eBriefing: The news behind the Net; e-world: Living with technology
A compass. A cookbook. An RV. Two Chihuahuas. Aliza Sherman, founder of women's sites Cybergrrl and Eviva, has gone analog. For the most part, anyhow.
Like a lot of Web entrepreneurs who were high on the dot-com boom, Sherman suddenly found herself facing closed doors after the stock market soured in the spring. She was unable to get the second half of the funding she needed to start the Latina-oriented site, Eviva. So, instead of jumping onto a new Internet bandwagon, she hopped into another kind of vehicle -- a 23-foot, 1977 Dodge Apache motor home.
Sherman wanted to see the country.
And . . . slow . . . down.
Which she has, she said one recent afternoon from Maine, where she started the cross-country trip.
"I always wanted to get away," she says. "I was between businesses. I didn't have a job. I was sort of disillusioned . . . and feeling ancient." She's 32.
Already, in the beginning weeks of her trip, she can feel the difference. "I'm listening to people," she says. "When I was running Cybergrrl, I couldn't spend a moment listening to people." She's also doing something else she never did while living in New York: She's cooking. She even bought the classic Joy of Cooking book.
Lest you think Sherman has gone completely granola, she is still more wired than most: Not only does she have a cellphone and a wireless modem for her computer, she also has a Web site on which she's chronicling her journey. And she's using the trip to work on a book about women entrepreneurs.
She is meeting folks involved on the Net, which, by the way, she still loves. "I'm always the first one to jump to the defense of the Internet. I think it's a powerful connector, but it's fascinating to suddenly be out there in real life. It's kind of a revelation. It's very powerful."