Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bubbles, Slogs, and Selling Out: Part 19

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All installments in reverse chronological order

In case you missed them, installments #17 and #18 were posted just a few days ago.

At exactly noon on December 15, 2005, the appointed moment for the CNET/Chowhound deal to consummate - for everyone's electronic signatures to be electronically merged in some terribly official electronic document somewhere, and for payment to be electronically transferred to me and Bob's bank accounts - I got a call from Clay. He sounded oddly downcast.

"Jim, I'm soooo sorry to have to make this call. Let me say that I really respect what you've done with Chowhound. It's a fabulous site, and you have every reason to be extraordinarily proud of your work. But it's been decided that this is just not something we can move forward with. I know how disappointed you must be. I am, again, so very sorry."

Standing there frozen, my mouth agape, I could feel the hot vomit snaking its way up my esophagus. I struggled to regain composure for a reply. But before I could speak, Clay hollered into the phone: "Just kidding!!! Congratulations, my friend, it's a done deal! Oh, and I have big news for you! You and I will keep working as a team; I'm taking a new position at the company, and I'll be your superior! Isn't that great?"

And there, faithful reader, my tale ends. Thanks for coming, please take all personal belongings with you. Yes, there's much left untold. But the truth is, the year you're imagining I had is, indeed, precisely the year I actually had, so there's no reason to recount the obvious. For starters, would you imagine I actually was allowed that firmly-promised and direly-needed two weeks off before starting work?

I know you know the answer. So just take it from here, and you'll find that it all vividly plays out in your mind, like a giant roll of toilet paper ebulliently unfurling.

However, there remain some scraps to attend to, plus a few brief subsequent highlights to share.

Stay tuned.
Read the next installment (#20)


Unknown said...

As a business broker trying to co-ordinate deals like yours every day I absolutely loved your description of the acquisition process. So emotionally intense and stressful! Its like trying to change drivers in a mack truck carrying a full load of leaking rocket fuel going 100mph down a windy dirt road lined with flint. I spend my days waiting for it all to go "Boom".... but it sure is interesting!

Jim Leff said...

"Its like trying to change drivers in a mack truck carrying a full load of leaking rocket fuel going 100mph down a windy dirt road lined with flint"

......with dust in your eyes and no money in your pocket and so sleepy your head keeps nodding!

Thanks for reading!

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