After 10 minutes, the waiting seemed farcical. Broadmoore never gave me a cue to hop into the discussion. So I listened to the team's business jargon. I made a game of catching and analyzing fragments, such as -- "life insurance on the inventor" -- "burn rate" -- "tax consequences of alternative accounting methods" -- "adequacy of the contract language" -- "eventual exit strategies" -- "improvements of the invention" -- and "scope of definition of the technology." In a short time, I had compiled, for future use, a long list of specialized terms.
Then, I made a game of guessing who's who.
Well, the fellow next to Broadmoore with the three-piece suit and tassled-loafers had to be a lawyer. He sat comfortably and quietly, head nearly motionless, but eyes darting left and right behind large horn-rimmed glasses, following the conversation and noting everyone's response. Once, the ball bounced to him. It was a question about the "adequacy of the contract language." He answered in fluent legalese, skillfully modulated in pitch, volume and rate. He had to be a lawyer.
Sitting in a chair at right angle to Broadmoore, was a white-haired man with the long nose and gaunt face. He must have been in his late fifties. His knit tie and loose tweed jacket with leather elbow patches were certainly not power clothes. He couldn't be a businessman. He probably had some irreplaceable technical skill. Probably a professor. But "Tweedy" did nothing to help me refine my guess. He just sat there, restlessly fumbling with something in his inside jacket pocket.
Sitting on the couch across from Broadmoore was a guy about my age with the physique of a football player and a go-go attitude. He didn't say anything important, but everyone treated him with a lot of respect. Sometimes he indicated agreement by making a fist and moving his arm like he was shifting gears in a car. Finally he grunted something about "underwriting" and an "IPO". I figured he would be responsible for selling stock when Broadmoore took the company public.
I doubted whether the guy sitting next to "Go-Go" could even catch a football. Narrow-spaced, wire-framed glasses made him look cross-eyed. But he had no trouble seeing the numbers on his tape-printing adding machine that sat on the coffee table. I guessed he was a financial specialist -- most likely an accountant. I was sure after he said something about "tax consequences."
The last guy on the couch facing Broadmoore was an enigma. He was bald-headed, plump, short, and probably in his mid- fifties. He spoke unctuously, gestured smoothly, and reminded me of a funeral director. If I'd seen him around Bryan Medical School, I would have taken him for a fund raiser assigned to keep track of wealthy patrons. A few minutes of eavesdropping informed me that he was an expert in "regulatory affairs" -- whatever that meant.
Then it was time for breakfast. Dr. Broadmoore didn't really introduce me to any of them.