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True story: Father and daughter designed a new Internet company. After two years of work, they were struggling to find funding while simultaneously cutting deals with some huge companies. The huge companies, while assholes, will not be named, 'cause I hate courtrooms. Then, grace of graces, they got an Investment Banker, who told them for six weeks that all they had to do was secure an agreement with one of the big companies, and the investment bankers would subsequently fund their project. Or find funding, if necessary. All the phone calls were optimistic. Everybody was going to get rich.

So the family business kept chugging, with everybody working full-time day-jobs on top of the business, and nobody getting paid, and people generally hustling like mad for, like I said, about six more weeks.

Six weeks later, the team got their term letter from Huge Company A. They had a deal, at least for marketing, sales, distribution and equipment. Now all they needed was a fucking salary and they were off. Hurriedly, they sent the terms letter to the investment bankers, and later, all the other butt-wild information they ended up wanting.

Today, the investment bankers--I guess I could tell you their name but what good would it do?--called to say they were ditching the project. What was a great idea that just needed the support of one Huge Company was now "too big a project and would tie up too many resources".

I feel bad for these guys; the father and daughter, that is. They worked their asses off and got screwed by a bunch of dishonest weasles. The whole family is also severely in debt now. I guess they still have a chance, because huge companies B and C still want to do their idea, and they do have the patent. But this isn't just about them, because everybody gets screwed like this. It's just that those of us smart enough to stay away from corporate scum can sometimes avoid hearing it in person.

Protect yourself. Stay at least five feet back from the bars on the FatCat's cage. Don't prod it; it only *says* it'll help you. It's just trying to get you in biting distance, that's all.

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