So, we are leaving stealth mode, and I am really excited! It has been an incredible six months since I ran into Mike on BART, and I could have never have known that we would be introducing RichClowd to world today (check out the press release)! While I could just rehash what all the social media sites are abuzz about, I thought I would give a first hand account of how we arrived to today.
Basically, we’ve created the next step in what we’ve referred to internally as the “status quo-tation”. Given our team members’ various backgrounds in intellectual property, social justice, free culture and being constantly invited to pre-launch niche startup sites, we found ourselves wondering how we could cater to a demographic in an area (the Bay Area, specifically) that is literally and figuratively saturated with ideas, and the money being thrown at them.
At this point I have to mention that I was about to have my first kid, and the rest of the team were in their own personal early-to-mid-to-slightly-pass-mid crises. With our initial round of investment nearly gone (we had all thrown in $25), we started losing some prominent members. Evan had to split, something about jump-starting the the Silicon River Valley. Dave left about half an hour later, muttering something about making it in domain reselling; he didn’t pay for his portion of the pizza. It seemed that in one night we lost a lot of historically talented people. It was a huge blow to our
portfolio image ego morale.
I remember going out to get some fresh air and seeing Mike outside, smoking one of his signature cigars. He was just gazing up at the hills. I can’t recall verbatim our exchange, but it was something like, “d00d, they must have an awesome view up there!”. Mike looked at me, pulled out his mobile and immediately rang up Jimbo, Joi and Jon (in that order, he is fascinating that way), and told them to pick up some extra booze! We had found our niche, and I knew then that I had just witnessed a historical moment!
That night we didn’t get much done, but the next day, right there next to the empty pizza boxes, mostly drunk bottles of tequila, and a wrecked foosball table, we got busy, really thinking about how we could help the wealthy with what they needed. Security, nutrition, access to healthcare. These needs were all met, or were being worked on by others in the private sector. As we narrowed in on how to best serve this key demographic, we found that there was an abundance of human quirks that weren’t being exploited: status, guilt, and eccentricity, just to name a few!
Once we had extensively mind-mapped our key vectors of action, we only had one last thing to figure out: the name! Thumbing through magazines and old videos posted on YouTube, it became apparent that our bias was coming through. Not only had we forgotten to invite any women, we were still being heavily influenced by our shared hobby of creating vanity rap videos. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I think I speak for everyone in expressing how lucky we were of dropping our codename of Girls Around Me. Fortunately, we were keeping our notes in my instance of ownCloud, someone noticed it, and a few iterations later we had our name!
More details are going to come out in the following weeks, and while we are really excited, we are still in pre-launch. That means nothing to our target clientèle, of course, most of whom have already heard of us and invested from the sacred back halls of power that we call Mountain View coffee shops. I am personally going to spend some time getting to know my nearly six-month old child, and hopefully sleep for a whole night before going to our new offices in the former Borders, near the 4th Street Caltrain. Being strategically placed in SoMa, we may well become known as the third point of the Power Startup Triangle in San Francisco, along with GitHub and Twitter.
It is always exciting to be a part of something that will change the way we think about money and wealth, but it is a personal achievement to walk into my office tomorrow and see my name and job title on the door plate: maiki interi, director of vertical acquisition and octagonal integration
I made sure it was all lowercase!