South Airport Boulevard may not be steeped in the same mythic sense of possibility as Sand Hill Road, but today dreams are being reborn at a liquidation auction at the Ramada Inn of South San Francisco, a purgatory where the spirits of dead dot-coms are relieved of their earthly belongings to better float into the entrepreneurial ionosphere.
Like everyone else here, I have come to bury dubious business models, not to praise them – and more importantly, get some computer equipment cheap.
The nearly 1,000 lots on sale this day are from a collection of failed Internet companies whose identities have already faded into the mists, replaced by the 26-page list of items on sale.
When I arrive at the Terrace Room, the bidding is already underway as the auctioneer warms up the crowd with the first hundred lots, mostly miscellaneous office furnishings, lava lamps, a few monitors and hard drives, and a cheap Stratocaster guitar. A friendly young woman sets me up with an auction guide and a bidding paddle (for a $300 credit card deposit) and I take one of the few empty seats.