We were told we needed a firecracker, but what we wound up hiring was a genuine nuclear weapon. What the hell was I supposed to know about marketing people? I’m not a fucking salesman.
      I was sitting at the helm of a company with a product that was ready to ship, money in the bank, and the most finely tuned engineering crew I’d ever seen, and all the venture capitalists could say was that we were a disaster because we hadn’t yet sold anything. According to them, we didn’t know how to get out of our own way to make money.
      “You’re a bunch of engineers, Bob,” they told me. “You better find yourself a marketing guy right away, or we will,” Their threats slammed into me like bullets. “And while you’re at it, hire a marketing junior to work with him. Just make sure you hire the junior first so that there’s never a question about who’s really in charge. You are the one who’s in charge, aren’t you Bob?”
      Back in Winnipeg, people don’t talk to each other that way. Pressure’s one thing, but being an asshole is an entirely different matter. We may not always be quiet and polite, but we don’t snap out commands as if we were in some sort of high tech Marine Corps. It’s different, though, in Silicon Valley, where the clock ticks faster than anywhere else on the planet, and there’s no time to be nice and even less inclination.

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