It was a dot-com success story of the first order. In the summer of 2000, XOR made the news by closing this deal that Ray Thompson somehow wrangled with client Jason Edwards: "XOR Inc. and HealthCentral.com Sign One of the Industry's Largest Full-Service eBusiness Management Contracts."

Since it was an evolution of the WholeFoods.com/Vitamins.com line of success, having a leadership role in both, I was put in charge of the whole ball of wax. With a core team of 31 individuals, ( and an expanded team of 52) we had a lot of firepower. That is, when the developers weren't playing foosball.

By late 2000 the wheels were coming off the dot-com gravy train, XOR's top management had bailed and things started to get pretty ugly. The 23 million dollar contract turned into a 23 million dollar lawsuit that saw, among other amazing behaviors, the top management at HealthCentralRX declaring that they had never set foot in Colorado, much less discussed the site with XOR employees, myself included. What they had forgotten was that as the project lead, I liked to do audio recordings of all important meetings and for special ones I'd take pictures. Oops.

Securities and Exchange Commission docs


It soon became obvious that we were going to need to cover ass, so I asked the entire team to print out any and everything they could for evidence of our work to date. They balked. ("Printing this stuff is stupid," was a common refrain.) So I required them to. We had printers going on four floors. With Lonesome Tom Byrnes' help, we ended up with thirteen two-inch-thick binders of every record, email, document, chart, etc., we could find. It was a ridiculous waste of trees, but an impressive collection. "Wheel this stuff into a courtroom and watch the expression on HealthCentral's attorneys faces," I suggested.

XOR's legal team was quite pleased with the documentation but especially with the photograph above and the audio recordings of the meeting. While the lawyers strutted and fretted, John Oltman asked me more directly, in reference to the HealthCentral brass, "How can we fuck 'em?" (Oltman was always to the point.)

I don't know if there ever was a lawsuit. If HealthCentral was able to stall, they effectively waited out XOR's impending demise. I left XOR Inc., on July 4th, 2001 (Independence Day) to join former XOR Sales Director Dean Rizzuto at his new company, NewGuard.

XOR, under John Oltman's "leadership," tanked. First merging with another Frontenac bad idea: Seurat, which had the effect of cratering both companies, then JRO sold out to his old Andersen buddy at Fair Isaac for pennies on the hundred dollars ending the XOR saga with a whimper.

*apologies to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson