Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bubbles, Slogs, and Selling Out: Part 5

Previous installment

I met with the powerful corporate titan dude a couple more times, but he remained cagey, asking lots of questions but offering nary a clue as to what he was brewing up. Then one afternoon, a week or two after our first meeting, he called to invite me to come over his house that night. On a Sunday. At 10pm. And his voice on the phone was trembling.

I naturally imagined I'd be led into a basement room, hear a heavy door clang shut behind me, and find a dozen other young entrepreneurs adhered to the walls via staple gun. But, no, nothing that weird (well, actually it was
totally weird, but wait for it). I met his lovely wife and beaming children and no masked, leather-clad dudes named Dolph. The family was very nice, though my synapses over-fired as I tried to grok what on earth I was doing in this near-stranger's pad late on a Sunday night, being very meaningfully introduced into this domestic tableau. Was he planning to adopt me?

Then, suddenly, wife and kids were gone, and I found myself sitting on an ottoman, facing mogul, who seemed uncharacteristically nervous. Cold sweat condensed in beads on his brow. He cleared his throat and, obviously terrified, he told me he'd decided to quit his job as a famous top executive for an all-powerful, titanic media that he could come to work for Chowhound. For free. And would...would...that be ok with me?

I blinked, gulped, inhaled, stammered out something polite and mildly encouraging, and managed to extricate myself from his tasteful townhouse. The Chowhound saga had always been surreal, but I felt like I'd dropped down the final rabbit hole. Once I'd staggered out the door and into the street, gulping fresh oxygen, I dialed my business partner.

"Uh, Bob," I murmured into the phone, "it looks like we maybe ought to hold off on closing the site for a minute..."

Read the next installment (#6)

No comments:

Blog Archive