What leads a CEO to throw a Pret A Manger sandwich during a board meeting?
Following a British boarding school and an Imperial College degree, Marco Nardone was ready for take-off. Having a multimillionaire wine tycoon father didn’t hurt either. “Why not invest in a startup?” his father suggested, kindly offering him several million.
Marco immediately began brainstorming. His app, Fling, would let users send pictures and videos to 50 complete strangers around the world.
Soon, with over $20 million in funding, Fling was seeing serious numbers. Marco took to Instagram to boast 4 million users and 50 billion flings! Organic, he claimed. While pumping thousands into Facebook Ads, others claimed.
Now, if these flings sound like a recipe for dirty pics and disaster, you’d be right. The app was deemed too sexually explicit and Fling was flung out of the app store. Just like that.
Furious, Marco hired a moderation team in the Philippines to vet every photo, then put his engineers to work 24/7, suggesting they sleep in desk tents. People didn’t like this (surprise!), leading to the sandwich-throwing incident—aimed at his father.
Unbothered, Marco left… for sunny Ibiza.
Fling crawled back to the app store. But disturbed by events, his staff began jumping ship. $20 million was burned (in 3 years), moderators were scrapped, dirty messages returned, and the app collapsed into administration.
RESPECT AND HUMILITY
© Story by Tarek Issa.