How many second acts can a startup have before its procession of unlikely pirouettes must raise more than a quizzical eyebrow?
It depends where you’re asking the question of course.
And as we sit here, contemplating the smooth-faced Krablr founder, Wilson Poney, gazing out at the Pacific ice blue from inside his underwater glass cube, it’s clear this company hasn’t had any such clouds of doubt fogging its public trajectory.
A large Sea Nettle wafts past Poney’s head, pausing momentarily to lend him a gelatinous hairpiece.
He breathes in with vast calm.
“We’re going to run the biggest token sale in blockchain history,” he announces. “We connect crab to the blockchain. Period.
“You read the whitepaper right? Bona fide golden ticket. You want to be cut in? I could pull some strings if you’re keen but you’ll need at least $100k for phase I. We’ll be going up to 100x or more in later rounds. We’re not after tiddlers or hodlers or whatever they’re called. Just top tier investment funds.
“Okay, okay, a few family offices in Saudi, Qatar — and Puget and Scranton. Gotta keep our little local connection happy.”
He laughs a little too heartily.
“We’ve also been talking to SoftBank. Masayoshi might join the board. He’s very interested in the long term future of crab futures.”
Poney has the face of a man who’s eaten more than his fair share of crab dinners.
But he cuts into our next question — about how much Krablr is targeting for its token sale — to bark into a lobster-handled landline telephone, summoning an afternoon snack.
Is that an original Dalí, your correspondent wonders. Poney ignores all our questions.
“How do I know these crab sticks are going to be fucking great? Blockchain that’s how. It’s a fucking miracle.
“People have been emailing me saying they’re selling their grandmothers to get into KrabCoin,” he adds. “Fucking A-Okay. As I always told grammy, nothing beats the smell of capitalism in the morning.”
He takes a huge sniff of his own air.
“All the time actually. It smells like fresh cooked crab. Maybe that’s just me. My girlfriend thinks capitalism smells like diamonds — but that was after I gave her a 22 carat diamond necklace. I had the rock cut into the shape of a carapace.”
He flashes a full set of brilliantly pearly teeth.
“Anyway, where was I? — blockchain! Did you see my number plate? There’s only one car parking space here. Y’know how it is with land in the Bay. But I don’t mind telling you this office was cheaper than Fresno. Marine mid shallows is actually a criminally untapped opportunity. We’re going to be using a chunk of the ICO to plough into underwater real estate. Think Manhattan in an aquarium with underwater drones to ferry you home and jellyfish waving you to beddie byes. I can send you the brochure if you’re interested.
“Anyway the lobster-colored lambo in the lot is mine. Did you notice the plate? It’s the timestamp of Satoshi’s Genesis block. I paid a small fortune to some guy in the Mission to peel it off his electric scooter. I’d have happily paid twice.
“People are going to say I’m fucking Satoshi himself soon!”
Poney ejects another ripe belly laugh. Or it might have been a belch. His assistant hurries into the room carrying a large platter of crab sticks.
“At last! I could murder a bucket of lobster! Help yourself to the shrimp. It’s blockchain certified.”
So why did Krablr move its HQ to SF? Was it to be closer to Pacific crab catches?
Poney pauses his vigorous mastication for a moment. “How much crab is left in the Pacific?” he muses. “No one knows. Truly no one. But they will know — we’ll be putting all that on the blockchain.
“Frankly I’d put my grammy on the blockchain if I could. You can quote me on that.”
He grins wolfishly through a mouthful of crabs sticks and then laughs with gusto, blasting the room with fragments of impossibly fresh crab meat.
“Pot baits, carapace metrics, poundage, sex distribution, discards, toss backs, deadloss, offload times,” he reels off, staccato style, after his last gulp. “You’ll know exactly how many deckhands manhandled your dinner. Down to the color of their fucking fingernails.
“Now tell me that’s not worth $1TR?”
“Here, take a claw,” he adds without waiting for an answer, tossing a souvenir of his snack towards the door. “You can tell your friends you got yourself a bite of KrabCoin.”