2 min read

on upstate interactive

may 2021 my father died. died choking on his dinner. my mother did all she could then she called 911. 911 did all they could. it was in the height of the plague.

the people i work with are the closest people to me in the world. they know it when they work with me and more than that they feel it.

after his death and with the world on lockdown i grew distant from my business partners. my employee, neighbor, friend Kristen Ingrid Johanns became the unintended and unexpected closest confidant i had.

i made my mistake, sending an overly pathetic resignation letter, i followed that with a commitment to Kseniya that i would not discuss the deliberations among the business owners of upstate interactive with the employees.

Kristen is a single mother, brilliant executive and trusting woman. in a moment between her and kseniya she shared the despair and downness i was dealing with. Kseniya took this as betrayal of my commitment.

at the time Doug had been frothing at the wallet, the prospect of buying out my ownership was tantalizing. he had a problem, he thought i was smarter than him. i had a problem, everyone who knew us both agreed with him. Kseniya was convinced and Zoe went along, with Doug’s idea that i had been plotting, scheming and strategizing.

upstate interactive and those three spent upwards of twenty thousand us dollar in legal fees negotiating the purchase of my share. i spent one thousand. i negotiated what i could and left with a fine sum for my efforts.

along the way i had one option to leave the company in as best a position as i could given  my pending absence. Kseniya, who my book is dedicated to, my best friend at the time. Zoe, who i am unsure if i feared how much i loved her or loved how much i feared her. Doug was, and our lawyer Mark Wladis and i agreed on this, the nicest man. i sent an email to all our customers, advisors and employees calling him a c!?t. of course, everyone banded around him and stayed together for as long as they had to.

soon after, upstate interactive shut down. the remaining owners took jobs with a customer, foundry digital, and most of the employees did as well. some of the existing customers, like our largest, received ongoing service during the shut down.

when i failed my company i vowed on my father’s memory to never fail again. and i will honor his memory.

do i think i’ll ever talk to any of my former business partners again?

hope springs eternal.