Tribute To The Founder: F.T.
(1974 - September 11, 2001)
At the turn of the century, in a new millennium, the plans for uBetWHAT?!
began coming together.
F.T. was just 25 years old, a driven Wall Street executive with vision
beyond his years, working in an environment where buying, selling and
trading on bond market movements were everyday occurrences.
One morning, before the New York bond market opened, F.T. was joking with
co-workers about who would be the next person to arrive in the office.
'Who's the next person to walk through the door?' was a popular morning
office game F.T. had made-up. The loser bought breakfast and was heckled
until the next bet came along. Co-workers challenging each other on almost
anything was everyday office fun. "You bet what?!", F.T. would often
shout, a catchy phrase from a creative mind.
Inspiration struck F.T. Why not create a Web site where people could
challenge each other on anything, about anything and with anything?
He imagined an online community, similar to the culture of his work
environment, which could broker challenges instead of trades, free of house
restrictions and commissions. He envisioned a person-to-person forum where
the house was eliminated, allowing for circumstances and risks controlled
by the members. A bet or challenge could be made on anything imaginable
(sports, stocks, weather, news, gossip, etc.) and for anything imaginable-
not only cash but products, a TV, watch, palm-pilot, and even just for fun,
using points. F.T. realized the possibilities were amazingly endless.
The process would be quick and easy: a member posts a challenge, another
member accepts it, and a deal is struck. In F.T.'s office 'your word was
your bond' and the same principles would apply to the site.
F.T. surfed the Internet to see if such a site already existed and the
results were just as he suspected. He found many person-to-person gambling
sites, but the house always dictated the terms and took a percentage of the
winnings. The bets on these sites were always just for money and not
products or points. Nothing on the Internet came close to his
revolutionary concepts for uBetWHAT?!.
F.T. began assembling the blueprint in an Excel spreadsheet. Night after
night he would layout sheets of paper on his kitchen table and meticulously
analyze every page, every layout, and every possibility. In his mind, he
knew exactly how each page should look and function. Hungry for
constructive feedback and eager to trouble-shoot, he shared his plans with
anyone who would listen. His intuitive thoughts, entrepreneurial drive and
innovative vision brought his dream to the next level. With help from a
software developer he transformed this detailed information into a complex
program, established a solid business plan and organized a team of business
F.T. discovered answers when others could only see problems. He was
undaunted by the challenges that arose from starting an Internet business
after the dot-com bubble burst. He would work ten-hour days in a fast
paced, high-pressure atmosphere at a major financial institution,
entertain clients after work, and still find time to work on his
dream. F.T. would not let any obstacle get in his way or slow him down.
uBetWHAT?! was months away from completion when on September 11, 2001
terrorists tragically murdered F.T. while he was at work in the World Trade
Rather than see his dream pass, the completion of the site was supervised
by F.T.'s family, business partners, and close friends. The uBetWHAT?!
team has put their heart and soul into seeing the birth of F.T.'s
brainchild and hope it is the success he imagined it would be.
The site stands today as a place for people to bet just for fun, using FTs (Fun Tokens) instead of real cash or products.