Just like so many other days in my life, I awoke a few mornings ago with an idea for a revolutionary new business buzzing around in that entrepreneurial head of mine. I couldn't shake it- it really seemed like a good idea, this idea of mine. One that I could make just gobs of money at, with relatively little work, of course. Sure, I'd need some money, quite a bit of money, actually, to get it started, but the idea was so strong that I was sure it would be no problem to get investors, advertisers, stockholders, etc. That was how strong this idea was.
Like many of my ideas for new businesses, this one latched onto what many would deem a cultural revolution, and it is well known that one of the easiest ways to get rich in this country is to piggyback something that has already made someone a ton of money. I could list a number of examples, but I'm sure you can come up with your own. I know where it came from, this idea of mine. I can pinpoint the exact few hours when, upon oversaturation on Myspace, my subconscious must have developed this stellar idea, and delivered it to me a number of days later, when it could break the idea down into manageable parts for my waking brain to digest and sort through.
Before the Christmas holidays, I spent a fair amount of time posting a comment on every person's page that I am "friends" with on Myspace. Granted, I do know, or at least am acquaintances with, almost every friend on my list in real life. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, I have had some sort of face-to-face interaction with everyone on the list. It is a modest list compared to what many myspacers deem "friend collectors," who have upwards of 10,000 friends, but individually going to 79 different people's sites and posting a comment is no small task. It probably took me about three hours over the course of two days to post my holiday greeting, which was also (in my self-promoting shame) a link to the very blog from which your eyes are now processing information.
I can take Myspace or leave it, all things told, and generally, I leave it. I am certainly not a Myspace junkie, and have probably never spent more time on it than the time I spent creating my profile when I joined the site a couple of years or so ago. In fact, a testament to my previous statement is evident in the statement itself: if I truly was a Myspace junkie, I would know how long I've been a member of the site- it says in one of the upper corners on one's profile when you signed on. I don't know. I don't give a shit.
My point is this- all this time on Myspace affected my brain. It gave me this idea, and the more I tried to shake the idea, the more the idea gave me. I mean, I could come up with a reason that it wouldn't work, and then the idea would come back with five reasons why it would so definitely work. I even tried to, while acquiesing to the idea that it was indeed a good idea, dismiss the idea by telling it that no matter how good an idea it was, the loftiness of trying to set up such an idea with this insanely massive website was at best ludicrous, and at worst an idiotic waste of time, time that would be better spent doing anything else on the internet, like clicking on Free ipod ads.
My idea would not be swayed. Knowing that Rupert Murdoch, media mogul, just purchased Myspace from a young Internet start-up guy named Tom for some absurd figure like 500 million dollars, my idea convinced me that it was so good at what it does, which incidentally is nothing more than simply being, that it was so revolutionary and novel, that, if executed properly, would make Myspace to online friending what Google is to online everythinging. This is not to say that Myspace has not already surpassed any and every other "personals" site, but this idea would push it that much further ahead of the pack.
My idea convinced me to push forward in spite of my personal insecurities, and to contact the man, the myth, the Tom of Myspace with my idea. When I resolved to actually go through with it, to actually approach this newly rich man with my partner, the idea, I was wholly unaware of the massive process I was about to undertake. Normally on Myspace, if you want to send someone a message, you simply go to their site, click on "Send Message," and spout nonsense to your heart's content. Not so with Tom, Myspace Guru. You have to understand: Everybody's friends with Tom. He's your friend automatically when you sign up for Myspace. You have no choice in the matter. In fact, when I signed up, there were about three people that I added as my friends at first. I also had this strange Tom fellow, whom I did not know at all. A few days later, I had six or eight friends. Having grown confident in my ability to assimilate into web-based friendships, I hastily deleted Tom from my friends list. I had no idea who this asshole was in California, but he certainly wasn't my friend. "Hats off for creating this website, but I don't owe you nothin', buddy."
The next time I checked my Myspace page, it showed that I had -2 friends. While I thought this was quite hilarious, and as much as I wish it still said that, that gives you a pretty good idea as to how powerful this Tom fellow is.
When I finally summoned the courage to send a message to Tom, the process of actually being able to send him an email was akin to walking through a labryinth made of moist sand while a light breeze blows from the southeast, and also while the earth below is pushing the sand beneath your feet up in quick, rectangular motions, creating more walls to replace the ones that have just been blown away by the southerly breeze on your back. It's damn near impossible. I could outline the various avenues and cul-de-sacs I encountered in my attempts to get a simple outline of a sure-to-be multi-million dollar business to this man, but you get the idea: it was fucking hard. Like crossing a channel during low tide, it took timing. Like being allowed past an airport security checkpoint with a spiked belt, it took finesse. Like listening to a speech by Alan Greenspan, it took skill. Like running a speakeasy during Prohibition, it took moxie! Somehow, the stars aligned, and there I was- a blinking cursor the only thing between me and Tom.
I outlined my idea- a quick sketch, yes, but definitely enough information to really sell the idea, who by this point was raring to go.
While typing my email, I began to get paranoid. I can't say exactly why, but I think it has a lot to do with not trusting the Fox corporation for shit. Just to safeguard myself, I copied and pasted my message to Tom and sent it to all my various email addresses. I pasted it into Microsoft Word and printed out a paper copy. I even went so far as to use my digital camera to photograph my computer screen, complete with the time and date, not only on the screen, but also on my camera's display.
I mean, we're talking about a great idea here!
Just think of it- the very first .com based taxi company, exclusively for its own members! Not only that, but FREE for its own members! Sure, non-members could ride too, but they'd have to pay regular fare! And they'd still be riding all over town in a giant billboard! And hmm, don't you think they'd sign up for a free Myspace account when they got home so that they too could participate in the free rides, thereby driving even more business to Myspace's advertisers? Well, fuck yeah, they would!
Although still insecure and unconfident in my idea, who by now was beaming with joy while simultaneously threatening to "slap the shit outta me" if I didn't hurry up and send it off, I took a deep breath and pressed 'Send.'
And that was pretty much that.
A few days went by, and nothing came back. No one took the bait. No one cared. I began gaining confidence in my surefire inconfidence, and began chiding my idea, who had slowly deflated in the quiet few days. My idea couldn't believe it. It had the look of a small town girl who just found out that her boyfriend, the star quarterback for her high school football team, The Lightningjackets, had just broken his neck while diving for a first down, and would be a paraplegic from now on.
Knowing the best time to prove a point was when my idea was at its' lowest, I scolded it for not only making an attempt at such a lofty and clearly unattainable goal, but for using me as its' pawn. "That was what hurt the most," I told it.
My idea stopped talking. It pretty much sulked in the corner of my bedroom, and kicked at cat hair. I saw a light in its' eye at one point, when it appeared to be making some sort of structure out of cat hair and dirt. "Don't," I told my idea. "I don't need another mouth to feed, much less hear."
Then I checked my email.
All the emails I sent myself- they were gone. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Myspace. All. Gone.
I ran to my desk. Where was the fucking paper copy?! I stopped, turned, searched my room frantically. 'Where's my camera?' A sinking feeling, especially as that was a birthday gift from my sweetheart, and a really expensive one at that. Relief. There it was on my dresser, right where I left it. The only proof I had left. I turned on the camera, getting the USB cable ready to download my screenshots onto a disc I could keep on my person at all times until I had this mess sorted out.
Pressed the Review button.
This is what I found.
Someone help me, please. I need a lawyer.
If you don't believe me, go here.