The rise and fall of napster

very interesting article...

"Instead of feeling relieved, Napster Inc. chief executive officer Eileen Richardson was pacing the halls with worry. San Francisco's Hummer Winblad Venture Partners had committed to invest $13 million for a minority stake in the hugely popular Internet music company, giving Napster an official worth of $65 million. The infusion would come just in time: With no revenue and mounting bills from the record industry's federal lawsuit, it was either Hummer Winblad's money or no paychecks for the staff. And Napster's three board members had backed the deal – Richardson, in her first CEO job; Yosi Amram, Napster's first equity investor; and John Fanning, uncle of Napster's inventor, teenage hacking hero Shawn Fanning.

But Richardson needed John Fanning's signature on the documents, and she didn't know where he was. Quite possibly, the elder Fanning was trying to cut a deal with someone else, potentially wrecking Napster's best chance for survival. Richardson grabbed 19-year-old Shawn and his Napster cofounder, Sean Parker, also 19, and propelled them toward a tiny conference room. ''Find your uncle!'' she yelled."

View: Article @ Boston Globe

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