Email Exchanges with Ariel Poler

Below is the majority of the email exchanges between Ariel Poler and me. Ariel’s company, Topica had put up a ‘coming soon’ web page in February, but didn’t end up going live until a year later, in February 1999. I met with Ariel a couple of times. He wanted to combine our companies, but he would never explain exactly what Topica was going to do. In the end, I decided to continue to go it alone.

Steve Jurvetson, a Venture Capitalist that I had been pestering to fund ONElist, referred Ariel to me, which is how we met.

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 10:19:47 -0700
Subject: introduction
To: Mark Fletcher
From: Ariel Poler

Mark,

I got your name from Steve Jurvetson. I work at Topica Inc. We have not publicly announced what we are doing yet, but it is in a near by space to Onelist. I was hoping to meet you and explore the possibility of establishing a partnership between our companies. Would you be interested in getting together? If so, we would be glad to drop by your office at a time that is convenient for you. Thanks.

Cheers,

Ariel Poler
CEO, Topica Inc
199 Utah Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
ariel@topica.com

Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 10:33:01 -0700
Subject: Re: status check
To: Ariel Poler
From: Mark Fletcher

At 10:33 AM 5/1/98 -0700, you wrote:

Hello Ariel,
>
> Any more thoughts on your end? Just checking…
>

I’ve been meaning to email you. Honest! 😉

I’ve been really busy. Here’s where I stand currently. I met with Steve Jurvetson. I’ve met with another company who is interested in some sort of deal. And I’m meeting with some other people this afternoon who are interested in combining efforts.

Add that to the effort of maintaining ONElist…

My first choice is to get funding and do this myself. Should that not happen, I am interested in merging with someone.

So while I haven’t made any decisions yet, that’s what’s up. Should I not get funded, I will definitely be interested in talking more with you, as I think that we’d be a better fit together than most of the people I’ve talked with. My guess is that the funding question will be resolved within a week or two.

Thanks and have a good weekend,

Mark

To: Mark Fletcher
From: Ariel Poler
Subject: touching base
Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 20:39:47 -0700

Hi Mark,

Wondering where things stood with you. We are about to make a few important decisions that would be affected if we could work together…

Cheers,

Ariel.

From: Mark Fletcher
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 1998 9:28 PM
To: Ariel Poler
Subject: Re: touching base

Hello Ariel,

Busy busy busy. What I’m currently exploring is partnering with someone, although that’s a slow process. I need to do something fairly soon, if for nothing else than my own sanity.

We never really discussed this, but how do you think ONElist and Topica would mesh together? If we were to do something together, do you see ONElist going away completely? What would happen to my users/lists?

Thanks, and I apologize for the flakiness.

Mark

To: Mark Fletcher
From: Ariel Poler
Subject: RE: touching base
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 01:31:56 -0700

Mark,

I was not thinking about ONElist going away. Definitely not in the short term. My guess is that we would jointly decide what made the most sense in terms of if and when to mesh things together (there are a few reason why I believe they should stay separate at least for a while). If/when we combined them, we would obviously take care of ONElist’s users & lists to make sure we didn’t leave anyone hanging.

Would you like to take the next steps in evaluating working together? We have a meeting in Palo Alto on Thursday morning. Maybe we could get together for lunch in your neighborhood? Please let me know. Thanks.

Ariel.

To: Mark Fletcher
From: Ariel Poler
Subject: next steps
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 11:32:38 -0700

Mark,

Good seeing you yesterday. Thanks for sharing the information you did with us. I hope you also got a better sense about Topica. How about the following next steps:

1) We learn a bit more about one another through a few references.
2) If we all remain interested, you come to our office so that you can learn more about us & meet the rest of the team.

If this sounds reasonable, would you be comfortable providing us 3-4 references? Ideally people who know you well at a professional level. We would gladly give you some references for us as well. Please let us know. Thanks.

Cheers,

Ariel.

From: Mark Fletcher
Sent: Monday, June 01, 1998 9:18 AM
To: Ariel Poler
Subject: Re: next steps

Hi Ariel,

We can certainly trade references, when the time is appropriate. But I still don’t know what you guys are doing. I can guess, but I don’t like guessing, and it’s not fair to me. I’ve told you many things about ONElist. All I’m asking for is the same from you.

Thanks,

Mark

To: Mark Fletcher
From: Ariel Poler
Subject: RE: next steps
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 12:15:36 -0700

Mark,

We were planning to give you a fairly detailed description when you came here, i.e., to “open our kimono”. Thus, we thought it would be worthwhile to spend a little bit of time ahead of time learning a bit more about one another to make sure the whole thing was worthwhile. However, I would be more than happy to take an intermediate step and tell you a little more about us. Would you like to do that over the telephone? If so, please let me know when/where I could call you, or, call me at any of the numbers below. OK?

I would like to stress that we are very excited by the prospect of working together. From what we can tell thus far, the synergies and fit would be great. We are just trying to be careful because we have gotten “burned” before…

Cheers,

Ariel Poler

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: