An open letter to Jon Hutson and Eric Pinckert of Brand Culture Company.

Dear Jon and Eric:

On October 8th, 2012, the three of us had coffee at Gypsy Cafe in Westwood. We discussed the woes of our working relationship and hashed out a deal. We were going to go our separate ways, and along those ways you would satisfy the financial balance owed for the work that I performed. It wasn't quite that straightforward, though - is it ever? You had some disputes about my invoice going over budget, and I had some disputes about the project going out of scope. We decided, as a group of responsible professionals, that the final invoice was satisfactory with the agreement that I would accept payment on an extended payment plan.

Well, good sirs, I'm openly declaring that it's been too "extended" of an extended payment plan for me. Maybe you had this in mind from the start, and shame on me for not clarifying.

The undisputed balance since your last payment of $500 comes in at a cool $2,307. After I picked myself up off the floor from laughter when my collection agency reported that you threatened legal action, I decided that enough was enough. Why should a few upstanding gentlemen argue about money that we all know isn't going to be paid anyway. Who are we really kidding? It's so much easier to bully your way out of uncomfortable situations these days [satire]. I have a better idea: let's take the high road.

I propose a community solution. We can let that $2,307 be forgotten and this situation doesn't go any further, but you're not off the hook. Donate it. Pick a charity, any charity, and make a donation in the amount of $2,307. You can even do it in your own name and claim the goodwill. Need some suggestions for that donation? I thought you'd never ask.

Nikola Tesla Museum

Let's be fair. Who doesn't freaking love Nikola Tesla? Put your hand down, Mr. Edison. The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe could certainly use your help. Their mission, to "develop Nikola Tesla's last and only existing laboratory, in Shoreham, NY (USA), into a science and technology center and museum" is a noble one. Surely you must agree, yes?

Write a check (made payable to "Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe") and press hard - three copies. Your people can get in touch with my people and let me know that you've decided to spread some goodwill in our society. I'll gladly post the update and let the world know that Brand Culture Company has finally settled their debt. You'll be cherished in your community and contractors will have no fear doing business with Brand Culture because at the end of the day, you make good on your promises.

It's been a fun ride, hasn't it? All sarcasm aside, I really have enjoyed our professional relationship and felt that we made a strong team. That's why it's such a shame that we find ourselves in this precarious situation.

I wish you all the very best in your future endeavors and, for the record, will promptly ignore your obvious bullying tactics. Write the goddamned check and do Nikola Tesla a favor.


Jeff Walden