I was appropriately dressed (in blue and white stripes and a red purse) when I arrived at the Americana yesterday in preparation for a VIPC (very important phone call) with a VIP business founder. The Americana plays home to the beautiful and dancing fountain designed by Josie’s current employer, WET Design. Our call was with Spencer Rascoff, founder of Hotwire.com and current COO at Zillow.com. Josie had found Spencer through his blog and followed him through Twitter after being inspired by his From Scratch interview on NPR.
We prepared for the talk by thumbing through Entrepreneur and Business Week articles and with tea, diet ginger ale, and, of course, gummi bears. When we realized we had 4 minutes til talk time we ran into an empty apartment to plug in a land line phone. Unfortunately, there were no chairs and Josie and I quickly jumped on the bar counter to set up shop. One problem, there was no dial tone. We ran back into the the other apartment, with the best fountain view, in the Americana and once again set up shop this time on the floor next to a door that would give us a concussion if opened. This time we were ready for the biggest telephone conversation of our Uncouth Gourmands venture. Josie was searching through all of her emails for the phone number and thankfully I found it on my Blackberry with one minute to go. As soon as Josie dialed, she was greeted by a robotic woman’s voice that said, “The number you dialed requires a long distance access code”. We began screaming to no avail, “What is the access code number?”, her colleagues rushed in and while doing so hit us with the door. Yes, our lives are really this sitcomy/3 Stooges, thank Murphy’s Law. We opted to make the call on speaker using a cellphone, but wait, there was one more problem…bad reception. We scooted to the sliding glass door where we knew we couldn’t be injured and had the most bars. Armed with two laptops (modern day pen and paper), two cellphones, our beverages, and armed with 5 questions; we were ready.
Spencer answered and our talk began. He was kind enough to give us a half an hour of his time, which was double the time we expected. We are not going to disclose the top secret business information discussed but we got some good ideas and input. When the talk was over Josie asked, “How do you think it went?” I said, “Fine, after we stopped moving corner to corner”.
When Josie’s colleague came in and said, “Are you guys ready to open shop?” Josie got on the floor and put her arm to her heart like a dagger as she uttered, “UG is not ready to quit their day jobs”
We still have a lot to work on, which we have always known. However, patience is a virtue we are not ready to embrace. Our talk was thought provoking and we have a million ideas to put into action. In fact, I left for my first night of my Entrepreneurship class immediately afterwards. Josie and I have each written business plans separately during our undergrad at Woodbury University. However, for some reason for the Uncouth Gourmands, a business we eat, breath, and sleep and believe in a 100%, we have had a hard time getting started. Fortunately, in my Entrepreneurship class, the first elective I have been able to take for my MBA, I will be forced to write a new business plan and I couldn’t be more stoked on it.
I stayed after class and had a great conversation with my professor about the UG. While leaving class I had a ton of texts from Josie asking to meet her at Barneys and saying that she ran into two of my friends. Despite being tired after a 4 hour class I obliged and met up for chicken wings, Blue Moon, and passing out of our impromptu handmade back of coaster cards that said, “UncouthGoumands.com: We may write about you…if you are lucky”.
Here is a picture of our product placement and our new fans. They were pretty impressed by our make-due business cards.
Uncouth Moment for Josie: I warned her that the chicken wings were spicy; she laughed at my wimpy-ness until 5 minutes later when her mouth was on fire. She screamed, “Does anyone have toothpaste?”. I said, “Milk works better”. She settled on an orange.
Uncouth Moment for Carina: Someone asked me if I had a pen and I reached in my purse and pulled out a pair of unwrapped chopsticks.
Uncouth Gourmands 4 Lyfe!