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In the weeks after Color’s belly flop last spring, friends and colleagues were concerned that Nguyen might be humiliated, or devastated, or at least very stressed out by the $41 million of venture money invested in his failed product. But Nguyen understands the arithmetic of Silicon Valley, and anyway he isn’t one to reflect. “I never get emotional,” says Nguyen, who hasn’t spoken to his parents in six years. “I can have the biggest argument with someone, and five minutes later, I won’t even remember that it happened.” He’s not even particularly attached to his name. In third grade, he had a crush on a classmate whose mother asked him his name. “I go, ‘Vu.’ She goes, ‘Bill,’ and I go, ‘Aha!’ And all my friends have called me Bill since then,” recalls Nguyen. “My whole point was, I don’t care what people call me. It’s like, whatever’s easier for people, I’m totally cool with it.” He adds, “There is no Vietnamese person in the history of the world born with the name Bill. It’s a total facade.”

"Bill Nguyen: The Boy In The Bubble." — Danielle Sacks, Fast Company
See more #longreads from Fast Company

In the weeks after Color’s belly flop last spring, friends and colleagues were concerned that Nguyen might be humiliated, or devastated, or at least very stressed out by the $41 million of venture money invested in his failed product. But Nguyen understands the arithmetic of Silicon Valley, and anyway he isn’t one to reflect. “I never get emotional,” says Nguyen, who hasn’t spoken to his parents in six years. “I can have the biggest argument with someone, and five minutes later, I won’t even remember that it happened.” He’s not even particularly attached to his name. In third grade, he had a crush on a classmate whose mother asked him his name. “I go, ‘Vu.’ She goes, ‘Bill,’ and I go, ‘Aha!’ And all my friends have called me Bill since then,” recalls Nguyen. “My whole point was, I don’t care what people call me. It’s like, whatever’s easier for people, I’m totally cool with it.” He adds, “There is no Vietnamese person in the history of the world born with the name Bill. It’s a total facade.”

"Bill Nguyen: The Boy In The Bubble." — Danielle Sacks, Fast Company

See more #longreads from Fast Company

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  1. davidlidsky reblogged this from longreads and added:
    Very proud of this one.
  2. longreads posted this