Over the years, AiiO has undergone
dramatic changes both geometrically and apolitically.
I would like to address many of your concerns —
as I have heard them through the grapevine — and
try to put to rest this nearly dead dog that we keep
hearing, yelping in the backs of our little minds.
AiiO started 4 years ago with a vision and a hefty
round of VC funding. We wanted to provide extremely
vague services to a large population of people 'out
there' on the web. And we wanted to be the first to
the market — thereby revolutionizing the entire
realm of vague services out there. And — after
months of arduous meetings on the executive level —
we were able to define a corporate mission and come
up with the content for several very prestigious-sounding
bios. These were our start-up years — and the
promise of the eRevolution was giving the general public
[ just begging for these sorts of empty and vague services
delivered through an online, innovative technology platform
] what I would consider to be eBlueballs.
After our first year and a half, I recall sitting down
with Randy and Dave at a business luncheon that was
costing us roughly $4,000. Randy turned to me and said,
'We're almost there Jenn, we're almost there.' And I
nodded in eager anticipation of my agreement with his
surly statement concerning our just desserts.
Anyhow, after gaining some momentum with our growing
client base and establishing a nearly-credible foothold
in the PR munching machines, AiiO finally broke out
with release 1.0 of it's online product offering. The
public went wild. Periodicals up the ying and the yang
were publishing articles about our amazing dedication
to online, automated customer service. And the business
model itself was gaining popularity with other online
companies soon to follow in our eFootsteps. We began
to purchase several other companies in our marketspace
and expanded to create a nationwide network of virtual
company branches — all dedicated to our mission
to provide vague online services to those in need.
Although our salesforce promised functionality and
service offerings not yet developed, let alone agreed
upon to be developed, by our engineering team —
we were getting closer and closer to making the venture
capitalists happy. I personally sent them bottles of
expensive wine and promised that once we began to break
some profits — we were all going to hit Six Flags!
They just about came.
Next up, in years 2 and 3, AiiO broke record sales
and online sign-up records on an international scale.
People and their pets would sign up with a vervish click
and clack of the keyboard — right-clicking and
sometimes using the Apple key to download our applets
and gain the results they wanted — right online.
It was such an easy process. Our positive image surged
and protected up and onward into a sort of nill nitherbliss
of eCommercial success.
Our competitors couldn't believe it — but our
model to drive down the cost of offering online vague
services by using automated internet technologies not
yet fully-established and recognized by the W3C was
working well — and much to their dismay and demise.
Initech was near bankruptcy. Brownday dot net was close
to capsizing as well. We were victorious in almost every
AiiO then hit a rough patch in year 4 when we discovered
that all of our VC funds were just about dried up. Even
though we were outsourcing most of the company's automated
services overseas, we were suddenly not meeting up with
the expectations of our very hungry and tired VCists.
Another year, another round of VC campaigns and in year
5 — you see where AiiO currently stands. 2 feet
in the ground. Arms lobbed off. Nearly headless.
Well, my grandfather used to have an old saying regarding
the optimistic 'glass' we all know and love in situations
like these. He would sit me down on the sunporch, give
me a handful of almonds and kindly look down to me and
say, 'Jenn, just remember to stay happy. The glass isn't
half full, it's not half empty, but there's a big crack
running all the way up the side.' I would usually look
up in complete befuddlement at this point and he would
come back with a smile and say, 'Let's go get an ice
cream little one, a nice cone of vanilla would do us
good. It's mighty hot out. Let's go.' And with that,
we were off to the Dean Dairy for a softserve dip. So
We are almost there ladies and
gentlemen. We are just about to turn the corner. I know
many of you are reading this and thinking, bnllsh!t!,
but you have to face facts and realize that it's true.
We really, have no choice. I know times have been tough
and money has been tight and you have all faced reductions
in pay with an equally proportionate increase in hours.
But it will all be worth it someday. We are pursuing
more venture capitalist funding as we speak. Dave and
Andy are out there hitting the streets, looking for
every dime in the cracks of the pavement as we say in
the vague online services industry. We do expect that
you will put in the extra effort. Nobody's balls can
be dropped at this point. This is a tricky scenario
that I personally have never seen before, but it will
all be worth it. We're turning a corner, and we're wearing
fancier clothes now. There's a certain level of professional
disdain that accompanies the continual fear of homelessness
— and we can all sense this now. And we could
sense it before, but just not quite as badly. I think
we can all taste it now. So, please realize that we
need to come together on this cow today and moving forward.
The vast differentiation between our company and other
vague online service operations is that we have a phenomenal
team. A team that should know better. We know you will
put in all sorts of zany hours, send emails at 2 or
3 in the morning to prove that you are working 'around
the clock' as we used to say. Some of you actually produce
important things for our company that help keep the
hinges squeaky and clean. We're beginning to diversify
by hiring more minority temps — thereby fulfilling
more state employment requirements than we have ever
attempted in the past. We all need to jump in, like
some sort of unrealistic Tball scramble for the ball,
and make this work. Let's do it AiiO. Let's make this
company work again! Let's
make America work again!
Jenn Millions | CEO, President
and Founder of AiiO