04:00 AM

12.13.06: Epicenter of Web 2.0 boom: 625 Second

The boom is back in SoMa, Wall Street Journal's Pui-Wing Tam wrote yesterday, and the epicenter is 625 Second St. in the heart of the old dot-com streets.

On a recent Friday, one new tenant on the third floor, online software firm BuzzLogic was meeting with a venture capitalist. Nearby, Jill Gilbert, CEO of a start-up that compiles online and printed retirement home guides, held a yoga class with five employees. ... One start-up, LicketyShip, a same-day delivery service, has a punching bag by its cubicles and a place for people to sleep in the building if they're too busy to go home ...

Ummm ....

The master tenant of sorts on the third floor is LookSmart, which took a 10-year lease on the space in 1999 and whose stock hit $350 in early 2000. In 2001, the stock price was $2 but that was the time to buy as its now more than doubled to $5. With all that space and so few employees, LookSmart CEO John Simonelli decided to sublease to startups.

I know it sounds bubble-ish, but we thought, why not have a space to help incubate new companies?

Bubble-ish? Yeah. Despite the protestations of an employee at SpotDJ that "companies have pretty sane business ideas," the companies at 625 have disturbingly familiar wing-and-a-prayer business plans:

Online video editing and sharing outfit Cuts Inc says the company will earn revenue from Internet advertising on its Web site. Cuts' neighbor, start-up SpotDJ, whose software lets consumers pretend to be DJs, also says it plans to make money from ads. Ditto the Helium Report, which provides online guides for luxury destinations and products.

Time to open a hot new restaurant around the corner? Well, maybe not.