blog discuss
23076913 3/18/2008 La Crosse Technology Window Thermometer - 2 Pack 1 blog discuss
22651604 1/9/2008 Kodak EasyShare 5100 All in One Printer 1 blog discuss
22643153 1/8/2008 La Crosse Atomic Travel Alarm Clock 2 Pack 1 blog discuss
22280499 11/18/2007 Micro Remote Control Helicopter 2 blog discuss
22274798 11/17/2007 Miniature Express Train Set 3 blog discuss
22256255 11/16/2007 Screen Dreams Living Waterfalls Screensaver DVD 3 blog discuss
22163125 11/5/2007 Sandisk Sansa e250 2GB MP3 Player & FM Tuner 2 blog
22123521 10/30/2007 Jumbo Junkie Universal Jumbo Remote Control – 2 Pack 1 blog discuss
22034179 10/16/2007 Jabra BT-350 Bluetooth Headset - 2-Pack 1 blog discuss
21949412 10/5/2007 Gourmet Coffee Cafe Pod Coffeemaker with Free Coffee 1 blog discuss
21930990 10/2/2007 Wireless Garden Yada Headset Hub – 2 Pack 1 blog discuss
21688918 7/24/2007 Sandisk 512MB Ultra II SD Plus w/USB – 2-Pack 1 blog discuss
21665475 7/20/2007 ADS 7" LCD Digital Photo Frame w/128MB Memory 1 blog discuss
21636853 7/16/2007 Samsung Digimax L85 8MP Digital Camera 1 blog discuss
21500112 6/16/2007 Hamilton Beach BlenderChef Blender & Food Processor 1 blog discuss
21302996 4/26/2007 LeakFrog 2 blog discuss
21128914 3/22/2007 iRiver AFT100 Mobile FM Transmitter 1 blog discuss
21122044 3/21/2007 Mustek MBT-H120 Bluetooth Headset 2 blog discuss
21079687 3/2/2007 SanDisk 512MB MP3/WMA Player with FM Tuner and Voice Recorder 1 blog discuss
21041829 2/7/2007 Ezonics iContact Pro II Webcam w/ Bluetooth Headset & Dongle 1 blog discuss
20980116 1/30/2007 Netgear 108Mbps Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter 1 blog discuss
20906991 12/26/2006 Saitek No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Poker 2-Pack 1 blog discuss
20871052 12/8/2006 Pterodactyl Electric Powered R/C Para Wing Glider 2 blog discuss
20855184 12/7/2006 Casio Atomic Waveceptor Watch 1 blog discuss
20815055 11/28/2006 Bill Blass Pen & Pencil Gift Box 2-Pack 2 blog discuss
20708782 10/16/2006 Audiovox Portable 10” LCD TV with DVD Player & In-Car Mounting Kit 1 blog discuss
20683649 10/12/2006 Snap Sights 35mm Waterproof Camera 2 blog discuss
20586243 9/8/2006 ADS USB 2.0 SimpleTouch Hard Drive Case w/Backup Software 1 blog discuss
20573456 8/29/2006 KidSmart Vocal Smoke Detector – 2 Pack 1 blog discuss
20542332 8/18/2006 Alienware 512MB MP3 Player with 2.1 Boombox & Dock 1 blog discuss
20526959 8/17/2006 Logitech Bluetooth iPod Headphones 1 blog discuss
20437235 6/24/2006 Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Coffeemaker 1 blog discuss
20419566 6/19/2006 Logitech Bluetooth Headphone for MP3 1 blog discuss
20399653 6/9/2006 iRobot Roomba Sage with Convenience Pack (4110) 1 blog discuss
20395516 6/8/2006 RCA 8 Device Backlit LCD Learning Universal Remote 2 blog discuss
20365820 5/25/2006 iRiver T10 512MB MP3 Player w/FM Tuner and Voice Recorder 1 blog discuss
20362988 5/22/2006 Mark of Fitness Wrist-Mounted Blood Pressure Monitor 2 blog discuss
20231008 2/20/2006 iRiver H10 20GB MP3 Player & Recorder - Remix Blue 1 blog discuss
20144235 12/18/2005 Motorola 802.11g Enhanced Networking Set 2 blog discuss
20104192 11/18/2005 Santa Fe Fajitas & More Buffet 2 blog discuss
10186323 6/16/2005 Field and Stream Leather Watch and Multi-Tool Gift Set

rhodyfan


quality posts: 0 Private Messages rhodyfan

Woot Charter Member 500 something i think (i have to dig up my certificate) checking in!!!

my $5 code was something like: blueroachhemmroid !!!

kyle


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kyle

I don't remember my charter number, but about 4 years and two weeks ago, I placed my first order for 3 USB fans--I was a little skeptical about this new site, but it's been great. I still remember my charter $5 coupon code "greenferretunderwear"--as bizarre as this site--how could I ever forget?!

-Kyle

luv2chill


quality posts: 0 Private Messages luv2chill

Heh I think I have a couple of posts, and a few w00ts--I am very selective. Never have gotten a Blogging Old CEO though despite my best efforts.

My most worthless w00t was the thermal printers, partly because they use special paper, and partly because they only have IR or serial interfaces. They're still in the box, never been used

My favorite w00t is a pair of leakfrogs. One is in my basement and one in my laundry room, just waiting to alert me to a flood.

Thanks w00t... you're the site that has inspired a thousand imitators--none of which come anywhere close to the original.

Dan

darley


quality posts: 0 Private Messages darley

My first Woot! was on 9/23/2004 for the Remote Controlled Flying Saucer. I didn't get a Certificate. PAAAaaaAAaaaanCAAAAAKES!?

jkgm


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jkgm

Sweet! I still have my charter certificate at home somewhere. How exciting! :-)

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
kyle wrote:I don't remember my charter number, but about 4 years and two weeks ago, I placed my first order for 3 USB fans--I was a little skeptical about this new site, but it's been great. I still remember my charter $5 coupon code "greenferretunderwear"--as bizarre as this site--how could I ever forget?!

-Kyle


great to hear from you. I don't think anyone realized that we had created 5000 individually unique coupon codes specifically assigned to each users account. So each was unique and only registered to work on your account. greenferretunderwear FTW!

btw - the coupon codes for this $10 promo will be also assigned to everyone's account but they are all the same: HEREFIRST is the code to use once the activation script runs (should be hourly activations, so won't work immediately)

enigmacx


quality posts: 0 Private Messages enigmacx

re

Kaolan


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Kaolan

I just found out woot.com a couple of months ago and I love it.
It's a quite interesting business model. The creators must have briliant imagination.

twilbur


quality posts: 0 Private Messages twilbur

Yarg, so close. First order (a Blogging Old CEO, of course) was 11/9/04.

MrEnigma


quality posts: 1 Private Messages MrEnigma

Woo! I am charter member 400 hundred something I believe, buying some usb fans in 8/2004.

I ended up never using my $5 coupon, and then trying it a few months ago and finding it expired (well duh).

Good times.

Edit: my code was like yellowmoosetracks or something equally as awesome.

Edit2: and also my first post!

ewm


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ewm

My first order was the electric shaver -

12/17/2004 Norelco 6705 Electric Razor

So I'm not quite charter....

comapro


quality posts: 0 Private Messages comapro

I'm here!

Lostwarriorram


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Lostwarriorram

I am in

jfe


quality posts: 4 Private Messages jfe

First woot 2005

Usefulidiot127


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Usefulidiot127

10016167 9/16/2004 SiPix Pocket Printer for Notebooks and PDAs 1

First order in Sept 2004, so can i get in on this? Thanks for the virtual reunion, its been a while

discounteggroll


quality posts: 0 Private Messages discounteggroll

still have the original "I stayed up for this?" woot shirt. Proud charter member 9/04

bigshloss


quality posts: 0 Private Messages bigshloss

September 2004 big orange coaster was my first, according to the site, but I made a few purchases on a different account prior!

Glad to be here then, glad to be here now!

acumark


quality posts: 0 Private Messages acumark

Charter member with few posts checking in.... I still have wireless usb netgear adapters and coffe makers in brown unopened boxes. I had to control the urge to buy just because it's a good deal. Now I am attempting to become a amateur minimalist. I will still take advantage of my $10 from woot! Thanks woot!

lalaw


quality posts: 0 Private Messages lalaw

Yeah! Woot's been around 4 years!

kcmark


quality posts: 25 Private Messages kcmark

I didn't discover all things Woot until August 2004 (actually joined in December) so I missed out on Charter Member status, but have always loved the site's self-deprecating and unassuming style. Glad you haven't changed (much) over the years.

Keep up the good work.....oh, and how about having a few more "man, that's funny" t-shirts and less of the artistic frou-frou pseudo-intellectual shirts. The frenchie's claim of Blubberland was a much welcomed move back in the right direction. We need more fat unicorns, angry animals, and citrus pirates and less fancy schmancy line drawings. My two cents. Oh, and how about a media extender-type device that can move HD content from the PC to the HDTV. Now we're talking!

Oh, and my favorite woot to date has to be the 2 packets of dessicant and 3 air pillows I received in Banjo of Consternation V. The worst was the Taz foot massager. Fortunately, the mystery speakers that accompanied it were the Bomb!

etherealmoose


quality posts: 0 Private Messages etherealmoose

I remember getting in on the first Banjo of Consternation ever offered.

My friends thought I was insane but I had a few clik disks and some other carp that I threw out. Yeah, I don't think I kept a single thing. But it was fun!

SethKinast


quality posts: 0 Private Messages SethKinast

My first Blogging Old CEO was epic... 6-foot tall Mickey Mouse pinata!

Thanks for the woots

I like shiny things.

sfwilliam


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sfwilliam

Woot interrupts me every night at the same time I do not get it, oh yeah I love to WOOT.

More Blogging Old CEO please

georgi55


quality posts: 0 Private Messages georgi55

REunion!

CtK


quality posts: 0 Private Messages CtK

Thanks and here's to another 5 more years!!

pxr


quality posts: 0 Private Messages pxr

Hmm - I signed up sometime in 2005. I definitely wasn't in the first 5000, though I've been around quite awhile. But hey, I'll take a free shirt - I've been introducing people to woot.com for years now!

Hmm. The comments say I joined July 2004, so who am I to argue? Did I really not buy anything for over a year? And if I was one of the first 5000, why didn't I ever get one of those handy certs? Ah well.

Seth


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Seth

...wrong account. This one should get a coupon

Amiantos


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Amiantos

This is funny.

I've been driving with my 'charter member' certificate in the pouch in the back of my seat in my car for four years now. I put it in there when I was moving in 2004. It's in bad shape now, having been pulled out and looked at by numerous people in my backseat who said, "What is Woot?" and I explained to them that it's a site where you can buy random cheap carp.

I never used my charter member code. I wonder if it still works...

Thanks, Woot, for being awesome and long-lasting, just like my favorite gum...

ming


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ming

My first Woot was 8/2/2004 for 3x Kensington FlyFan™ USB Fan. 2 of them are still unopened.

ike989


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ike989

First order: 8/13/2004 Random carp 3

Man, I remember looking at that page for couple of hours before deciding that $5.03 wasn't worth all that much anyway. Got a robosapien on the first try! My coworker scored some sweet Power Ranger Under-roos. I made him hang them on the wall. I still check woot every day that I can.

Long Live Woot!

sugray38


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sugray38

Yea, it's been awhile. Thank you for appreciating the early adopters in us because don't we all love the snarky (presently, less witty than the old days but I blame it on striving for mass appeal adoption) descriptions. I still remember using whois to ascertain whether this site was another Nigerian prince offspring and thank goodness for virtual CC numbers!

I still remember the stellar customer service over the Ti4200 question - not being labeled refurbished and then giving all the customers credit. That made me realize that this site has some old fashioned humanity in whatever business model matrices your company adopted.

It still is a fun relationship. Change is needed to hedge complacency but stay hungry just like you were in the early days!

AntonOlsen


quality posts: 0 Private Messages AntonOlsen

Woot!

photon


quality posts: 0 Private Messages photon

Congratulations! Woot!
Hope you guys keep wooting.

gawaine


quality posts: 0 Private Messages gawaine

I'm here for the free t-shirt