The last day

Francisco Dao's unusual flash fic about the last minutes of a failed startup. [Pando Daily]
He opened his wallet and took out his business card. It said “CEO.” He realized that was another lie, that he was never really the boss. Math was the boss, the math of a shrinking bank account. The math of expenses bigger than revenue. Math was always in charge. Whatever his business card said was meaningless. He picked up a pen and crossed out “CEO” scribbling over it “unemployed.”


  1. Nice vignette!

    Although I was unreasonably disturbed by the fact that the illustrator hadn’t bothered to read even 3 paragraphs into the story:  “The chairs were gone now, so he sat on a desk.”

  2. It’s a very romantic portrait of the captain going down with his ship, but I wonder how many CEOs of failed startups actually did hang around long enough to be the one to turn out the lights, or if they cashed out as soon as they could, and were already working on The Next Big Thing by the time the liquidators came for the Aerons? 

    1. In the corporate world, most ships go down because the captain strips the hull and sells it.

    2. It makes the story more personal – this is the character’s first startup, an idea he’s been mulling over for years, and he put everything into it (including every bit of himself, not just all his money) and devoted his life to it. Next time – if there is a next time – perhaps he will be more jaded and not hold out so long before stripping everything down and moving on. That’s the kind of thing you don’t learn until after your first big failure, no matter how many stories like this you’ve heard. 

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