Alan Mandelbaum’s Father was a tremendous business man. He was decent, hardworking and smart. He used to warn his son about the sketchy side of business deals all the time. ‘’Every time you do a deal, just think that the other side wants to screw you and act accordingly. Don’t let yourself be vulnerable and make sure it’s a good deal for you. If you don’t see an advantage at the end, walk away, otherwise you will be in for disappointment.’’
Sitting at his desk looking out into space and feeling both agitated and blue those words kept resonating. It had all started with a new product that Alan was developing. It was called ‘’Doggar’’, it was a device that allowed dog owners to know what kinds of dogs were around while walking their dogs. It was an advanced warning system to avoid conflicts between dogs.
The problem was Jim Rodriguez, he had a Masters of Business Degree and he had jumped into the project with Alan. They had no formal agreement but Jim was extremely close friends with Alan’s first cousin, so he decided to get him involved. It was a colossal mistake on many levels.
One day after working on what would be in the pitch deck for Doggar, Jim asked Alan if he could help him out. ‘’Uh, this is embarrassing, and I don’t quite know how to deal with it. I am having some problems with liquidity. If you could lend me five thousand dollars, I’ll get it back to you within ten days.’’ Alan shook his head, he heard his Dad saying be careful, and he told Jim he needed a couple of days to think about it. Jim was convincing. ‘’If you can lend me the money, I can give you a promissory note.’’ Alan said he’d think about everything.
In order to clear his brain, Alan went for a long walk to weigh the pros and cons. Lending money was always risky. Jim seemed committed to the Doggar project and very sincere. He had an MBA from an Ivy League School, so he wasn’t a dummy.
When they talked again, Alan blew it big time. ‘’I’ve given it some thought. You don’t have to give me a promissory note. My Dad always taught me if a man’s word is no good, than the man is no good. I’ll transfer you the five grand. I just want to confirm you’ll pay me back within the ten days. Jim thanked him, said the loan was a life saver and no worries, he had a client who owed him money, and he expected to pay him…