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Did This Founder-CEO Simply Lose His Presence of Mind?

From time to time, we all simply lose our presence of mind… not at all an unusual event in the life of a founder-CEO. These events most typically occur the day before a family holiday or vacation; i.e. the worst possible time. In founder-CEO terminology, the “startup accident report” discussed in the below parody is called a “Board Meeting” with investors – something to think about.


“Dear Sir,

I am the founder-CEO of a new startup business in the construction industry, which involves doing some bricklaying work as an important aspect of the job.

I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block #8 of the accident form, I put ‘trying to do the job alone‘ as a cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

On the date of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I had about 500 lbs. of brick left over. Rather than carry them down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which fortunately was attached to the side of the building on the 6th floor. Securing the rope at the ground level, I went up to the rook, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it lightly to ensure a slow descent of the 500 lbs of brick.

You will note in block #11 of the accident report that I weigh 135 lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up against the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weights of the bricks, the barrel then weighted approximately 50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight in block #11.

As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and the lacerations of my legs and lower body area.

The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the brick in pain, unable to stand and watching the empty barrel six stories above me – I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope.

The empty barrel weighed more than the rope, so it came back down on me and broke both my legs.

Sincerely, Founder-CEO