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However, until I tracked him down at his bar last October, he had been uncharacteristically reticent about Friendster.
But over the course of several hours (and during interviews in the months that followed), Abrams laid out a narrative that is decidedly different from the one put forth by the Silicon Valley VCs, bloggers, and journalists.
"I brought on experienced investors to help Friendster fulfill its potential.
But the all-star team was the curse of death." f he had invented something as mundane as a brilliant customer relations management application, no one would know Jonathan Abrams's name.
The founder, now an outsider, retains roughly 4 percent of the company, which has since received more venture capital but has yet to turn a profit.
Most observers agree that while Friendster might still swing a modest sale, a big acquisition or an IPO is out of the question.
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"The basic venture capital system is structured so that there are built-in conflicts of interest between the VC and the entrepreneur," says Joel Spolsky, founder of Fog Creek, a New York City software company, and writer of the popular blog Joel on Software.
"Everyone saw this as a no-brainer, as 'How could they screw it up?
" says Russell Siegelman, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins and a current board member at Friendster.
It ran out of money last year and was recapitalized at a valuation of million, effectively making it a subsidiary of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of its VC investors.
The recap stripped Abrams of his board seat and almost all of his equity.
IT'S MY PARTY After being forced out of Friendster, Abrams launched Slide, a stylish basement lounge in San Francisco." alt="IT'S MY PARTY After being forced out of Friendster, Abrams launched Slide, a stylish basement lounge in San Francisco."t's not easy being the brains behind one of the biggest disappointments in Internet history.