Michael Arrington admitted at the 2009 Davos conference that he "partied" with Chad for years before "the YouTube thing" ... ironic that he would be the only media contact who would write about me. I contacted probably two dozen different news outlets before one bit, and the one that did was in bed with my enemies.
So, it's 2008 and they finally put me in the press. I had spent most of 2006 trying to contact Chad and Steve. I waited until after the sale to get back in touch. Congrats guys, now what about that 1%? I'm met with harsh resistance. I leave voice mails on Chad and Steve's VMB. I send letters throughout 2007. Finally, in November, 2007, I post a series of videos complaining about everything from YouTube to Scientology to money culture and the U.S. government.
I started calling law firms in 2005. At first, attorneys told me to wait until after the sale. Then, they were wishy-washy on proving the fraud aspect of the case. One told me to wait to "see if it got big" ... so I took his advice - the only advice that wasn't "get me $50000". Some didn't believe me - or it was a shock to them. Why would some kid in Pittsburgh call our offices about a company based in California? Is this even real? Some told me they felt bad for me. Others, told me they were busy or didn't handle those sorts of cases. They wished me luck. I waited.
In 2007, without word from Chen or Hurley, I called Sergey Brin and Larry Page's voicemail and left a honey-coated message: "Hi, this is Herb Gilliland, and I've got an idea for Google that is going to change everything. Give me a call."
Sergey called back - it took a little time, maybe a week or two - and we had an ultrafast conversation where he rebuffed my claims and then, eventually, believed me. We rapped about Richard Branson and the Virgle idea, TEXTp, and yes - thanks to my suggestion - you were all rickrolled in 2008. [Note: I wanted to link you to an article about how TEXTp was leaked in 2007, but it's mysteriously missing from Google search results since the April Google logo polishing.]
Now, it was 2008. I got frustrated. I called Sequoia Capital and argued with the receptionist. She told me I was a sucker for sharing the idea. She balked at my accusations and told me smugly that they [Sequoia investors] were real rich because of "those guys" ... I called back and snuck through to Roelof Botha. He said he would have helped me if I hadn't have said that. I asked him if he actually meant that and he said he wouldn't have helped me either way. He apologized. At least he was kind enough to do that. Finally, I wrote a late-night email to TechCrunch, not knowing I was approaching one of Chad's personal contacts.
Apparently, it's a small town in Silicon Valley.
Theme song for this post: Black Sabbath: Electric Sheep