It's a short story and it goes like this: in 1998, when I was conference chairing the first Web Marketing Conference for Thunder Lizard Productions, an attendee pulled me aside and politely reamed me out. He was one of the founders from Surplus Direct (if I am remembering the name right), which had just been acquired or merged with Egghead. Surplus Direct was one of the reasons that Egghead got out of retail: they were making a ton of money selling overstock and returns, while Egghead couldn't get enough margin out of retail new products.
The fellow's complaint was that Amazon.com was being mentioned left and right as a success. He pointed out quite rightly that it wouldn't be a success until it had proven it could turn a profit and be a viable business with earnings and repay its debt. Quite so. It's ironic, therefore, that this sensible and clever person tied his fortunes to a firm like Egghead.com which starting at bad went to worse and now is acquired by the selfsame Amazon.com.
He wasn't wrong at all, but he wasn't able to infuse Egghead with the same stripped down profitable mentality that his firm had before the acquisition.