Who Wants to Be An Internet Millionaire?

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Who Wants to Be an Internet Millionaire?—the show that combines the glamour of the Internet wealth with all the difficulty of a television game show. I’m your host Regis Philbin. Do you have what it takes to be an Internet millionaire? Let’s find out.

One of the lucky—excuse me—visionary contestants in our cubicle pit will have the chance to beome a millionaire tonight. And not just any kind of millionaire, but an Internet millionaire.

One of these gentlemen, oh excuse me Miss Simpson, will put these four things in the correct order and win a chance to come up to the center IPO circle and become an Internet Millionaire.

Here’s the question: In what order did these companies pirate the graphic user interface from one another?

Microsoft SRI Apple Xerox PARC

And our winner is Herman Pitzel with the slowest time of 1 minute, 13 seconds.

That’s right Pitzel, Parc snagged it from SRI, then Apple copied PARC, then Microsoft lifted it off Apple and actually made it profitable. Congratulations Mr. Pitzel! But remember, as you move up to the center IPO circle, you don’t want to be weighed down with the history of technology or innovation in this fast-moving Internet world.

Here is your first question:

If you’re not cut out to be a founder and you’re trying to hit the big time, do you:

  1. Pick four companies likely to be bought and work for each of them for one year each. In other words, become a serial vester
  2. become an independent consultant and take stock in as many companies as possible
  3. day trade in your abundant spare time after your 80 hour work week designing business-to-business ecommerce sites
  4. go into PR and marry a CEO

Excellent job Herman. All are good choices, but D is obviously the most time-effective.

Next question. To a venture capitalist, a dog merger is:

  1. when their pet dog humps the neighbours dog
  2. a joint venture between two pet portals
  3. a beanie babie
  4. merging two throw-away investments and selling them to an international company

That’s right Herman, D again! Oh, those poor unsuspecting international companies. Valley entrepreneurship is one place where you can take two wrongs and make a right. OK Herman, next question. You’re a CEO. You’ve got $250,000 left in the bank and your monthly burn rate is $300,000. Do you:

  1. scrimp to make payroll
  2. get a loan
  3. promise AOL $17 million for exclusive placement on their site
  4. buy a Ferrari

Exactly, D again! Appearing like you haven’t a care in the world is the best way to secure investment.

Fantastic! You’re at the $36,000 level Herman. But that’s nothing but grade school tuition to you Internet types. Are you going to take it and leave like a weak-kneed quitter?”

“No, Regis. I’m not leaving anything on the table. Let’s go for all the clams.”

“Alright then, here we go. Again, as a CEO, you are having difficulty raising a second round of funding, do you:

  1. get the company logo redesigned
  2. change the entire focus of the company
  3. take out a superbowl ad
  4. kick the founders out of the company and use their unvested shares to hire someone who was once a senior manager at a company that Yahoo bought”

“It’s seems too strange that every answer would be D, but I’m going to go with D again, Regis”

“Final answer Herman?

“Yes I’m sure”

“Well, congratulations Herman, you’re an Internet Millionaire! What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to be a venture capitalist.”

Regis turns back to the audience:

“Thank you and good night ladies and gentlemen. Please stay tuned for our next program: “Start up Widow,” where one lucky fiancée will get her founder beau to commit to marriage without a pre-nup. The winner will have her wedding right here on our stage.”