Stories by Diane Anderson and Ben Hammer

Deconstructing the I-Builder Blues

San Francisco-based web shop Phoenix Pop used to be a high-flyer, constructing Web sites for startups like Productopia, and So high was the demand for its services it had to turn down business. But then the dot-com venture capital evaporated, and with it demand for creative Web services. After suffering through staff layoffs and management turmoil, Phoenix Pop is shifting its efforts away from startups.

Going for Broke On the Super Bowl has a great name - and not much else. So on Super Bowl Sunday, the upstart retailer of, well, computers, is laying down the biggest gamble of its short life. It's taking $3.2 million - more than half of the $6 million it just acquired infirst-round funding - and buying 90 seconds on ABC's television broadcast of the big game.