Valley of the Boom (2018–…): Season 1, Episode 3 - full transcript

We're taking
the Microsoft meeting.

Gates will try to
close us on some kind of
strategic partnership.

eliminate us entirely.

I just want to
be clear that Microsoft owns
the Internet.

partner or compete.

That's when
Microsoft declared their
efforts against us.

Wall Street has
finally got a new favorite
child in this bland little

strip mall called
silicon valley.

I feel like we go
broke every two weeks.

All we need
is somebody who's willing
to roll the dice with us.

I'm in.

We were now
on this mission to go
into a bigger pond,

relocate to New York City.

-We're up!

The whole team could
not have been more excited.

- Michael fenne?
- Huh?

Can I show you this?

I took a bunch
of existing technology and
frankensteined it together.

We are going to
be very, very wealthy men.


folding the company?

Please tell me you
got the patents?

You think I had the time
to get the patents done?

It's David.

This guy who has been
calling himself Michael fenne

is really a fugitive of the law.

David Kim Stanley.

God has blessed me
with a unique ability
to defy reality.

The fatal error is a
piece of code that causes
the program to abort.

Things completely
stopped working properly,
like you can't continue.

Something went wrong that
we can't recover from.

It can be presented in a
variety of ways and the really
irritating thing is when it

happens arbitrarily and
not consistently because it
makes it really hard to fix.

The folks at time
called us and said they wanted
to put him on the cover.

It was always work to get
Marc to agree to do too much,
you know, to do anything.

I think he was never thrilled
about this cover, you know,
the fact that he was pictured

on a throne with bare feet.

let's try one with a
little bigger smile.


Do you see that?

This is Marc andreessen on
the cover of time magazine.

This was quite
the moment for us.

Look at these toenails.
Crazy, right?

Marc, how's
my favorite pin-up
doing this morning?

You hanging in there?

How often would you
say you clip your toenails?

How often
do I clip my toenails?

I dunno.

About once every two weeks,
I guess, y'know, unless I'm
gonna be some place where

people are gonna see my feet.

Like, say, on the cover
of a major news magazine?

You're barefoot?

Apparently the
idea is these aren't your
father's titans of industry.

This new generation doesn't
play by the rules, or
own shoes, for that matter.

Well, uh, they
ask you to take off any more
clothes, you let me know.

Jim Clark's on.

Come on,
light, come on!


So I got a call this morning
from Rick Washburn at kpmg.

What are you doing?!

You're cutting me off!

Now what are you
doing, you're stopping?


Kpmg is removing navigator
software from their system.

They're terminating
our relationship.

What do you
mean terminating?

We just made the deal.

Apparently someone
paid off our contract.


Someone who
can afford to pay off
$25 million contract

without blinking an eye.

I'll give you three guesses.


Kpmg's a
big consulting firm.

I'm not saying it ain't
a kick in the kiwis, but.

- 17,000 users, 120 U.S.
- offices down the Toilet.

Come! On!

Look, we
got Microsoft beat
on market share.

We got 'em beat on tech.

So they're throwing
money at it.

We just keep doing what we do.

Navigator 2.0 still on
target for a February
5th ship date, Marc?

Marc, you there?

Marc? You there?

Look, buddy,
I'm in no mood.

Ahhhhhh, oh
my god, oh my god!

Amy. Amy.

Shh, listen to
me, listen to me.

You see all that?
It didn't happen.

It didn't?

That dude ain't here.

Also, I don't really exist.
You understand?

I'm an amalgam of all
the various investment
bankers of the period.


I'm imaginary.
You understand, right?

- Yeah.
- Good.

Now give me a second, I
have some explaining to do.

So while Microsoft didn't
literally kill anyone,

they were coming hard
after netscape.

And in a fashion that
would make a gangster say,

"oh my god, that was
pretty gangster."

Let me explain it to you.

So in 1980, IBM was 3,000
times the size of Microsoft.

I know, right?
That's huge.

But ten years later, gates
ruled silicon valley, and
big blue was gasping for air.

You see, IBM just wasn't
aggressive enough in
fighting off the upstart.

And gates was not about
to let his $100 billion
baby suffer the same fate.

Microsoft intended on
staying on top, and
to accomplish that,

one thing remained
They needed
to make netscape dead.

Again, just a metaphor.

Like, they weren't
actually killing, anyway.

Ah. Whoo. I'm back.

Get movin', man!

clamored to buy shares
of Amazon. Com this week.

One in every four ipos
is technology-related.

better get on board now.

Institutional investors
gobbled up the most

promising new issues.

Some of these valuations
are in another galaxy.

levels in the Internet
industry are just obscene.

We're in a true mania
for Internet stocks.

So you had a lot
of people with a lot of money
and nothing to do with it.

So you had parties and
ferraris and planes.

And they were
all just like spending
crazy amounts of money,

they wanted like the
best gourmet food,
they wanted parties.

The parties were
lavish and everybody is there
kind of schmoozing and that

was a big part of the
culture at the time.

The nights were
just whirlwinds, you know,

you wouldn't just go
from party to party.

And if you went somewhere
and it wasn't that exciting

you'd just move on
to the next place.

I mean, at a certain point,
you'd just hear about some of
the parties from your friends

and you would go to these
other parties, you couldn't,
you know, hit everything.

It got to the point
where there could be 6 or 7
launch parties in one night.

It was great, if you were in
your 20s or 30s and single,
which basically everyone was.

I just don't get it.

What's there to get?

Jeeves. Jeeves.

I'm desperate to know,
say, Latvia's biggest
export and I ask jeeves?

You're desperate to
know Latvia's biggest export?


And because I'm a discerning
seeker of information, my
first thought of course is to

go online and ask
jeeves, who's a Butler.

Jeeves isn't a
Butler, he's a valet.

He takes care of the
master of the house, lays
out his clothes, handles.

How's that
not a Butler?

The point is of all
the literary characters they
could have built their company

concept around, this
is who they choose?

You are way
overthinking this.

Or maybe they're
way under-thinking it.

That Butler's valued
at 900 million pounds.

But whatever.

Some of the
parties were insane.

Startups were throwing
$100,000 parties before
they'd even earned a cent.

Does anyone have a
clue what this company does?


to do with shells.

Y'know who would have
the definitive answer on this?

No! Don't!

should ask jeeves.

To our generous hosts.

When your company
invariably goes belly up
due to profligate spending

and an utter lack of revenue.

We shall remember you,
whoever you are dot-com,

if not your name or the
service you offered.


For this magnificent
array of free food and
beverage you provided

before your untimely demise.

You put a dot-com
on anything and its value went
up in the minds of people or

you looked cooler or you
seemed more important.

And so businesses were
putting dot-coms on
the cover of magazines

and they didn't even
have websites.

And if they'd had a website,
nobody was running it,

cause they didn't even
know what it was.

The Internet was the
hot thing and everybody knew
they needed to be there,

bringing Internet streaming
to Hollywood, this was an idea
that Hollywood was already

vastly interested in.

To have high quality
video over the Internet.

That was enough to get
anybody's attention
in those days.

Hi, I'm
Michael fenne.

After Robert dunning
and Michael fenne part ways,
Michael quickly starts showing

off the same digital motion
off-the-shelf technology to a
whole new crop of investors.

Right up
there, ok, thank you.

now started a whole new
company called pixelon.

Only this time
Michael is passing the
technology off as, uh,

proprietary technology
that's unique and has never
been, uh, done before.

And he's passing himself
off as the brainchild
behind all of it.

Hello Mr.
Fenne, how are you?


Hi, Brian.
You see that?

Guh, look at that.
Keep it up boys!


Wow, working at a big
time Hollywood studio,
that must be exciting.

Oh, yeah, definitely.

We're going to go pick up stu
up at the marketing building.

But you
hate marketing.


Don't worry,
I ain't gonna spill
the beans to your boss.

Marketing's fine,
it's just, y'know, it's
not my life's ambition.

Let me guess,
you want to direct?

No, I'm
actually, I'm hoping to
be a costume designer.

Don't hope.
Just do it.

It's Brian, right?

Don't let anything stop you
from achieving that goal.

You do whatever it
takes, you hear me?

Hey! I need you
to say it, Brian.

I need you to say
that you hear me.

- Um, I hear you.
- Atta boy.

He's up there.

Pixelon was
gonna be everything.

Pixelon was going to
be the platform that
delivered content,

but they were also
going to be the content
provider, themselves.

They were going to have
a thousand channels.

There he is.

Stu Keller.
You must be?

Michael fenne.
What a pleasure.

Pleasure is all mine.

I'd like to introduce you
to my creative team, why
don't we hop in the back.


Now Joe q. Public, he's
a hard core trekkie.

He can wish you
a merry Christmas in
klingon and romulan,

and he is dying just
to know what that new
movie's going to be like.

So what's Mr. public do?

Buy a ticket to "men
in black" and he's just hoping
and praying, dear god, please,

I'll be good, that they
show that star trek trailer?

Or watch TV all day long,
just wishing on a dream?

If you were Paramount
the last thing you wanted was
to get beat by one of your

competitors, and they're
putting some sort of trailer
for their next big movie that

you're competing against and
they've got it on online and
they've got it on the Internet

and you don't.

It's all
about file compression.

Hey, do you remember that
movie, "sunset boulevard"?

Gloria Swanson, she says, "I'm
big, the pictures got small."

Well, it's 50 years later,
the pictures got big again,

only someone forgot
to tell Microsoft.

Have you seen their
windows media player?

I'm not one to speak ill of
a competitor, and bill gates,
fierce competitor and a

friend, but the screen's so
minuscule you need binoculars
to see the damn video.

We're talking star trek here.


Prepare to boldly go where
no man has gone before.

Go ahead.
Get in there.

Hey, I'm a big fan.

Get in there, watch this.

It's really,
really easy to fake it.

And that's what they would do.

They would take a
video and show it on
a pc and they'd say,

this is what it looks like
only over a 56k modem.

Now, we've got some things
we have to figure out.

It's not quite ready to let
you just dial in right yet,
but look, it's on a pc.

Well, anybody can do
that from a hard drive.

It's really easy to
see how Paramount and some
of these other companies

might have cut these deals.

The downside of making deals
very quickly is that you had

a lot less time to
scrutinize 'em.

Hing is.

original blublockers
sunglasses, block 100%

of the ultraviolet and blue
light, and lightweight nylon
frames, carrying case...

You know, I never
thought sfgirl was going
to be this phenomenon.

So I have this box of, like,
sfgirl memories, and one
of the things I have is this

little case just full of
business cards I collected.

It really just started
as a way for me
to make social plans.

I'd recently left my job
for the tech industry and
thought it'd be fun to start

hanging with more tech
folks and that whole scene.

So I trotted out my new
programming skills, then
sent an email to 50 people,

was like, "hey, I
made this website."

I actually toyed with the idea
of calling it "the watering
hole" because I was thinking

it would be a place to meet
up and for people to connect.

I went with
sfgirl. Com instead.

Anyway, people started
inviting their friends
to go on the site,

and things just
sort of took off.

Morning, sunshine.
I made you coffee.

But then I drank it.


I'm late for work.
I gotta go.

Well, party's at
Ruby Skye tonight, right?

Yeah, hopefully
I can make it.

We have this deadline at work.

Patty beron
missing a party?

So we were working
our day jobs, but then we
were going to these insane

dot-com parties at night.

People would say, "my
company's having an event,
it's going to be super fun,

everyone's invited."

The cynosure health
project is 2 weeks behind.

Gavin, Jess, Julianne.

"Party exchange"
sprang from that.

People would go on there
and post where to find the
coolest shindigs and soirees.

That's when sfgirl
really started growing.

I did all the correspondence,
I came up with
story ideas for the writers.

We had site analytics and we
even had a server when the
site started getting bigger.

Around 20,000 visits
a day was average.

Patty, Patty,
could you come in here?

I know the cynosure
health job is due on Friday

and we're racing
the clock on that.

It's just.

There's this party.

Yeah, and I
was planning on coming
in early tomorrow.

I don't want you to think I'm.

I don't think you're,
look, I want to go tonight.

To this party.

You want to
go to the party?


I was curious how hard would
it be to get on the vip list?

Consider it done.

But if we see me there,
just keep walking.

Oh, okay.

I'm just joking,
Josh, we're good.

The parties definitely
were for networking.

I mean, like, oh, what
do you do, wasn't such a
boring question back then,

it was like, oh, I'm working
on this, and you should
check it out and it was like

everything was kind
of new and exciting.

Mike Egan very
much wanted to own
51% of the company.

That level of investment meant
that he was entirely absorbed
with our future success.

Yep, totally. I agree.

So, I had been an investment
banker, then I met a gentleman
named Michael Egan who is the

owner of alamo rent a car,
which we sold and then formed
dancing bear investments to

begin investing that capital.

Yep, I'll let him know.

Todd's right here, actually.

Mike says hi.

Hey Mike.

So Ed was Mike's right hand,
he was Mike's interpreter and
representative, ambassador,

and also our ambassador
back to Mike.


Mike wants you to run the
numbers on maintaining
the subscription model.

I thought that
was a dead issue.

It's Mike.
He likes to be thorough.

It's just theglobe's
been charging for access.

Meanwhile, geocities has no
paywall and is absolutely
killing us on user growth.

And how much did
geocities lose last year?

That's not the, it's
like with drug dealers.

First one's free, right?

You get them hooked, then, I
don't do drugs, or sell drugs.

That's not the best example.

What I'm saying is
revenues don't matter.

They matter to the guy who
may or may not be writing you
a $5 million check.

Todd and Steph were espousing
their belief that we must
remain free and we must grow

the user-base at all costs.

To grow, you know, the way
Facebook grew later on,
you know, a decade later.

And Mike, knowing he
might have to foot
the bill, was look,

we should have a path
towards profitability.

Mike's ultimately going
to see it your way.

I absolutely believe that.

He trusts you and Steph.

You should see the way
he lights up when he
talks about "the boys."

But run the numbers.

Where is Steph by the way?

He's uh,
I'll go get him.

Mike eagan was
coming in guns blazing with
his investment thinking,

"oh my god," your
20 new subscription
models we should add on.

And so people can subscribe
to their different daily
community, subscription,

subscription, subscription,
and eventually, Todd and I
had to tell Mike,

"Mike, that was, that
was yesterday's model."

It's not about the revenues.
Did you explain that?

Yes, I explained that.

Do we even
want his $5 million?

Do we want $5 million?

At that
valuation, we'd be giving
up an awful lot of control.

Do we want
$5 million?!

Steph, I mean, we've spent
the last four months, killing
ourselves to close this deal.

We've burned through our
initial stake, not to mention
a big chunk of our own money.

I can't speak to
your finances, but I had to
race to the bank to cash my

grandmother's $25 birthday check
so I didn't overdraw my account.

Plus our servers,
which I don't know even
know if you know this,

are kind of important to
what we do, are basically
being held together with

rubber bands and scotch...
Hey Jeremy.

Oh hey Todd,
how's it going?

I spilled coffee.

Hey Jeremy.

And you can say
goodbye to Jeremy!

I love Jeremy.

Who doesn't love Jeremy?!

But we can't afford him
and a dozen other people
if we don't get more money.

And in case you forgot, the
whole reason we're even having
this conversation in the men's

room is because you have
been having non-stop stomach
aches from all the stress.

You yelling
at me is definitely
helping on that count.

Look, I agree
$5 million for half
of the company is steep,

but this is our
best shot here.

You're right.
It is. It is.

I know, I'm being neurotic.

It's our baby.

Of course you're
being protective.

Our baby. Aww.

That's not what I...

Todd, we have so much
to discuss about fatherhood.

We had many debates.
And we had them all the time.

Ultimately, we decided,
remove the subscription model.

The moment we made
it free, site traffic
went up exponentially.


Mike was very
generous about allowing
us to make decisions,

many that were
not good decisions.

But he always had an
opinion and he often shared
his own vision of how things

should be and sometimes
his vision was just miles away

from how it actually
needed to be.

Did you get
him up to speed?

We're on it.

Hey Mike.

Hey, when we first
met, did you think one day

we'd be having a baby together?

I'm really
regretting using that word.

growing up so fast.

One day, she's going to
be a full-fledged online
virtual community.

And we'll be like,
where did the time go?

You are so weird.

My butt, right?

Go on.

And the she takes
off my shirt, and then
I take off her shirt.

Bra or no bra?

At this point,
the bra's still on.

But she says maybe we
should move to the bedroom.

I'm so hard right now.

Definitely keep going,
I'm almost there.

I didn't realize
you were around, Tara.

Sorry. I'll tell
you the rest later.

Seriously Tara,
I can't get dsl
at my apartment.

This is my porn.

I'll put on headphones.

So you're
going to the bedroom.

Right, and
that's when I hear it.

Hear what?

It was her computer.

What did you hear?

You've got mail!

Aol?! No!
America online!

And that's not all.

She's not just an
aol subscriber, she's a
software engineer there.

Tell me you
walked out the door.

It had been eight months
since I'd, look, maybe you
get laid on a regular basis.

Yeah, it's
pretty much non-stop.

Well, the sex
was pretty amazing.

I don't care if
her vagina could do card
tricks, that is not okay.

I thought you
put headphones on.

I used to have a
modicum of respect for you,
Sean, but now it's all gone.

Come on, it's not like I
had sex with a serial killer.

A serial killer can
probably write better code.

Aol was maligned.
We didn't take it seriously.

It was based on this
platform that wasn't
the world wide web.

You've got mail.

It was, it was a joke
I think to a lot of us.

Aol. Gross.


Aol was successful
during that time because it
made the Internet accessible.

The Internet was very
daunting and the aol
made it easy to log on

and to connect with other users.

among friends, yeah, you
could easily talk smack.

Aol had been a company
that had been seen as sort of
less savvy and less of a tech

company and the fact that
they had continued to stay
relevant over all the years,

was amazing to me.

I get it.

Looks like somebody ate a
ate a tacky-ass souvenir shop
and then threw it all up,

but this is buck's
of woodside, California, a
place where founders and vcs

go to mate, a place where
multi-billion-dollar deals
are just called "Tuesday."

Hey hey!

I know these guys.

Marc andreessen,
what's happening, baby?

He don't like to be touched.

But uh, I swear, he's
a friend of mine.

Hey, man, I'm gonna call you!

There's these
stories at silicon valley

where people would go to
bucks for lunch or breakfast

and they would sketch
things out on a napkin

and people would invest in them.

At aol we didn't
believe we could do it alone.

We wanted to create a tapestry
of alliances and together
do something that we couldn't,

none of us could
do separately.

The way I see
it, it's Roosevelt and Stalin

coming together against Hitler.

Which one
of us is Stalin?

Well I've been
known to enjoy a vodka or two,
I'll take the hit on that.

So our teams will get
down to brass tacks on
licensing fees, what not.

I think we should be
able to resolve this
all fairly quickly.

We don't want
to just license netscape.

What did you have in mind?

If we combine
our strengths, we can build
a firewall against Microsoft.

The aol browser's not
blowing any skirts up.

We know that.

Navigator, on the other hand,
your tech is incredible.

But from a content standpoint.

We're not a
content company.

is my point. We are.

You have all this traffic
coming through your website.

And what do you got on there?

Some press releases?

Links to articles
in infoworld?

Aol would take over
programming and ad
sales for your site.


we'd also want a seat
on the netscape board.

How about we give
you a back rub and a big
wet kiss every morning too?

If that's gonna be
a condition, I'm gonna have to
check in with my wife first.

What my colleague
here is trying to say is
that's an awful big ask.

Especially in light
of the fact we have 90%
of the browser market,

which is the market.

You have 90% now.

You've also got Microsoft
breathing down your neck.

We'd be driving our six
million users to netscape.

Not to mention the ancillary
benefits of being linked with

the best known brand
in cyberspace.

Aol's the best known
papyrus company in the
era of the printing press.

netscape is gutenberg?

Look, aol is a
helluva brand, no question.

But so is netscape, and
frankly we're a lot hotter.

And your users
are leaving in droves.

Is that telling you anything?

Because here's what
it's telling me.

It's telling me people don't
want to pay $3.95 an hour for
your content when netscape is

giving them a gateway to
infinite content for free.

It doesn't take a futurist to
see which way this is headed.

People have
been predicting aol's demise

since before netscape
was in diapers.

We weren't big
enough to compete with
prodigy and compuserve.

We were too lightweight
to make a splash
in the tech world.

Microsoft was going
to kill us with msn.

Yet here we are.

We negotiated a straight
licensing deal with aol.

We thought
"my god, here's a big
behemoth online service

that's gonna use our browser."

Our stock went
up 16% the day we announced.

No, I understand.

No, I appreciate you callin'.

Okay, bye now.

The next morning, they
announced that they had done
a much tighter deal with

Microsoft than
they did with us.

was in at aol.

And their browser won
the default position and
that's what you wanted.

As part of that, they
agreed to bundle aol into
the windows operating system.

It didn't
negate our deal, but
it might as well have.

They were
locking us out, Microsoft
was actively making deals,

doing things that
would make it hard for
us to sell our browser.

Hey, you
wanna hear something?

Microsoft sandbagged
us, again!

It's so shady.

It's worse than
shady, it's sleazy.

And aol, with their
song and dance,

"we hate Microsoft.
Microsoft is the worst."



You're always so gentlemanly.

I don't think I've ever
seen you so worked up.

I get
worked up sometimes.

No, I like it.

Jim barksdale used
the word sleazy.


That really pissed me off.

When we announced our
partnership with Microsoft,
there were people at netscape

that were annoyed.

I did talk to Jim barksdale.

But there were some,
initially, some frustrations,
some hard feelings.

God, it was infuriating.

I mean everybody was so angry.

It didn't matter whose
product was better.

Um, that was the product
that was getting installed

and we had no way of
fighting against that.

That's back
when we were both fighting
hard for market share.

Netscape did start
losing market share, so I'm
sure it was a tipping point

in terms of the browser wars.

And by then it
was getting into, do you win
against Microsoft or not?

And they did business
deals with their throw
weight and resource

that we couldn't even get near.

We were a browser company,
we were the browser company

and we were losing
the browser war.

A do
business with you guys."

"And I'm ready to
invest $5 million."

This is the real deal.

We're gonna go from almost
running out of money
to the big leagues now.

What happens if you
expand the features included
in the free service,

while lowering the
price point for the gold
and silver memberships?

That's in there,
page five, I believe.

Mike is someone who, on
his companies had made big
bets to make big money.

Todd and I knew
this was our one shot.


I think our
valuation is too low.

Like way too low.

We are not a $10
million company.

We're just not.

If you consider
what yahoo's doing.

No offense,
theglobe is not yahoo.

Two years ago,
yahoo wasn't yahoo.

Now they're a
billion-dollar company.

Look, we're onto something
here, guys, I can feel it.

Todd feels it.

Mike, Ed, I think
you guys feel it.

Yahoo connected people
to the Internet.

We're connecting
people to each other.

It's kinda powerful.

Look, we're not asking
you to value you us
at a billion dollars.

We're not worth a
billion dollars, not yet.

Mike, we believe
a $40 million
valuation is fair.

Can you boys
give us the room?

Yeah, yeah.

This was either gonna be the
greatest thing ever that
brings us all the success

we've dreamed of, or
he's gonna come back and
tell us, thanks boys,

you're crazy and we're
not gonna invest at all.

You may have just
blown the entire thing.

What did I just do?

Inches from the goal
line, you told the man that
we need to keep our company

afloat he lowballed us
by a factor of four.

Then what did he do?

He told us to leave
our own conference room.

And we did.

You can hit me if you want.

Jesus! I didn't think
you'd actually do it.

Yeah, well.

I want to say it was
around $40 million.

We bought 51%
for 20 million.

Which at the
time was the single
biggest investment

in Internet history
by an individual.



Okay we are definitely

If your stomach
can handle it, there's
supposed to be a great

new Indian place in the village.

Mr. krizelman,
would you please leave
Todd's body for a second?

I would like to
speak to your son.

First off, my dad
would never eat Indian, so.

We just quadrupled
the valuation of our company
and got $20 million.

So here's how
it's going to go.

We're going to cali, we're
gonna drink and we're gonna
dance and you're going to have

the time of your life.

Alright, alright.

We now had a new
partner and it was no longer
gonna be the Todd and Steph

show, it was gonna be the Todd
and Steph and Mike Egan show.

Patty beron.
How dope is she?


So, she starts this message
board, but then it turns
into this whole other thing.

What's the current analog,
I don't know, um...

Jezebel. Thrillist, maybe.

I'm talking party reviews,
recommendations on where to
see the best music and art,

where to find a good cup
of coffee in the mission.

Places to volunteer and
psychological advice.

Posts about politics
and relationships.

Who else was doing
that at the time?

I will give you
a hint: Nobody.

Nobody was doing that.

Sfgirl was a blog before
anybody knew the word meant.

Hey, did you know
sfgirl had up to 20
writers at one point?

Don't say that you
knew that because I
know that you didn't.

We should uh, go.

We should go.

I never made
any money on sfgirl.

It was still hard at that point
to sell people on the idea of
advertising on a website.

Besides, how much money
do you really need when

you're going to parties and
eating free food every night?


All that hard work
and nothing to show for it

but a few cosmos
and some crab puffs.

Whenever you hear stories
about a gold rush you always
hear about the people that

made a fortune or
lost a fortune.

But what about the
blacksmiths, hah, in the
gold-mining town, hah,

who created a new
horseshoe, look, sfgirl
was a damn cool horseshoe.


Oh, I know these two!



Your friend
seems awesome.

I don't
know who that is.

I've never seen that
guy in my entire life.

We're actually
not based here.

Todd and I started a little
company based out of New York.


It's like an
online community, connecting
people sort of thing.

Theglobe. Com
that just got a $20
million in investments?

How did
you know about that?

There was a
pretty prominent article
in the New York times.

We were in the times?
I didn't know that.

Todd, did you know that?

Yeah, I'm
not part of this.

That's crazy.

Well, it's certainly
super cool that you flew all
the way from New York to do

a silicon valley victory lap.

We didn't,
no, okay, yeah, that's
exactly what we're doing.

Steph, check it out.

Mike's in the vip.

Who are those
guys with him?

You should tell your
dad to pick you up out front,
because this is embarrassing.

He's not my dad.

Enjoy your victory lap.

I think she's
really into you.

C'mon, let's go.

Mike had a very clear
view that the businesses
that we were in that

weren't theglobe that were
mostly travel-related,

that if he could combine
those assets into theglobe,

we could sell travel,
we could sell hotels,

that it would be very valuable.

Once Mike invested in
theglobe he would introduce us
to a number of other companies

that he was an investor
in and intellitravel
was one which was

a travel network of
70,000 travel agents.

So how's it work?

People go online and
they can book a flight?

-Not online.

-The site's online.

-It advertises travel deals.

- Then you call
the travel agents.

- Or email them.
Some of them have email.

Guys, here's the idea.

The intellitravel agents could
sell subscriptions to theglobe

as part of their
travel packages.

-It's a rolex.

Takes a lickin'
and keeps on tickin'.

-That's Timex.

- Tequila shots, you
hombres want Tequila?

Sure, I could
use a drink. Todd?


Mike Egan was still
trying to find a way to take
his traditional businesses

that are getting disrupted
by the Internet and again
turn them into dot-coms,

have them plug into
theglobe, somehow.

70,000 travel agents.

agents are people.

I don't
mean any disrespect.

It's just mixing in
commerce and the travel
industry at this point,

it's just not what
we've been building.

Mike, people
come to our site, they
share their interests,

they connect with people,
that's what we do.


That's what we built.

Making a start-up
sustainable is not easy.

So it's obviously very
important for the founder to
keep his or her eye on the

ball, on the big vision at
all times but at the same time
to surround themselves with

leaders, even if it is
one other leader who can
tap into the zeitgeist,

who can see where the world
is going, is going to be key

to their long-term
success of the product.

And Mike came
along and he seemed to
be dazzled by my vision

and my ability to communicate
and it in turn dazzled me,

so it was really hard for
me to see that this guy,

Mike Egan, who believed
in me so much also had issues,

and I could see it was
also potentially going to
become a problem for me,

if I didn't perform or
if I didn't agree with him.

And it's not, you know, middle
aged ladies with glasses
around their necks asking

people, do you want
a side of theglobe. Com
with your Alaska cruise?

Whether it's
with intellitravel or
some other opportunity,

we gotta to find a path
toward profitability.

And we can.

We're on that path.
It's a matter of...

Just sit down with
them, and see if there's
any room for cooperation.

There's no obligation.

- Sure.
- Okay.

You boys
have fun tonight.

We'll talk in the morning.

U, and everyone that has
forsaken houses, or brethren,

or sisters or father or
mother or wife or children

or lands for my namesake
shall receive a hundredfold

and shall inherit
everlasting life."
Matthew 10, verse 29.

Now, who's ready
to become rich beyond
their wildest dreams?!

It was obvious
to anybody who paid the
least bit attention that

bandwidth was going to
improve, compression
was going to improve,

and more and more video
was coming to the net.

How many people
understand codecs and
encoding and streaming?

It's pretty simple
to say, well, we're doing this
and we're doing this and we're

doing this and the
technology portion of it's
difficult enough for even

skilled people to grasp.

And that's exactly why
pixelon picked: Streaming.

Come on up, don't be scared.

I don't want you digging
in your wallets without
sampling the merchandise.

So advanced
equities is a fledgling
investment bank in Chicago.

Now, a lot of
people prefer captain kirk.

But this captain
pee-card, he's a pistol.

They're looking at the
success stories and the ipos
of all of these other dot-coms

and they're thinking hey, if
we can invest and get in on
the ground floor of pixelon,

this is the homerun
we really need.

Wow, you
said it'd load fast, but
that was really fast.

what do you know?

Turns out I'm not a liar.

The folks at advanced
equities didn't have the
capacity to evaluate what the

software was and uh,
as far as I know,

that was the uh deepest
they dove into whether

or not the technology
actually had any
substance underneath it.

That's amazing.

Any investor, no
matter what the product is,
no matter what the service,

know what the hell it is
before you write a check.

One of the things that
investors always wanna do is
they tend to wanna do massive

amount of what's known as due
diligence, let's figure out
everything we can about these

people that we're
investing in.

So, I'm sitting in
my car, and it comes to me,

like the angel
Gabriel appearing
before the virgin Mary.

The biggest acts in all of
music, beamed into your home.


can stop selling.

We're in.
We'll be in touch.

Look forward to it.

It's not clear
that they ever did any kind
of background check on him,

find out if he has
a criminal record, does he
have lawsuits against him.

They don't know really
anything about his background.

Somebody who doesn't have a
social security card, doesn't
have a driver's license,

has been paid cash out
of an expense account.

I pled guilty to
over 50 fraud-related charges

and was sentenced to
36 years in prison.

Advanced equities was
in such a hurry to close the
deal that they failed to zero

in on a couple of things
that should have been, you
know red flags for anybody.

And one would be just
the fact that this founder,
Michael fenne, didn't exist,

there was no record
of him anywhere.

$2,000 suits.
You all must be the lawyers.

Lee? How are you?

Come on in, guys.
Sit wherever you'd like.

Hi, how are you.
Good to see ya.

They agreed to a $28
million private placement.

Accomplishing this was much
easier than I ever dreamed.

Moving onto fees.

In the new life I
have here, the one I wanted to

so desperately
share with you.

Advanced equities
will receive 12% commission.

Everyone loves me.

Advanced equities
will have warrants to purchase

a million shares
of pixelon stock.

In my new business,
everyone thinks I'm a genius.

But it
turns out the lack of due
diligence goes both ways.

So I'm
sittin' in my car.

We'll be in touch.

Look forward to it.

He's a character.

No kidding.

You think he has any idea
the goldmine he's sitting on?

No sir, I do not.

Advanced equities
will receive a 12% commission.

Why did pixelon do a
deal with advanced equities,
where they had to pay 12%

commission and give
a million warrants?

Because they had to.

Advanced equities
will have warrants to purchase

a million shares
of pixelon stock.

Advanced equities
is a brand new investment
bank that's out there,

they don't even
have the licenses that
arguably are required,

or at least are customary,
for somebody that's gonna
do a private placement.

In retrospect it's clear
that pixelon was playing
advanced equities and

advanced equities
was playing pixelon.

Why did advance
equities give pixelon
10 million-plus dollars?

Because they wanted
to do a pump and dump.

They wanted to take pixelon
public and pump it and dump it
on unsuspecting shareholders

and buyers and make
a lot more money.

Out of the
fiery furnace, god has
given me a new life.

A life I truly deserve.

I still hurt so very much,
but I am holding onto god's
promise of a real love,

and that is why the tears
flow less and less each
day, because god loves me.

I'm not changing
my tune on aol, Marc.

It's just that the world looks
a hell of a lot different
than it did a few months back.

Aol's big deal with
Microsoft didn't miraculously
lift their stock price out of

the toilet, and now they're
crawling back to us.

Let them find
another lifeline.

our lifeline?

We're going to
destroy Microsoft in
the enterprise space.

Yeah, we are,
absolutely, but we can't just
roll over and show 'em our

privates in the browser war.

We're still very
comfortably ahead.

We'd be a hell of
a lot more comfortable with
a little boost from aol.

They're still aol.

And their way of
life is still dying.

We don't need them.

We don't.

Programs can run
successfully, repeatedly,
without incident.


So you
think you're good.

But at some point a
fatal error will cause
your program to crash.

Captioned by cotter
captioning services.