BYOND Headquarters is currently located in a 150 square-foot office in downtown Costa Mesa. This office resides in a building that is shared by other entreprenuerial types. None of them knows what I do.
When I first interviewed with the office manager, I told him that the gaming system we have developed is mainly used by teenagers, and that one of my ambitions was to turn this into an educational tool for kids. Now everytime he introduces me to anyone he says "This is Tom... he works with children." Since that sounds more noble than my actual job (sitting in front of a computer all day), I haven't bothered correcting him.
One of the other office mates was very curious as to the workings of an Internet business, so I told him a bit about our financial model and future plans. I said that we offer a subscription service that activates certain features within the website. I also said that I was hoping to eventually capture more of the adult market, since in theory the software should appeal to an older crowd too.
I realized shortly thereafter that a "subscription" to something in the "adult market" doesn't make this business sound very wholesome! Especially if the second guy talks with the first guy and learns that I (allegedly) work with children all day. So if you hear about someone getting busted for operating a kiddie porn website in Costa Mesa, please inform the police that it's all a big misunderstanding!
But back to our story. Every Friday night, just as I am just getting into the coding groove (that statement is depressing even to write down), faint music invariably comes drifing into the office space. Last week, curious, I decided to investigate the source. As it turns out my office is a block away from a hip yuppie bar, and on Friday nights they have a live band.
"I am SO there!" I declared, trying to sound as hip and yuppie as possible (even though I was the only one left in the office, everyone else having busy social lives, the bastards.) Unfortunately this occurred on one of the three days a year it rains in California so I got rather soaked on the journey over. Moreover, I somehow managed to rip my coat whilst fiddling with the zipper. Despite all of the hardship, I covered those 100 feet in good time. Yes!
Due to the band, the bar had a cover charge. Now, that's no big deal, but I wanted to at least check it out a bit first. So I angled around the side and looked into the window to get a better view. Envision if you will, me in my hippie haircut glory, soaked and in tattered clothes. One of the patrons on the other side of the window actually tried to "shoo" me away... he must have thought I was a homeless guy! Thinking quickly, I reached into my wallet to pull out a wad of cash-- that would show him who earns the big bucks around here-- but realized I had blown it all on a recent casino trip (goddammit!) So I pulled out my American Express Blue Cash card. With the rain and all (actually at this point it was hailing... ouch!) I don't think he saw it, so I just gave him a mean glare. Then I went home; the stupid bar wouldn't take my Blue Cash anyway.
You may have won this battle, hip yuppie, but the war has just begun!
Mar 12 2006, 8:16 pm