Sarah, Jay, and Hermione's Love Triangle

Ben dishes on the awkward dynamic caused by his desire to date Sarah.

The mess with my sister and Sarah is why you should never mix business and pleasure -- things can get complicated very quickly. Unfortunately it is also natural to do business with people you know, like, and trust, so it is not always possible to avoid.

However since my sister and I are now working together and living together, it can get complicated quickly. Sarah is attractive and I can’t help but want to take her out, but at the same time I don’t want to upset my sister so I am trying to walk this fine line. I just hope my sister and Sarah have finally sorted it out, or I may have to choose between my sister and Sarah, and that is a battle that Sarah would lose.

Just to complicate things Hermione is now dating Jay, and Sarah has it in her mind that she and Jay were dating, so you have a crazy dynamic where I want to date the girl that my sister’s date was dating! But you only live once, so I am prepared to take a risk and try with Sarah again. We had a great time at SXSW, but it was nothing really more than some chemistry. However chemistry should not be ignored. I just hope that Sarah is not as complicated as everyone makes her out to be, so I will give her the benefit of the doubt, for now.

This just shows how small Silicon Valley really is. It is really a very small world, and it can get annoyingly small, especially as there are certain "cleeks" which are even smaller. Before moving to Silicon Valley, I always kept by business life and personal life very separate, but in Silicon Life the two are very much combined; everybody seems to know your private business and it’s impossible to escape from!

Regardless of this craziness I am enjoying working with my sister. She is really pulling together the partners we need, and we are very excited to have the industrial design company Lunar on our team. They are an incredible company and amazing to work with. Watching them start to take a concept I came up with and turn it into reality is really exciting, I just hope my idea works!

The process of creating hardware is a lot more challenging than building software, which is why we decided on Lunar. They have the expertise to understand the challenges of hardware. The first step is to actually validate the idea, i.e. is my idea crazy or do the basic principles work. Now being an engineer myself I am reasonably confident that the basic idea I came up with is sound; however there is nothing like having a second opinion!

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Ending the Friendship with Sarah

David reacts to Sarah's accusations.

Building a product is hard enough, but launching it and putting a big event together to generate marketing buzz for it at the same time was almost enough to put me over the edge! But I've been working my butt off to get GoalSponsors out the door and launched, and after several months of effort, I was able to have a successful launch event and gain enough buzz to get a great set of beta users to test out the product! It's live in the app store if you'd like to give it a try:

I'm proud of myself, for sure, but I definitely didn't do it alone. There were several other companies that have helped me quite a bit, including NoXcuses Fitness and especially Appcelerator, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me make my app and my launch a success. A good number of people showed up to the launch event -- not an AMAZING number, but a strong 100-150ish, and after all the beta signups, I've been able to test my product out on real people, get feedback, and launch something that's now helping people achieve their biggest goals in life! In fact, the total weight loss of our users is in the hundreds of pounds, and we've only been live for the past month or so! On the business side of things, life is going well.On the personal side of things, not everything is so great. It's really hard to see someone that you've been close to turn around and do something to hurt you. When Sarah asked me to meet with her that day, she sent a text asking if I had time to get together and when I asked what it was about, she alluded to it being about business, and then quickly changed the subject. Nevertheless, I showed up in generally good spirits, so I was caught completely off guard when she accused of "physically assaulting," even "tackling" her -- thank goodness the world was able to see the moment she was referring to, in which she tries to interrupt Hermione's presentation at my event and I come to her calmly and escort her away from the stage, smiling and being generally friendly, as I didn't want to create drama at my own event.

So that hurt me quite a bit. Also, she was upset that I didn't provide a booth for her, but she literally never asked me, and the truth is (and I told her this) that if she wanted a booth, all she had to do was tell me and I would have given it to her. Ben and Hermione asked, and that was why I gave them one. Sarah never did.

There's a lot more to that conversation at the Four Seasons, from accusing me of trying to keep her and Hermione apart to trying to take credit for someone else's work in helping put together my event, the list of things she threw at me that day was quite large, and to this day I don't understand why she did it, knowing that I was her confidant, that I was there when everyone else was against her... why me, of all people? Was it just to create drama? Just to establish herself as the queen bee or, dare I say it, the villain?Needless to say, that was the last conversation I had with Sarah. I'm all for second chances when people make mistakes that were unintentional, but the kind of cold calculation Sarah did that day made me realize that it is better for me to let the friendship end and not do anything further to try and continue it. For once I was a part of the drama, not just the instigator of it -- and boy was that a reminder that it's better to be on the sidelines when the poo hits the fan!

Thanks for watching Start-Ups: Silicon Valley! Feel free to check out my app, follow me (Facebook, Twitter), or book me for speaking engagements by emailing the address listed at the bottom of my website!


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