What's Sup with Brad Fitzpatrick?

Brad Fitzpatrick, the founder of LiveJournal, is a Silicon Valley archetype: The brilliant engineer and troubled young man. In noisily quitting Six Apart, the San Francisco-based software company which acquired his company two years ago, one of the reasons he gave was that he was tired of working on LiveJournal. Now Sup, the Russian company acquiring LiveJournal, has asked Fitzpatrick to join an advisory board meant to protect users' interests, and he's gladly agreed. Why the sudden change of mind?

One explanation is simply Fitzpatrick's fickle nature: In his brief career at Six Apart, he vacillated between wanting to retain control of LiveJournal and disclaim responsibility for it — typical if less than noble behavior for a founder after a sale.

There's another reason for Fitzpatrick's new interest that also has to do with his fleeting passions. Before he even knew of Sup's interest in LiveJournal, Fitzpatrick had booked a ticket to fly to Moscow this month. Who travels to Moscow in December? Why, a young man who quickly found a Russian girlfriend to replace Leah Culver, that's who. Now, presented with an advisory gig that gets him tax-deductible booty calls, it's no wonder Fitzpatrick signed right up. (Photoillustration by valiskeogh from Brad's Life)