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Electric Car Maker Folds, Salinas (CA) Loses $500,000
KSBW Channel 8 ^ | July 18, 2011 | Amy Larson

Posted on 07/18/2011 3:14:37 PM PDT by keat

A Salinas car manufacturing company that was expected to build environmentally friendly electric cars and create new jobs folded before almost any cars could run off the assembly line.

The city of Salinas had invested more than half a million dollars in Green Vehicles, an electric car start-up company.

All of that money is now gone, according to Green Vehicles President and Co-Founder Mike Ryan.

The start-up company set up shop in Salinas in the summer of 2009 after the city gave Ryan a $300,000 community development grant.

When the company still ran into financial trouble last year, the city of Salinas handed to Ryan an additional $240,000 in investment money.

Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue said he was "surprised and disappointed" by the news. City officials were equally irked that Ryan notified them through an email that his company had crashed and burned.

Salinas Redevelopment Director Jeff Weir said Green Vehicles folded because of a "lack of investors," and a $2.7 million grant from California Energy Commission that never materialized.

Donohue said he will work with the state to try to get at least $240,000 back from the now-defunct company.

Mike Ryan YouTube Green Vehicles President and Co-Founder Mike Ryan

Last year, Salinas city officials said they were excited about Green Vehicles moving from San Jose to Salinas because they wanted to turn Salinas into a hub for alternative energy production.

City leaders wooed Green Vehicles to jump-start the sputtering local company and turn Salinas into an "electric valley." Donohue and Weir both voiced their high hopes for Green Vehicles.

The start-up company promised city leaders that it would create 70 new jobs and pay $700,000 in taxes a year to Salinas.

Green Vehicles was supposed to be up and running by March 2010 inside their 80,000 square-foot space at Firestone Business Park off of Abbot Street.

Ryan had lofty goals, listing his company's mission as: "To make the best clean commuter vehicles in the world; To manufacture with a radical sense of responsibility; To engage in deep transparency as an inspiration for new ways of doing business."

Green Vehicles designed two vehicles, the TRIAC 2.0 and the MOOSE, which it planned to manufacture.

On July 12, Ryan wrote a blog post announcing that his company was closing.

"The truth is that not realizing the vision for this company is a huge disappointment," Ryan wrote.

Ryan outlined three mistakes he made while steering his company into a brick wall. All three reasons boiled down failing to generate enough capital.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: automakers; ca; dennisdonohue; electriccars; green; greeneconomy; greenjobs; greens; greenvehicles; jeffweir; manufacturing; mikeryan; obamanomics; salinas
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Half a million dollars. In a city with the demographics of a Sunday afternoon flea market in Tijuana. Nice. Not like they could have used that money for anything else.
1 posted on 07/18/2011 3:14:44 PM PDT by keat
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To: keat

The master con artists of a hundred years ago who invented the Wire and the Pigeon Drop and the Big Store would be salivating over the sucker potential of Green Jobs.


2 posted on 07/18/2011 3:18:47 PM PDT by Argus
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To: keat

This is what happens when government hands out big bucks to people who don’t know what consumers want, and don’t know what they are doing... let alone competent enough to build a manufacturing plant.

“A fool and his money are soon parted”... This scriptural caveat INCLUDES TAXPAYERS!


3 posted on 07/18/2011 3:20:47 PM PDT by Safrguns
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To: keat

Another unexpected disappointment.


4 posted on 07/18/2011 3:21:19 PM PDT by shove_it (just undo it)
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To: keat

Ryan outlined three mistakes he made while steering his company into a brick wall. All three reasons boiled down failing to generate enough capital


Good ideas attract money, free money attracts bad ideas...........


5 posted on 07/18/2011 3:23:02 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( getting closer to the truth.................)
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To: keat

No doubt they had grand fantasies of the city becoming rich on the green economy and making them heroes. The idiots probably thought statues would be erected in their honor.


6 posted on 07/18/2011 3:24:16 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: keat

Sad but funny.


7 posted on 07/18/2011 3:25:39 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper ("Don't Call My Bluff")
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To: keat
-- Half a million dollars. --

Now that's some green!

8 posted on 07/18/2011 3:26:05 PM PDT by Cboldt
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To: keat
Why did they name their planned cars the TRIAC 2.0 and the MOOSE? Why didn't they go with the HUMPSTER or the CRAPWAGON?
9 posted on 07/18/2011 3:27:16 PM PDT by JPG (Palin '12)
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To: keat
"To make the best clean commuter vehicles in the world; To manufacture with a radical sense of responsibility; To engage in deep transparency as an inspiration for new ways of doing business."

A business plan straight out of Dilbert

10 posted on 07/18/2011 3:27:27 PM PDT by rocksblues (Obama, the biggest liar in the history of American politics!)
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To: keat

What an ugly piece of cr**. I’m betting it was never intened to succeed. Bet the boss and a few buddies got a nice paycheck though.


11 posted on 07/18/2011 3:28:49 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: keat
Wonder what a public records request seeking the loan documents and analysis would reveal?

Cities should keep the library open and have running water & sewer disposal. ...

Being a feel-good lender is just not on the municipal job description, IMHO.

12 posted on 07/18/2011 3:29:16 PM PDT by pointsal
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To: keat
Green Kool-Aid, anyone?


13 posted on 07/18/2011 3:29:41 PM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: keat

Considering it would probably take at least 10 million dollars to create an assembly line, this was a no go from the beginning.


14 posted on 07/18/2011 3:30:16 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Cboldt

Hey, it’s under 1/2 %, what’s the big deal? /S

http://www.ci.salinas.ca.us/services/finance/pdf/Budget_In_Brief.pdf

Any bets on the party of the council folks - pics in the link?


15 posted on 07/18/2011 3:36:27 PM PDT by az_gila
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To: keat
City leaders wooed Green Vehicles to jump-start the sputtering local company and turn Salinas into an "electric valley."

Salinas needs new leaders.

16 posted on 07/18/2011 3:36:44 PM PDT by FourPeas ("Maladjusted and wigging out is no way to go through life, son." -hg)
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To: keat

Fail!

Why?

The “Car” is UGLY!

The “Car” is actually a motorcycle, but no fun to drive.

The “Car” is impractical, it has no range, no performance, no room for groceries or other goods.

The “Car” is SO DAMN UGLY!

The “Car” uses too many expensive to produce custom panels and glass, for what is really just golf cart.

The “Car” is an attempt to impose the “Green” agenda, resistance is NOT futile, bankrupt the watermelons each time they try to push this trash.

The “Car” is incredibly ugly, no matter how great it might have been in any other feature, if it’s UGLY it’s NOT going to sell.

I would not invest a nickel in anything so UGLY either!


17 posted on 07/18/2011 3:37:50 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition (Loyal Sedition, often described as "To the right of Attila The Hun"!)
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To: shove_it
Unexpected, you say? *drink* And, yes, ugly indeed (the "car", not you):


18 posted on 07/18/2011 3:38:41 PM PDT by Baladas ((ABBHO))
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To: keat
Electric car company folds.

Shocking.
19 posted on 07/18/2011 3:46:31 PM PDT by 762X51
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To: keat
They plum ran out of juice.
20 posted on 07/18/2011 3:50:41 PM PDT by Shqipo (I am the unofficial originator of the Mega-Bump! Only use judiciously.)
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To: keat

Obama didn’t happen to visit, did he?


21 posted on 07/18/2011 3:50:48 PM PDT by Spirit of Liberty
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To: keat

The article didn’t say what the total investment on the project was...not surprising that for a couple of million dollars or less this was all that was produced.

Anyway, there is no such thing as an economical electric car, given the current state of battery physics. This thing was a doomed loser from the start.


22 posted on 07/18/2011 3:51:25 PM PDT by rottndog (Be Prepared for what's coming AFTER America....)
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To: Jonty30
"Considering it would probably take at least 10 million dollars to create an assembly line, this was a no go from the beginning."

That's what I'm thinking. $500,000 doesn't go very far in starting a business. That hires what 10 $50,000 workers?

23 posted on 07/18/2011 3:58:00 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Baladas

How many people does that “car” even hold? Looks like it could accomodate one person comfortably.


24 posted on 07/18/2011 3:58:04 PM PDT by boop ("Let's just say they'll be satisfied with LESS"... Ming the Merciless)
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To: rottndog
Here's an article showing signs of trouble in April with all the B.S. you'd expect from a ponzi artist at the end of his rope.

I like the part where they tried to barter an electric vehicle in lieu of rent. LOL. "Son, just pay the rent."

All the other articles I googled were so sycophantic I wanted to puke.

25 posted on 07/18/2011 4:04:31 PM PDT by keat
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To: Safrguns

“All three reasons boiled down (to) failing to generate enough capital.

Oh, horse sh*t. Mr. Ryan sucked a half a mil out of the idiots in Salinas and he’s on his way to the Bahamas for a well earned vacation.


26 posted on 07/18/2011 4:11:30 PM PDT by technically right
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To: keat
With a juvenile mission statement like that why are they surprised the company never materialized or profited? It sounds like a scribbled, collegiate vision for a leftist political economics major. Please excuse the redundancy stating leftist and political economics major as noun and adjective. haha. We all know they are one and the same. At least they were in my time.
27 posted on 07/18/2011 4:21:41 PM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: technically right

Yep. Easy to snooker the brain washed. My Ryan knew that. As do many more that have run away with tax payers monies in these whacked out times.


28 posted on 07/18/2011 4:24:46 PM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: keat
Heh...Ryan's still got his website still up:

Reservation Form

TRIAC™ Expected base model price $24,995.00


29 posted on 07/18/2011 4:27:19 PM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: keat

If any industry is capable of doing well, it does not need to be subsidized by the taxpayer.

‘Green’ technology, car companies, ethanol, farm subsidies, I don’t care what it is, if it needs to be subsidized it’s not a money maker.

The only thing I can support a government doing for a business, besides keeping crime down, keeping infrastructure decent, and enforcing contracts, is to have enterprise zones -

that ANY business can utilize -

to attract businesses to their area.


30 posted on 07/18/2011 4:27:33 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: keat

I hope Mr. Ryan remembered to give himself a large bonus.


31 posted on 07/18/2011 4:28:34 PM PDT by Nachoman (Wisdom is learned, cynicism is earned.)
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To: keat
Ever heard of the "Dale?"

Photobucket

http://3wheelers.com/einterview4.html

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Liz_Carmichael

32 posted on 07/18/2011 4:28:43 PM PDT by preacher (A government which robs from Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul.)
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To: keat
Here's the con artist's statement on Facebook:

GREEN Vehicles is closing its doors

It is with great regret that I must report that GREEN Vehicles has been unsuccessful in bringing in the resources necessary to continue as an organization, and we will be shutting our doors. As an entrepreneur, I know I’m expected to approach this moment with the perspective that we take chances that sometimes will pay off and at other times will not, but it would be disingenuous for me to adopt such a view.

The truth is that not realizing the vision for this company is a huge disappointment. Our dream was to change transportation for “regular people” to something practical, sustainable, affordable, and cool. We aspired to be the fast-moving vehicle platform for innovations from a space in high flux: the deliberate first mover. I believed, and still believe, that with resources we could deliver a lighter weight electric vehicle, purpose-built for the daily drive; that we could integrate the newest battery and electric drivetrain technology more quickly with our lower minimum efficient scale production system; that we could lead the charge into the full benefits of a connected vehicle, a peer-to-peer and traditional carshare-ready vehicle, and someday an autonomous vehicle; that we could introduce a buy local option to a manufacturing industry whose focus is very nearly the opposite; and that in doing so, we could bring incredible value to consumers whose needs have been so narrowly represented by the incumbent automakers.

Our vision attracted some very talented and dedicated people to our ranks. We built a network of support from strategic partners willing to invest time and money in our venture’s future. We found incredible support from our Early Adopter customers willing to overcome the quirks of a scantly funded commercial pilot program with us, and from eager would-be Triac2.0 owners with high hopes for a well-fitting Clean Commuter solution. I will take this opportunity to offer my most heartfelt thanks to all of you for dreaming differently with us, and my most sincere apologies for not delivering the conclusion we worked so hard to bring about.

In the spirit of openness that I had hoped to promote within this company, and in the hopes that our lessons can help other entrepreneurs avoid the same mistakes, I will share three things that I would have done differently given the opportunity:

First, I would and will only start companies with a solid base of equity partners in the management team capable of achieving the first two years worth of milestones. Not doing so cost this company valuable time in the development of a more complete product as our ownership passed over desperately needed, world-class talents who were not surprisingly unwilling to work without a significant ownership incentive. If a majority of a startup company’s shares are owned by non-value added investors, you are at risk of fighting a zero-sum game with deep misalignment, rather than taking a collaborative “build something great” approach. Startups are hard enough without wildly conflicting interests.

Secondly, for a complex, capital-intensive business such as ours, I would seek an enabling venture partner early in the process. There are few things more frustrating than sitting on projects that could differentiate your company and product in important ways while competitors continue forward. Furthermore, I believe a strong VC partner can help open important doors: for major development partners who may otherwise be unwilling to jump in and cooperate with a startup; for top talent; for other funding sources during future rounds; etc. Holding on too tightly to percentages and control of an organization that is not equipped to succeed can cost everyone everything.

Third, I would bite off chewable pieces. Given that very few startups have more cash than they know what to do with, there is almost by definition a capital pinch inside new ventures. There would have been much more value in building one of our sub-systems (such as the traction battery pack or the connected in-vehicle infotainment system) perfectly than a complete vehicle “prototypy.” These complete mini-products could potentially have generated some cash to fuel the larger business goals, or at the very least represented the capabilities of our team well as well as the quality-intent of our product. This strategy is probably situational, and may just look clearer in hindsight, but I have that at the moment so it’s worth mentioning.

If you have been a supported of GREEN Vehicles, thank you.

Kind regards,

Mike Ryan
President

33 posted on 07/18/2011 4:32:35 PM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

I like the taillights - looks like they were salvaged off a kiddy carnival ride. Wonder if they got the horns too?


34 posted on 07/18/2011 4:34:53 PM PDT by keat
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To: Nervous Tick

All the “green” industries are there to do is make more green cash off those think morality is how you go about saving the Earth and giving them the holier than thou attitude.

And the taxpayers who shelled out the bucks to help this country? Fool-Aid!


35 posted on 07/18/2011 4:38:12 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: keat
I hear you. God. What a joke. Here is another excerpt from the article, but with my own bold take:

Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue says he’s not giving up hope. 

“Clearly electric vehicles are going to be part of the mix of the automotive industry and I’m pleased to be part of that,” he says. “Green Vehicles is a startup huge scam by a garden variety con artist and there’s growing pains with startups us learning about scammers that play on our brainwashed leftish mentality.

Ah. Much better. lol.

36 posted on 07/18/2011 4:39:05 PM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Boy. Looks safe /sarc.


37 posted on 07/18/2011 4:40:05 PM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
We aspired to be the fast-moving vehicle platform for innovations from a space in high flux: the deliberate first mover. I believed, and still believe, that with resources we could deliver a lighter weight electric vehicle, purpose-built for the daily drive; that we could integrate the newest battery and electric drivetrain technology more quickly with our lower minimum efficient scale production system; that we could lead the charge into the full benefits of a connected vehicle, a peer-to-peer and traditional carshare-ready vehicle, and someday an autonomous vehicle; that we could introduce a buy local option to a manufacturing industry whose focus is very nearly the opposite; and that in doing so, we could bring incredible value to consumers whose needs have been so narrowly represented by the incumbent automakers.

Sorry. I've been to college and I've got a degree in engineering but... what the f*** does any of this mean?????

38 posted on 07/18/2011 4:41:05 PM PDT by keat
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To: keat
The start-up company set up shop in Salinas in the summer of 2009 after the city gave Ryan a $300,000 community development grant.

When the company still ran into financial trouble last year, the city of Salinas handed to Ryan an additional $240,000 in investment money.

Translation: Your federal tax dollars.

39 posted on 07/18/2011 4:41:56 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: keat
The city of Salinas had invested more than half a million dollars in Green Vehicles, an electric car start-up company. All of that money is now gone, according to Green Vehicles President and Co-Founder Mike Ryan.

One hardly knows whether to laugh or cry.

40 posted on 07/18/2011 4:42:29 PM PDT by denydenydeny (Rage all you want, looters & moochers, but the gods of the copybook headings are your masters now.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
All the “green” industries are there to do is make more green cash off those think morality is how you go about saving the Earth and giving them the holier than thou attitude.

Actually Salinas already had a green industry, it is called LETTUCE.

You should dance with the one that brung you.
41 posted on 07/18/2011 4:42:48 PM PDT by Misplaced Texan (July 4, 2009 - the first day of the 2nd Revolution!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

I am just wondering if he spent the dough on coke, prostitutes, real estate (international?) or all the above. Whatever the answer dude made out like a bandit—literally.


42 posted on 07/18/2011 4:44:34 PM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: keat
Sorry. I've been to college and I've got a degree in engineering but... what the f*** does any of this mean?????

It means they thought they could build a better mousetrap. Just one problem though, no mouse would be caught dead in it.

43 posted on 07/18/2011 4:45:16 PM PDT by AmusedBystander (The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next)
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To: keat
what the f*** does any of this mean?????

-----------------------------------------------------

General George Washington’s Order Against Profanity

The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing, a vice hitherto little known in our American Army is growing into fashion. He hopes that the officers will, by example as well as influence, endeavor to check it and that both they and the men will reflect that we can little hope of the blessing of Heaven on our army if we insult it by our impiety and folly. Added to this it is a vice so mean and low without any temptation that every man of sense and character detests and despises it.

Profanity: How small minds try to speak with strength?

44 posted on 07/18/2011 4:45:32 PM PDT by don-o (Abolish FReepathons. Be a monthly donor.)
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To: Misplaced Texan

Yes. Good point. They should have stuck with what they do know. Was just up in that beautiful area last week. It is all farming country and it looks like they wanted desperately to be like their neighbor San Jose.


45 posted on 07/18/2011 4:49:12 PM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: Misplaced Texan

Not that kind of green! LOL! I don’t mind paying for that grown with pesticides or without!


46 posted on 07/18/2011 4:49:22 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: don-o
General George Washington’s Order Against Profanity

Message received.

47 posted on 07/18/2011 4:49:47 PM PDT by keat
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To: Baladas

That’s not ugly. That’s fugly!


48 posted on 07/18/2011 4:50:09 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: keat

“Acid” is making a comeback?

Pretentious “Green” snobbery and ignorance of reality are a recipe for disaster.


49 posted on 07/18/2011 4:51:20 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition (Loyal Sedition, often described as "To the right of Attila The Hun"!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Mike,

No VC partner in their right mind would write a check to you. Your product is, well, lacking.

President - VC Anonymous
M. Skinner


50 posted on 07/18/2011 4:52:34 PM PDT by muleskinner
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