Sunday, June 16, 2013

"We have more lawyers than you have employees"

Finally, a story about the advantage of being a Large Company. Take that, Clayton Christensen!

From a podcast interview with Jay Shapiro, founder of an Singapore-based online ad agency called Blue:
Jay: We were Blue Sphere Interactive and around, I guess 2001, EDS, Ross Perot's company, decided they really wanted to get into the internet...And sure enough a couple of months later EDS launched this small start-up spinoff with 2,700 employees called Blue Sphere. And they were marketing to HP, we were doing HP. So I sent them a lawyer's letter saying please cease and desist, you're causing confusion in the market. We're Blue Sphere, we had trademarked the name already and everything. And they sent us back this fantastic lawyer's letter. I still have it. It said thank you for letting us know. Please be advised we have more lawyers than you have employees. We suggest you change your name.

Andrew: Is that really what they said?

Jay: Yes. They actually put it in a letter. I cannot believe it. And so we became Blue, which is a much better name anyhow. So that's how the venture was born.

Andrew: Oh, what a great letter to send out. It's ballsy, and it's painful, and it's wrong, and it's great.

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