My name is Michael Zeleny. I am standing in the courtyard of New Enterprise Associates, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. I have a 6" S&W Registered Magnum at my right side and three speedloaders in my left pocket. This is my story.
My company did business with the Zhu family and their ventures since before their founding of WebEx Communications, an online conferencing company. NEA funded WebEx, which was eventually acquired by Cisco. Min Zhu, the founder of WebEx, remains listed on the NEA roster as a "Senior Venture Advisor". In 2001, after WebEx breached its obligations to my company, I asked their CEO Subrah Iyar to set matters right. In response, I received anonymous death threats in in the names and on the behalves of Min Zhu and WebEx. The language of these threats echoed the terms with which Min Zhu had indimidated his fourteen-year-old daughter Erin into yielding to his sexual advances thirteen years earlier. After I filed my lawsuit, the Zhus’ lawyer, who had previously represented the parents against their daughter’s claim for childhood sexual abuse, threatened me with the destruction of people’s lives. Three years later, my father Isaak, plaintiff in a related lawsuit, was killed by an apartment fire. I hired a retired LAFD captain to investigate the cause and origins of this fire. He told me that it appears to have started in several places.
On May Day of 2005 I went public with my story at the WebEx User Conference in San Francisco. In response, WebEx shut down its conference and announced Min Zhu’s retirement and departure for China. Several months later, NEA’s General Partner Scott Sandell funded Min Zhu’s new business in his homeland. That is what I am protesting today. You can find the details in my blog.
I have read your responses to my performance. I am amused and delighted by their range and tenor. I am unconcerned about being hit with a dead fish or a slab of bacon. I have been hit with worse. What concerns me is some of you claiming that my actions are causing damage to our cause. I claim a common cause of protecting my Constitutional rights. I also claim a personal interest in protecting myself and my family against unlawful threats. Since when do legitimate defensive actions taken in the furtherance of an individual interest stand at odds with the common Constitutional cause?
cordially, — Michael Zeleny@post.harvard.edu
7576 Willow Glen Road, Los Angeles, CA 90046 — 323.363.1860 — http://larvatus.livejournal.com/
All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. — Samuel Beckett