Folks, we all have regrets, but few are as big as financial regret I have from 2005. Back before I became an obscure Internet writer on a website that rhymes with vagina if you have a busted lip, I helped run an Internet start-up. Remember all those stories from the dot com bubble? They’re true. I was a player briefly in the dot com bubble 2.0. It was like having Monopoly money: There was a lot of it, but it never felt real. It existed, but it wasn’t like you could ever touch it. And because it never felt real, through naivete and pure fucking stupidity, I engaged in a lot of day trading. It was like a game; you shifted what felt like fake money around. You couldn’t see it; it was just numbers on a computer screen. You’d buy something, hold onto it for an hour, a day, a month, or a year, and and sometimes, you’d get more fake money, and sometimes you’d lose it. I was really good at the Hollywood Stock Exchange, so I thought I could apply that same knowledge to Wall Street with an E*Trade account. In the end, it was mostly a wash, and considering how well the markets were doing at a time, a wash was a loss.
Anyway, the day of the Google IPO, I brazenly put down $80,000 on the stock, which was at the time valued at $60. About 10 minutes later, I realized what a schmuck I was and that it wasn’t actually fake money, I lost my nerve, and I sold. After commissions, I actually took a loss on the transaction.
Today, that stock is valued at $624.
That start-up would eventually go mostly belly-up and we lost almost all of our money, thanks to increased competition and some bad ideas (like creating a new blogging CMS when blogging was on its way out. Hey! Screw you, Twitter and Facebook). I’ve since sold my share of the Internet start-up in exchange for full ownership of Pajiba. That start up, in its fourth or fifth iteration now, recently picked up $5 million in venture capitol and is humming along nicely. In fact, my former business partner is killing. He’s got a lot of employees and a warehouse full of robots that do most of the work, while I run a pop culture website in which I’m forced to run obnoxious full-page ads.
But you know what? That’s not a trade-off I regret. In fact, every six months, my awesome former business partner offers me a lucrative position with his Internet company, and I always decline because there’s no fucking place I’d rather be than right here writing reviews and making up silly lists to help you all kill some time during the workday.
That story is 100 percent true.
And this is the trailer for Margin Call, which chronicles the final 24 hours of Lehman Brothers. It stars Zachary Quinto and Kevin Spacey. It opened to mixed reviews at Sundance earlier this year, and given the economic woes of the nation, I doubt anyone will care any more about this movie than the indulgent anecdote I shared above.