Summit At Sea? Or #GodsOfFraud Afloat on the High Sexist Seas?
November 12, 2015
Summit at Sea, is an elite invitation-only, three-day cruise event off the coast of Miami for networking with founders and CEOs; and, Anneke Jong Co-Founder, Elevation Partners is apparently a huge advocate if you’re a good fit. It’s tough not to laugh at the off-the-charts-smug in Ms. Jong’s comment and even tougher not to laugh for anyone who’s worked with successful “founders.”
The idea that Silicon Valley elite founders of startups want to share information with a giving heart to help humanity is the exact opposite of what you’ll find from 99% of successful startup founders. Oh, they’ll want an event named after them, be it a summit, talk, or forum, but it’s purely ego driven, often used to avoid taxes, but not information driven. It is about the image of an event without the actual substance of an event. It’s usually also about preying on people who are enamored with the lure of startup founders, CEO’s and billions without really knowing the truth about startups.
Startup founders, CEOs & engineers are notoriously secretive and paranoid, and with good reason, many are #GodsOfFrauds, who essentially stole someone else’s idea (or intellectual property IP). Take The Social Network, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s tale of lack of ethics in relation to IP and regard for the legal system as an example that’s encouraged, replicated and rewarded and oh yeah so is the fraud. Yes, Zuckerberg is a billionaire but he’s also a fraud. This site often encourages readers to take the billion-dollar blinders off and look at the facts.
The Menlo Park, CA-based medical device startup Acclarent co-founded by Josh Makower and John Chang, that I worked for, was notoriously secretive and again with good and similar reasons. Chang, outside of co-founding was listed as the engineer, and told me “a paranoid engineer is a good engineer,” and we were
threatened warned as reps to never talk about products in development to anyone outside the company. Chang, Makower, and CEO William (Bill) Facteau were sued while at Acclarent for patent infringement and settled out of court. While working with me, Chang explained that when Acclarent got the patent for sinus balloon technology he made sure it was the only device of its type allowed to enter through the natural orifice, meaning no other similar device could enter through the nose’s natural openings without patent infringement. At the time I thought it was paranoid brilliance at its best.
Hindsight and fact-based evidence showed that Acclarent’s patent infringement case, where they were sued and settled out of court, for a balloon used in the eye duct or lacrimal duct they appropriated for sinuses, tainted the notion of paranoid brilliance and demonstrated a pathological history of encouraging, replicating and rewarding unethical and illegal behavior which recently landed then Acclarent CEO William (Bill) Facteau & VP of Sales and Training Patrick (Pat) Fabian in federal cuffs, arrested & indicted on 18 counts of fraud . And oh yes, these paranoid men created an ego-driven forum in their own honor.
Acclarent, where I was one of eight women to 73 men, sold to Johnson & Johnson for $785 million making it one of the most successful medtech startups acquisitions and me certainly qualified to speak of fraud and sexism, both of which I endured while working for a successful startup. Jong is an attractive woman, who I’m sure she didn’t feel excluded in the least by the boys club of Summit. It’s not a stretch then that the Silicon Valley of the high seas, the
Sexism Summit at Sea, won’t view most of the women invited to this event as equals but rather targets for amusement & entertainment (please tell me women didn’t have to submit pictures with their invitations, like at The Playboy Mansion), or that women were provided discounted tickets to up the chick to dude ratio. That certainly would be insulting & demeaning and equivalent to a fraternity party mentality, and not business executives.
Summit at Sea, a TED Talk with a shuffleboard on the Lido Deck or Burning Man with a shower, or Julia Allison sporting business casual resort wear?
Summit at Sea featured speakers include the not yet convicted future felon Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, convicted felon Martha Stewart and the biggest bully in the business world, ethically challenged Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management. Yep, so far the Summit at Sea is looking pretty much like an image focused, victim-driven, floating fraud.
The upside the Summit at Sea or Summit Series* founded in 2008 by Elliott Bisnow, Brett Leve, Jeff Rosenthal, Jeremy Schwartz, and Ryan Begelman does appear to have some standards, Justine Musk & Randi Zuckerberg aren’t speaking about riding government subsidies or famous brother’s coattails to achieve billions; but, again Julia Allison’s costume changes will likely have many yelling “Men overboard!”