A man cannot really be expected to have seemingly superhuman intelligence, financially rewarding business sense, and impeccable home design style, can he? Well, some of San Francisco’s best and brightest internet nerds are demonstrating that, no, they can’t really be expected to have it all.
While it is evident that they have all the intelligence needed to make millions on internet startup companies, their abundant lack of time and pure deficiency of style means there are a few extremely rich and powerful nerds who are living in lavish lands of …much less than luxury. Their answer? Hand bundles of money—or even blank checks—to a designer to help with the issue, and get back to your computer.
Mark Pincus is an extremely wealthy Harvard MBA and founder of local and social networking sites Tribe.net and Zynga. Lacking time and interest, he and his wife hired the help of interior designer Ken Fulk to aid them in the tedious task of home decorating. While Mr. Fulk obliged, it is said that the Pincus family “never consulted with their decorator on as so much as a paint chip or swath of fabric” for their Cole Valley home.
Michael Birch is a programmer and founder of the social network Bebo, which he sold to AOL for an astonishing $850 million. Mr. Birch and his wife also reportedly gave designer Fulk an “elastic budget” for renovating their $30 million Pacific Heights mansion. Their only specification was that Mr. Birch wanted a full-service pub imported from London. Fulk was given no further instructions.
So how did the homes turn out? If we’re going based on the photos available, the homes turned out quite eclectically, to say the least. Featured in the photos are electric-blue lacquered walls, plaid couches with tasseled pillows, and Michelangelo on the coffee table.
It is reported that Fulk’s own loft is decorated with “lots of taxidermy, vintage furniture, and portraits.” In addition, “his clothes hang on a rack sheathed in black bags to protect them from the sun. Each bag is affixed with a Polaroid of the outfit inside. His name is printed on the bags as if it were a fashion label.”
To each his own.