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drown anyone trying to come into their lifeboat. They reminded me of my wife’s family, only with them I was already in the lifeboat and they were trying to throw me out.
      In desperation, I picked the next three resumes that came in the mail, and invited the applicants for an interview. Since I’d never previously hired a marketing guy, I just kept thinking about what the venture capitalists had advised, “Hire a firecracker.” With that parameter in mind, it wasn’t hard to choose between the three. The first one in the door looked as if he hadn’t slept for three days, and the second reeked of beer and belched his way through the meeting.
      The final applicant shot into my office with electricity radiating from every pore. He may not necessarily have resonated with me, but he sure had the office vibrating. Steve was hot. Nobody I ever met talked faster. Red hair flashing, eyes blazing, five thousand dollar suit and a watch so expensive it looked unobtrusive, he was in the door like a string of firecrackers that just kept popping and popping, while great clouds of smoke filled the office.
“This one oughta please the venture capitalists,” I thought. Talk about fireworks, the guy was a complete Fourth of July display.
      I knew instantly that with Steve on board, everything would start to jump. Secretaries would dress up, programmers would quit screwing around, and new, better venture capitalists, would come calling. Maybe they would even buy out my mother-in-law’s share.
      After Steve left, I called his references. I’d been noncommittal to him, but we both knew he had the job if he checked out. The personal and business references came out with glowing praise, but his past employers were a bit more reserved. None of them

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