I’ll be the Sean Parker to your Mark Zuckerberg

Sean-Parker_Mark-Zuckerberg

When I was in my 20s, I met Gk Parish-Philp, a co-founder of DivX. I asked him how to get investors for my startup. He said, “You don’t want investors. They’ll take too much control.”

“That can’t happen to me,” I thought.

Years later, when I was getting forced out of a successful company that I started, I realized Gk was right.

I hired attorney Adam Bloom. I asked him, “Why does Mark Zuckerberg get to run his company?” Adam explained that Mark Zuckerberg’s paperwork was founder-friendly. Mine… not so much.

Adam and I tried to liquidate my holdings, but the investors wouldn’t cooperate. I couldn’t compete or I could lose my equity. I was stuck.

Then I realized I wasn’t alone. The same thing happened to Steve Jobs at Apple. Sean Parker at Plaxo.

Sean Parker is interesting because after being forced out of Plaxo, he met the young Mark Zuckerberg. Sean helped Mark come up with an uncommon answer to a question that often causes entrepreneurs (me included) to get pushed out of their companies.


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This story appears in the appendix of Grays Sports Almanac for Venture Capital, available November 21, 2018.

Eisaiah Engel (author) and book going into a wormhole to represent time travel.