Feb 8, 2017

The reality distortion field.

A few years back I got dragged into something...

So, I was approached by someone who wanted me to work with them on developing a game for the BlackBerry, true story (the woman I was seeing at the time was in on all of this and sarcastically began referring to the person as ‘The King’ so for the purposes of making things clear in our sordid tale I’ll use that sobriquet to refer to the person in question).

And I was flattered and all because The King is a very talented individual who codes like there is no tomorrow so this wasn’t some kind of pie in the sky thing, it was something which had a real possibility of coming to fruition.

But the more I talked to The King the more apparent what The King really needed was a surrogate because the employment contract The King had with The King’s employer laid claim to any software The King wrote and The King’s wife worked for the same company.

Now, I pointed this out and was willing to do it as a favor without being involved but the odd thing was that wasn’t enough The King, no I had to go along on the crazy train with him. I was supposed to be a ‘full partner’ which meant there would be a delegation of work based around areas of expertise but what rapidly became apparent was in The King’s mind this meant The King delegating tasks and having final say in everything.

Again, I pointed out I would be just as happy to be The King’s proxy if that was what The King needed and I didn’t have to be involved if The King was a one man show but that just elicited more noise about ‘partnership.’

Not too long after the whole ride started, this suddenly switched gears and became an iPhone game because The King suddenly got fascinated with the iPhone and wanted to buy one and learn all about the touch screen technology.


And the train kept moving along, and my name was used to secure some kind of Apple Developers license and I and taken steps to incorporate (laying out cash in the process) and secure domains and the like but through it all nothing I was trying to bring to the table was being in the least acknowledged even though my expertise in those areas was greater and I felt we were missing out (and consequently on a road to failure).

I should also point out that while I had known The King for a long time, my friendship had been primarily with The King’s wife

Now, through all of this unbeknownest to me... 
 *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
 Wow! This is really, really old!

I know the events happened way, way back in ’08 or ’09 and I must}ve written this a bit after.

The King as I was referring to him in this passage has had an interesting road in the years since. As I had said, my friend is really The King’s wife and he almost succeeded in destroying that friendship but I have to give credit to my friend because she went out of here way to make sure we stayed friends and it wasn’t as if we hadn’t fought over this and had words back and forth after but somehow we are still good friends today.

If you can imagine, I still have not spoken to the King since and have no plans to. This even though my friend has tried to smooth things over and the King himself acts as is nothing happened.

What was interesting however was that all the while this was going on, I was not the only proxy the King was leading along, he managed to rope another rof my friend’s close friend’s in on the whole thing and deep down I have to wonder if it wasn’t a way to isolate his wife - it’s not something I would put past him because he’s someone with serious control issues.

Now after using my friend for his proxy, the King did release three games that promptly went nowhere. The King, he’s a smart guy when it comes to coding and all but when it comes to marketing and understanding the customer he really is clueless. He just figures he’ll build something and because he’s good at what he does everyone will come running.

A little while after the game thing went nowhere, the King came up with his next brilliant idea to get rich. This involved a laser light. He had designed and built a laser light and marketed it but again it hadn’t really gotten the attention he had hoped.

Then, he found out about KickStarter and the real trouble began.

I say real trouble but actually it was something that provided me with endless hours of enjoyment...

See, genius here had this other idea for a different kind of laser lamp similar to the one he had already designed, built and marketed but the hook here was that it would operate on a different frequency and put out a different color light. He wrote glowing copy about how great it was and how different it would be from any other laser light out there and the suckers lined up.

Very quickly, he raised over $500,000! Amazing! So much money in such a short time! Astounding!

Then the problems began...

See, he had promised to actually deliver these doo dads to people for supporting the project and he now had over 7,300 people who had supported the project and were expecting these things. He started the fundraising in March and promised a July delivery date.


Let’s also say that the King DOES NOT like to be questioned or challenged. Seriously, I saw the guy have a meltdown once because my friend bought a paper towel holder and placed it on the counter of their kitchen. Even today I am reminded of this Joan Crawford like moment and it draws guffaws.

Well, the road here began an over year long odyssey for our friend the King that taxed him, his wife, their family because although genius had managed to get rich quick he also put himself in a bad position because his name and the company’s reputation were on the line.

I believe that what was shipped of the doo dads managed to get shipped out in February of the following year a 7 months later than promised and that was even if people got the thing of which quite a few didn’t and were made as hornets about it.

Not that the people that got the thing were any happier because the brilliantly conceived and designed invention by our friend the King managed to work anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours after its receipt after which it broke and became a very expensive piece of shit.


Now, when you have over 7,000 people expecting something and you fail to deliver the question becomes how good at you at smoothing things out and diffusing the situation.

The King is not good at these things.

And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

While he may have made some money on the deal, my thought is that he made nowhere near as much as he thought he would once he factored in the expense of making each of the damn things and then fulfillment never mind that incredible amount of aggravation and stress involved for the entire year of this odyssey.

I talked to my friend the other day, genius tried on another crowdfunding website after this fiasco on Kickstarter where he ultimately was forced to close his account. Needless to say given his record on Kickstarter he didn’t make the funding goal for the next project and last I heard although he is working on another ‘great idea.’ It doesn’t appear the money is readily flowing in given his track record.

Into every life some rain must fall.

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