EP133: Other People’s Money

By Cory Doctorow.
Read by Amanda Fitzwater.
First appeared in Forbes Magazine, October 2007.

Which is why she was hoping that the venture capitalist would just leave her alone. He wasn’t a paying customer, he wasn’t a fellow artist — he wanted to *buy* her, and he was thirty years too late.

“You know, I pitched you guys in 1999. On Sand Hill Road. One of the founding partners. Kleiner, I think. The guy ate a salad all through my slide-deck. When I was done, he wiped his mouth, looked over my shoulder, and told me he didn’t think I’d scale. That was it. He didn’t even pick up my business card. When I looked back as I was going out the door, I saw his sweep it into the trash with the wrapper from his sandwich.”

The VC — young, with the waxy, sweaty look of someone who ate a lot of GM yogurt to try to patch his biochemistry — shook his head. “That wasn’t us. We’re a franchise — based here in LA. I just opened up the Inglewood branch. But I can see how that would have soured you on us. Did you ever get your VC?”

Rated G. Contains Byzantine finance and potentially disturbing art.

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Comments (58)

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  1. Rachael says:

    It’s too bad. The story seems excellent, and Fizwater is charming and engaging to listen to. Unfortunately, I couldn’t follow her either. Perhaps if she’d spoken slower?

    Can’t wait to read more of Cory’s stuff!

  2. Howie Feltersnatch says:

    This “story” (if “story” is an appropriate word to describe a transcript of a one-sided conversation about outre technical aspects of the VC community) was so bad it could be used as a torture means in GTMO. The reading was terrible. At first I thought it was being read by a 1980’s-era voice synthesizer. Not only was the story impenetrable, but the accent of the reader was too, requiring loads of concentration to decipher lines like, “Wanna the fawndeeng pawrtnurrs, Kloinuh oi theenk,” was too much for me.


  3. tenacitus says:

    I could not understand a thing the lady said I know to stay away from anything read by Amanda SonofWater in the future

  4. [...] Escape Pod 133: Other People’s Money by Cory Doctorow [...]

  5. sarah says:

    Man, I’m from New Zealand too, and I couldn’t follow her. I think it was the erratic pacing and the fact that she was PUTting the emPHASis on THE wrong sylLABes.

  6. [...] the end of Escape Pod podcast, number 133: Sincerity is the key to success. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it [...]

  7. [...] “Other People’s Money” by Cory Doctorow at [...]

  8. Jake Nordstrom says:

    Catching up on archived stuff, so this post is way after the fact. The accent quite simply is unacceptable. I.e., The BBC has apparently changed (2010) its policy — originally instituted no doubt in the name of British political solidarity — of allowing broad regional accents. There’s no sense making the great majority of listeners struggle. You don’t hear people in the US narrate anything in a thick Brooklyn accent. This was to my mind a very bad production lapse in an otherwise extremely outstanding podcast series.