The two men realize they must find support for their vision, or find jobs. Marc takes the train into New York to seek advice from acquaintances in media and financial circles. He also calls old friends in Los Angeles, searching for people in the entertainment industry with interest in the Internet. Encouraged, Marc and Paul apply for new credit cards, charge their airplane tickets and fly West to meet with anyone who will see them.
At the Santa Monica offices of Launch Media, which produces a music magazine for CD-ROM and the Internet, they find a kindred spirit in the 27-year-old co-founder, Dave Goldberg. Goldberg, without a hint of irony, says Marc and Paul remind him "of when I was young. They don't have much experience, but they are blunt and funny, and they know that they don't know anything."
Launch doesn't have the money to buy the idea. But Goldberg sets up a meeting with his former employers at Capitol Records. There, Marc and Paul -- still without a character -- make a 20-minute presentation on a computer and monitor they lug from office to office. They hold up cartoons against the screen and Paul says: "Imagine, if this was interactive. Imagine if it just popped out of your e-mail and started talking to you."
The record company executives express doubt that any established firm will buy the idea. But "if you guys could put your own company together and do something like that with an e-mail cartoon," one executive says, "you could be millionaires."
Marc takes a deep breath. He does not like corporations, and he does not want to run one. But maybe a corporation can be a rocket booster, the fuel they need to reach new creative heights.
"So, cool," Marc says to Paul as they walk out of the room. "Let's be millionaires."
Tomorrow: Marc and Paul court a speeding programmer for their lightning-fast start-up.