Visit from Il Papa Soldi, John Doerr, Sparks Violent Outburst
NEAR EMERYVILLE, CAL. ( – Overcrowded conditions and a contentious visit from famed venture capitalist John Doerr sparked a riot yesterday at Dot-Camp Alpha, a refugee camp that now serves as home for nearly 18,000 laid-off dot-com workers. The violence, primarily between rival B2B and B2C factions, left 14 dead, scores injured, and hundreds of startup business plans discredited.

According to a spokesman for the International Red Cross, trouble began shortly after Doerr arrived in camp in his bullet-proof limousine, often referred to as the Hopemobile. Almost immediately, the partner in VC firm Kleiner Perkins was showered with startup proposals formulated by the refugees during their many months spent on this desolate Silicon Valley hillside.
However, officials estimate only 35 percent of camp residents still believe in venture capitalist doctrine. Most now dismiss venture capital and its teachings, and blame Doerr and his colleagues for overvaluing Internet companies, and urging them to go public prematurely. A clash, Red Cross officials said, was inevitable.
Tempers flared and fists flew as the man commonly known as Il Papa Soldi, or “The Money Pope,” made his way through the crowd of dot-commers laid off from the likes of Webvan, MyPoints, and One disgruntled camper, who could not yell loud enough to be heard, used the speakers from his laptop and voice recognition software to send a strong, clear message to Doerr: “You are not well. Comb hair!”
The situation deteriorated during evening mass, when Doerr urged the refugees not to give up hope, and promised he would look at all the business proposals in due time, “except the B2C models. They are unto me like the dead.”
In response, several former employees from Doerr-backed WebMD and shouted him down. “Oh, now you tell us!” one man yelled. “Why didn’t you tell me that before I quit my job at Merck? You bast…”
The man was quickly beaten to death by a quorum of B2B enthusiasts, who feared angering Doerr would cause him to leave camp before he got a look at the group’s proposal for an online call center to handle repair requests from Internet-enabled appliances.
The day’s bloodiest – and most deeply moving – moment came when Doerr allowed a lone refugee to approach him with her business plan. The woman, identified as 27-year-old Jonna Komay, a former Web developer with Razorfish, shook noticeably as she genuflected and handed over the document. “It’s a strategic solutions provider focused on corporate intranet broadband channel redistribution,” she whispered, her eyes cast downward. “Oh, and if you would, please sign the six-page NDA (non-disclosure agreement). Here’s a pen.”
Despite her tremulous voice, several B2C veterans in the crowd overheard, and scoffed. “Yeah, right! What the hell is ‘corporate intranet broadband channel redistribution?’ That doesn’t mean anything! Let’s sell CDs and pants!”
Doerr, however, shocked onlookers by addressing the woman. “Can you benchmark your cost centers?” he said.
“Oh yes,” Komay replied. “Vertically-integrated metrics. Totally component-based.”
Silence enveloped the camp as Doerr raised his hand and blessed the plan on the spot. After an eerie pause, the crowd surged forward, trampling Komay and screaming “I’m her partner!” “No, I’m her partner!”
Ten people, including Komay, died in the stampede. Several reporters formerly with Red Herring and quickly typed up dispatches about the incident and pretended someone would publish them.
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