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Beautiful Teams by Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman

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The Blitz, or "Break's Over, Boys, Don't Just Lie There Gettin' a Suntan…"

Earlier in 2000, we signed our biggest deal with Succubus Corp., a major gas utility. Phase I would be implementing existing functionality. VPC had helped as a reference, but I'm guessing it was the wildly optimistic promises, timelines, and budget-friendly price of Phase II that sealed the deal. The thinking was that we might not make any money, but they'd cover the development costs. Then we'd starting making the big bucks, or at least that was the thinking. Weeks earlier, we had an event to celebrate the "merging and e-merging" of our company. We would be joining forces with a virtual company that controlled our IP and was bankrolled by a real estate company. Hedley would leverage the parent company's credit to swing a sublet of Alcoa's former headquarters on the 52nd floor of the second-tallest building downtown. The mayor, who was on hand to say a few words, seemed to be a bit suspicious of our projected revenues of $250 million in just a few years, and paused a moment for a sideways glance as he spoke the numbers. A number of recently bestselling books will attest to the many pitfalls of scaling up even the most successful small companies. But reality was never a significant input to planning decisions, so why should we let it start interfering now?

The Candygram System's current incarnation was able to handle basic customer functions and retail product and services billing. In Phase II, we had agreed ...

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