For Money or Mankind – Part Uno

The following is Part 1 of the short story/essay titled For Money or Mankind.

“Here we go again? Greg thought to himself, as he watched yet another CEO rant on about unexpected delays in product-shipment and bad luck playing its role in the company’s dealings with a prospective customer. Unwired Inc. was the latest of his investments which had seemed promising at first, but was beginning to show signs of slowing down towards a painful death. The founders had seemed to fit the entrepreneurial profile – “Bright kids from Cambridge, Electrical Engineering majors with the potential to bring to market the next big thing in wireless technology? Greg remembered his first impressions of the youngsters who pitched their idea to him at a social networking event at London.

For years, Greg Hoffler was the darling of both the European high-technology scene as well as the stock markets. With the uncanny knack of spotting out talent from a cesspool of ideas, he was responsible for funding great ideas and individuals. He was, in turn, playing his part in making the world a better place. He liked to think of himself more as a missionary, rather than a mercenary – which for a venture capitalist was bit of an oxymoron. However, three of his last four investments had already folded and with Unwired balancing itself on a very thin rope, his role as a messiah for the budding entrepreneur was being called into question. “No reason to panic yet, but if these guys don’t pull their act together fast, I might as well shut shop and retire?. As yet another slide with a negative-sloped graph flashed on the screen, something snapped.

“I don’t know if you guys have heard of this – but it’s probably something you need to think about. It’s from this book called the Cluetrain Manifesto and it goes like this – markets are conversations among humans who use language that is natural, open and honest, whereas companies and governments are stuck in the humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Call me when this has sunk in.?

“I’ve always wanted to create a dent in the world; that has been my only aim. Making money, glitzy IPOs and fancy cars are a by-product of that goal.? His speech at Hamburg University last year echoed through his brain, as Greg sped back to his office in his Porsche convertible. “And yet, why is it that my success is judged by monetary gains, ROIs and balance-sheets?? His ruminations were interrupted by the shrill ring-tone on his cell-phone; his secretary Deborah on the other end sounding frazzled “Greg, there is a Mr. Odoyo from Nairobi who has been calling in all morning and he desperately wants to speak with you. Shall I patch him in??

“Nairobi? Jesus what next??

To be continued…

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2 Responses to “For Money or Mankind – Part Uno”

  1. Hasthanath Says:

    Very interesting!! keep going….

  2. arun Says:

    Thanks Guruji Hasthanath _/\_

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