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Former Color Labs engineer Adam Witherspoon, an early employee of the much-hyped photo-sharing app, is filing a civil suit against Color Labs and cofounder Bill Nguyen. Witherspoon is accusing Nguyen of a host of unsightly instances of misconduct, including deliberately creating a hostile work environment that threatened Color employees; threatening violence against Witherspoon’s son; and barring Witherspoon from meeting with Apple representatives to discuss potential employment opportunities when Color sold key company assets to the giant in September. Among the disturbing allegations:

"One early morning, [Witherspoon’s wife Jessica] Jordan walked into the room where their children were staying and witnessed Nguyen kicking Nguyen’s older son in the stomach. Plaintiff Witherspoon believed that Nguyen’s corporal punishment of his own son in front of others was meant as a show of force to intimidate Witherspoon’s son, because Defendant Nguyen later explained that he had punished his older son for the Witherspoon son and the older Nguyen son allegedly having excluding the younger Nguyen son from play."


"In or around September 2011, the Nguyens invited the Witherspoons and [former Color Chief Financial Officer Alyssa] Solomon to dinner. Solomon’s children repeatedly reported the older Nguyen son’s misbehavior. Jordan and Solomon both witnessed Defendant Nguyen grab his son by the skin of the back of his neck and throw him down the hall.


"Defendant Nguyen stated that the Witherspoon son’s behavior was out of control and a bad influence on his son."

Former Color Labs engineer Adam Witherspoon, an early employee of the much-hyped photo-sharing app, is filing a civil suit against Color Labs and cofounder Bill Nguyen. Witherspoon is accusing Nguyen of a host of unsightly instances of misconduct, including deliberately creating a hostile work environment that threatened Color employees; threatening violence against Witherspoon’s son; and barring Witherspoon from meeting with Apple representatives to discuss potential employment opportunities when Color sold key company assets to the giant in September. Among the disturbing allegations:

"One early morning, [Witherspoon’s wife Jessica] Jordan walked into the room where their children were staying and witnessed Nguyen kicking Nguyen’s older son in the stomach. Plaintiff Witherspoon believed that Nguyen’s corporal punishment of his own son in front of others was meant as a show of force to intimidate Witherspoon’s son, because Defendant Nguyen later explained that he had punished his older son for the Witherspoon son and the older Nguyen son allegedly having excluding the younger Nguyen son from play."

"In or around September 2011, the Nguyens invited the Witherspoons and [former Color Chief Financial Officer Alyssa] Solomon to dinner. Solomon’s children repeatedly reported the older Nguyen son’s misbehavior. Jordan and Solomon both witnessed Defendant Nguyen grab his son by the skin of the back of his neck and throw him down the hall.

"Defendant Nguyen stated that the Witherspoon son’s behavior was out of control and a bad influence on his son."

People. Colors. Apps. Cats. Bacon. Organic. Bieber. Mobile. Social. Local. Pivot. In other words, Bill Nguyen’s startup history embodies every web 2.0 cliché, EVER.
"I make the same mistakes with every single startup," says Nguyen, "But I keep trying. Maybe I’m the Don Quixote of startups."
So who is this guy who thought he could build a better Facebook, and why do people keep giving him so much money?
A fantastic long read from our November issue: Bill Nguyen: The Boy In The Bubble

People. Colors. Apps. Cats. Bacon. Organic. Bieber. Mobile. Social. Local. Pivot. In other words, Bill Nguyen’s startup history embodies every web 2.0 cliché, EVER.

"I make the same mistakes with every single startup," says Nguyen, "But I keep trying. Maybe I’m the Don Quixote of startups."

So who is this guy who thought he could build a better Facebook, and why do people keep giving him so much money?

A fantastic long read from our November issue: Bill Nguyen: The Boy In The Bubble