Rumored to weigh anywhere from 350 to 800 pounds, Bigfoot is big. He is hairy, he probably smells, and for years, he and his fellow Bigfoots have ignited the popular imagination. Hence, there are numerous clubs across the country devoted to studying this creature, and a statue in Bigfoot's likeness stands in the Northern California community of Willow Creek.
If Bigfoot wore a size 4, would anybody care? Probably not. When Scott Testa was struggling with his company in the basement of his Bluebell, Pennsylvania, home, he probably wasn't thinking about Abominable Snowmen, but he did know being big is impressive. And he knew the sizable corporations he was working with would likely recoil in horror if they saw the conditions he worked in. Explains Testa: "My home is one of these older homes, with a smelly, stinky, falling-apart basement. Little windows. No light. Wet. Small. One step up from a dungeon--without the shackles."
It was in this pit that Testa, 33, and his partner, Dave Christian, 36, did with their company, Mindbridge.com Inc., what a lot of start-ups are obliged to do: They pretended to be bigger than they really were. "I think big companies have a perception that they should do business with companies like themselves," says Testa, who adds, "I'm willing to bet if most of the people knew our size, we would not have gotten . . . ." Testa trails off, but he doesn't need to finish. If clients had seen where he and Christian were designing interactive Web sites, any further interaction would have ceased.
The oil heater sparked and shook, the washer and dryer were often running, and then there was Luke, the basset hound who liked to bark. Testa and Christian had two choices: 'Fess up to their clients, explain everything and hope for some understanding, or . . .
Geoff Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance journalist and a features writer for The Cincinnati Post. The last time he saw Sasquatch was long ago, when Bigfoot battled the Bionic Man.
Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.