32 year-old Charles Forman made tens of millions of dollars selling his company Omgpop (maker of Draw Something) last week.
And thank God for that: It's been far too long since "fuck you money" went to a tech whiz who was at least marginally interesting.
Forman seems like he might just have a little fun with the money he made when his Omgpop sold to Zynga for what the 32-year-old said, at a lavish celebration involving platters of filet mignon, was well north of $22 million.
But by the low standards of tech, Forman is a very colorful figure. He lived in Korea and spent a lot of time in Japan. He's really, friends add, into Asian girls (OK that doesn't make him stand out in tech).
He makes giant illustrated posters (one involved hamsters wearing jetpacks). He works out like a maniac and, as the Times noted, has taken to uploading pictures of his naked, muscled flesh.
He loves taking homoerotic pictures with intimate close personal friend David Karp of Tumblr fame. He brags about dating "hot girls," was deemed a "tech playboy" four years and more than $20 million ago , smells nice even to jaded Gawker writers, and can be a complete asshole in a very public fashion.
Yes, we're in a ridiculous tech bubble and it can be kind of infuriating when people make huge amounts of money for little reason. For example, Forman basically just sold a seven-week-old, iPhone version of Pictionary to a company that makes billions of dollars selling imaginary products to kids, disabled people, the unemployed and other hopeless addicts hooked on games the company ruthlessly designs on spreadsheets to exploit human compulsion loops. (One Omgpop developer has already quit, saying Zynga is "completely opposed to my own values.")
He also used to keep all his clothes in plastic tubs in the three bedroom Brooklyn share, where he slept on the floor and where he took long baths to cope with the tinnitus he developed working long hours at Omgpop and its predecessor Iminlikewithyu. His quarters, reportedly, remain quite Spartan.
"He'll make a fantastic eccentric millionaire," said Julia Allison, the former syndicated columnist, who Forman dated then broke up with via PowerPoint a few years back. "Charles is one of the most intelligent, most sardonic, most creative human beings I've ever met. … He deserves a long vacation."
Forman says he's thinking more along the lines of becoming a teacher or investor, and would like a successful exit from another startup he launched with like three other guys.
Whatever. We'll be happy if Forman sticks around New York and keeps in touch with his inner asshole. Tech has enough boring, overambitious enrepreneurs who sell one extremely geeky company only to go back to the daily grind working for another extremely geeky company or back into their programming caves or back into the pool of endless lookalike industry mixers to create the next social real-time maship mobile whatever. What it doesn't have enough of — particularly for our gossipy tastes — are extroverted, camera-friendly, sex-and-travel-and-party-loving flirts. Yes, there's always Sean Parker, but he can't make tech sexy on his own.