TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Read It? Watched It? Swap It

Read It? Watched It? Swap It

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 15 Apr 2006 02:12:42 -0400

The New York Times
April 13, 2006

For Heather Perlmutter, a 41-year-old investment portfolio manager in
Manhattan, the Web site with the whimsical name made perfect sense.
Like many Americans, she found herself awash in CD's, DVD's and VHS
tapes that were seldom if ever played anymore. They just took up
valuable space in the Upper West Side apartment where she lives with
her husband and two young children.

Then a friend of a friend told her about Zunafish (,
a new Web site that matches people with discs and tapes to trade - and
video games and paperback books, too.

To the delight of her 7-year-old son, Ms. Perlmutter recently used
the site to barter her tape of "Fried Green Tomatoes," the 1991 Kathy
Bates drama in which an unhappy housewife befriends an elderly woman
in a nursing home, for a tape of Steven Spielberg's digital dinosaur
blockbuster, "Jurassic Park."

"You feel like you're getting something special, that you're getting
the better part of the deal," Ms. Perlmutter said. "Wow, somebody
wants your stuff. I guess it's one man's trash is another man's

That was certainly the thinking of Dan Elias and Billy Bloom, the
unlikely founders of Zunafish.

In a highly competitive era, independent tinkerers who are convinced
they have a big idea can face big problems getting the idea to
market. Even video games, once famous for whisking their creators
from makeshift workshops to fast fortunes and expensive cars, are
mostly made today by corporate teams of designers and programmers in
sprawling office parks.

But Mr. Elias, a television news anchor in western Massachusetts, and
Mr. Bloom, the owner of a volleyball league in New York City, both
self-described amateurs at creating a digital service and company,
spawned Zunafish, a singularly simple-to-use media trading site.


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