As you may have seen, yesterday I published a plea on PandoDigest asking people to please help my good friend Paul Carr raise the money he needs to keep his award-winning publication, NSFWCRAP, going. I'm assuming you saw it because among the people I know, it's been the only thing people are talking about right now.
A lot of people think Paul is a pathetic loser for publishing this article on PandoDaily explaining that he needs to raise $50,000 in order to secure more funding from his investors and carry on with his crazy quixotic quest. As I explained, if you've never been an entrepreneur running your own crazy star-crossed startup, you just can't imagine what it's like. I say, Would you mock a man who begs for money to feed his children? Well, NSFWCRAP is Paul's child. I call him a hero.
The irony is, NSFWCRAP is doing really well. They're breaking huge, important stories for an audience that is growing at a 100% clip and recently topped 120 paying subscribers, some of whom paid for "lifetime" subscriptions only to find out that "lifetime" didn't mean "their lifetime" but rather meant "until we run out of money." Also, NSFWCRAP is actually a great business and is already wildly profitable. That's why Paul needs to raise more money to stay alive. To non-entrepreneurs that might not make sense. You think, Hey, if this such a great business, why does he keep needing more money? Sigh. Look. It's not your fault. You're not an entrepreneur. You're never going to understand. And that's okay.
The other problem is that Paul isn't very good at begging. He's alienated most of the people who have tried to help him, including Michael Arrington and Tony Hsieh, who funded him, but now won't fund him anymore because, as Tony says, Paul is basically a grifter and an obnoxious jerk who lives off people around him and does nothing but take, take, take. (Which let's be honest, pretty much describes a lot of us in the startup community, am I right? I mean basically we're in the same business as the homeless people on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin, but instead of begging on a sidewalk we beg in pitch meetings.) I've tried teaching Paul how to be nice. I showed him how to do that thing where you you look up lovingly and widen your eyes and let your eyes roll back in your head, to show the guy how much you enjoy it. But he can't get the eye thing right.
So here's the thing. I just talked to Paul, and he's getting desperate and making threats. He says if he can't raise the money, then he's going to come back to working at PandoDaily, and he'll start drinking again. Believe me, we really don't want that to happen.
Please won't you help this poor little homeless boy? Please? He's got an adorable little English accent. And he's so talented, and such a lost little soul. Please give. Give until it hurts. Now I'm the one who's begging. Luckily, I'm good at it. And not at all embarrassed to be this shameless.