Re: [BarCampLA] about Fundable, its demise, and what comes next

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Sean Bonner

Jan 1, 2010, 8:51:05 PM1/1/10
Wow, this is the douchiest e-mail I've seen all day. And that is saying a lot.

Pro Tip: Pretty much the two worst things you can do when promoting
something are talk shit about previous partners, and talk shit about
other people with similar projects.

Also, if your new project is for mobile phone users in Portland, why
are you sending it to a group in Los Angeles?


On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 5:36 PM, John Pratt <> wrote:
> I used to run until a few months ago, when I decided to
> shut it down against the will of my business partner, who allowed some
> serious programming errors and customer service issues to take place
> without informing me.  The final straw was when he said, "John, you
> should sell your part of the business to me because the Austin Police
> department is thinking about filing charges against Fundable.  Get out
> while you can."  That's when I shut down the credit card processing
> and took the domain away from him.
> For those of you who insist on thinking that the truth always lies in
> between two accounts of a situation, I urge you to drop that misguided
> notion, especially for this situation.
> I feel that this story is important to tell you because
> copied us.  I tried for 4 years to get people to take
> Fundable seriously, traveling across the country, even giving a
> presentation to FBFund, Facebook's fund to stimulate development of
> new apps.  It was a series of rejections for 4 years.  I really felt
> that I presented myself professionally in every business situation and
> I dressed appropriately and practiced my presentations.  That was not
> enough.   The idiots wanted us to show them charts with massive
> profits and widespread public acceptance so that they didn't have to
> take any risks.
> All it took was 5 super-connected people at Kickstarter (especially
> Andy Baio) to take a concept we worked hard to refine, tweak it with
> Amazon Payments, and then take credit.  You could say that that's
> capitalism, but I still think you should acknowledge people that you
> take inspiration from.  I do.  I owe the concept of Fundable to many
> things, including living in cooperative student housing and studying
> Political Science at Michigan.  Rational choice theory, tragedy of the
> commons, and collective action are a few political science concepts
> that are relevant to Fundable.
> Yes, Fundable had some technical and customer service problems.
> That's because we had no money to revise it.  I had plans to scrap the
> entire CMS and start from scratch with a new design.  We were just so
> burned out that motivation was hard to come by.  What was the point if
> we weren't making enough money to live on after 4 years?
> During those 4 years both of us had to take full-time jobs from time
> to time.  Neither of us were that well-connected in the tech community
> or Fundable would have grown a long time ago.  It wasn't for lack of
> trying to reach out to people.   The company was making barely enough
> money for us to cover expenses and pay ourselves on the side.  Our
> server space was donated during the entire 4 years.
> I cannot tell you how painful it is to watch 5 assholes take your idea
> and run with it and not even give you credit.  I hate all 5 of them
> for that.  If I see them, I may punch each one of them in the face.
> If you have never started your own company and then had someone else
> steal the credit for what you worked hard to develop, you don't
> understand.
> The Fundable/Kickstarter fundraising model matters.  It's huge.  It
> could change the development of funding the arts as well as the
> political process.  We had an idea of this 4 years ago, but it was
> very difficult to bridge theory to practice.  To be honest, I didn't
> even know if it was going to work most of the time and I sometimes
> wondered if I was wasting my time.  We laid the groundwork for
> Kickstarter to exist.  Don't forget that when you use it.  If you were
> in a similar situation, I would remind people of your contributions as
> well.
> If you have met me in L.A. and you dismissed Fundable before or you
> failed to return my calls or you flaked on me in person or just said,
> "oh that's a cool idea" and then left our conversation, don't make the
> same mistake this time with my new project, located at
> PDXCell is an entity that will produce a decentralized wireless phone
> service for the city of Portland, where I now live.  The goal is to
> establish a very low cost wireless system that provides quality
> unlimited internet access and local wireless phone service for around
> $10 month, very likely through WiMax.  That's the goal.
> The details can be found at  You are welcome to help, as
> this is not a web startup or a non-profit.  This project is not a
> startup.  It will require the collective desire of many people to make
> it come into being.  I think, however, that if you read the web page
> you will become and advocate.
> I got burned with Fundable in a lot of ways, but at those times I get
> a better perspective on the situation I am not very bitter because I
> realize how much I learned and how much I got to experience.  More
> importantly, all Kickstarter projects are Fundable projects, I just
> don't receive any money from them.  The Kickstarter founders know
> this.  The web community knows this.  Now you know this.
> I won't be making the same mistakes with PDXCell.
> Be a part of it.
> -John
> --
> BarCampLA Wiki:
> BarCampLA Blog:
> BarCampLA Group:

Sean Bonner - homebase - get local
Unless agreed upon, assume everything in this e-mail might be blogged.

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will jessup

Jan 1, 2010, 9:14:01 PM1/1/10
Holy crap - Don't even respond. Who can ban this asshole from the list?

On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 6:09 PM, John Pratt <> wrote:
Sean, what have you even accomplished?  No one cares what you think.

You are a troll.


Will Jessup
Managing Member
760 807 0850

Citrusbyte | Modern Web Development
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will jessup

Jan 1, 2010, 9:33:05 PM1/1/10
You get a gold star.

It really takes world class douchebaggery to embarrass yourself the way you continuously have over the years.

Now please, don't respond. You will just make yourself look more silly. Take a moment and reflect on how childish your ad hominem attacks are and try to be a better person - but don't tell me about it, or any of us, for that matter.


On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 6:16 PM, John Pratt <> wrote:
Go read your TechCrunch, jessup.  Memorize the following paragraph and spit it out at the next Barcamp:

blog. blog .blog. RSS feeds. semantic web.  cory doctorow. boing boing.  oreilly. CSS. HTML5 blog. blog .blog. RSS feeds. semantic web.  cory doctorow. boing boing.  oreilly. CSS. HTML5 blog. blog .blog. RSS feeds. semantic web.  cory doctorow. boing boing.  oreilly. CSS. HTML5 blog. blog .blog. RSS feeds. semantic web.  cory doctorow. boing boing.  oreilly. CSS. HTML5 blog. blog .blog. RSS feeds. semantic web.  cory doctorow. boing boing.  oreilly. CSS. HTML5 blog. blog .blog. RSS feeds. semantic web.  cory doctorow. boing boing.  oreilly. CSS. HTML5

Sean Bonner

Jan 1, 2010, 9:43:21 PM1/1/10

On Jan 1, 2010, at 6:09 PM, John Pratt <> wrote:

Sean, what have you even accomplished?  

Hmmm, good question. Well, for one I organized the first BarCamp in Los Angeles, and given that this is the BarCampLA mailing list I figure that counts for something. 


No one cares what you think.

You are a troll.


On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 7:51 PM, Sean Bonner <> wrote:

Michael Pusateri

Jan 1, 2010, 10:17:31 PM1/1/10
Hrrm, not sure what this has to to do with Los Angeles?  Or with BarCamp?  But I've got an open mind.

I'm sorry that you repeatedly make poor business decisions.  That sucks.

Back when I was on the Internet when it was just usenet and gopher, I thought of using it to send images as well (besides the alt.binaries, obv ) But that fucker Tim Berners-Lee stole my idea and actually built it.

I did review your site.

I'm an electrical engineer and help oversee television and radio broadcasting in addition to other technologies.  From what I read on your site, you have no real understanding of the complexity of starting a telecommunications company today considering the regulation and spectrum coordination required.  All for a phone that won't work outside of the city of Portland.

Enjoy becoming an ILEC.  Enjoy the FCC.  Enjoy the competition. 

Honestly, if you've got a real passion for this, try working for an existing telco, or a repeater installer,  for a bit and see what it's really like.  Also, a good therapist will help you work out your unresolved issues and anger.

Good luck, and never, ever post to this list again plz,

Lastly, I am friends with Andy and take personal offense to you trying to drag his name through the mud.  So please go fuck yourself with a pineapple.



will jessup

Jan 2, 2010, 1:41:00 AM1/2/10
FYI - couldn't let the group not see that this got on hacker news.

Serena Ehrlich

Jan 2, 2010, 12:00:08 PM1/2/10
Great mornin read.  Thanks, Will

Sent from my iPod


Jan 2, 2010, 5:38:59 PM1/2/10
to BarCampLA
I'm surprised John didn't mention RTMark, which had software to allow
people to pledge to fund art projects. There's also Kiva and the
Grameen Bank and some of those sites where you can lend money to

My gut feeling is that projects like Kickstarter are not really world-

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