Near the end of a Stirr mixer in San Francisco on Tuesday, I ran into Salim Ismail, the head of Yahoo Brickhouse and our newest Silicon Valley Tool, though he'd yet to get the prize for being one of the Bay Area's most annoying executives when we met. I noticed he had the name of his startup, Confabb, on his nametag instead of Yahoo. When asked why he wasn't representing Yahoo, he responded he wanted to "get the $10 fee" — the price Stirr charges for startup founders, instead of paying the $20 general admission fee. (Okay, he's cheap, but you'd be cheap, too, if you'd started seven companies without a single successful exit.) We chatted for a bit about Brickhouse. Then, when I started jotting down notes and he realized I might quote him about dodging the event's full fee, the conversation with the wantrepreneur turned downright silly.
"If you write something positive, we'll do you later," said Ismail — the implication being that he'd feed Valleywag scoops on Yahoo Brickhouse projects. "If you write something negative, well ..." He trailed off and his hand gestures suggested that we'd be left in the cold, or worse. Next thing I know, the dude is backing my boss into a flat-screen TV. So I guess he meant it. Not that I think we're going to miss anything. The chance of Ismail telling us something about an upcoming Brickhouse product release is about as likely as ... an upcoming Brickhouse product release.