LIfe Is Good
Day, Fusco told me that he was considering sending an e-mail
asking Heyman to call in so that the two of them could dis-
cuss the future. In the end, he decided not to send the note.
THe eNd of THe drAmA came a few weeks later, late on a
Sunday night. Fusco knew Heyman was back in the United
States to attend a wedding—he hadn’t been in touch, but his
employees were in the habit of following his Twitter postings.
At a quarter to 11, as he went through his Infosurv e-mail
while lying in bed, Fusco found a note from Heyman, saying
he had decided not to return to Infosurv. He wanted to keep
the existing management structure intact. And he wanted to
come to the office to talk about it.
Fusco suggested the following Tuesday, and at 10 o’clock that
morning, Heyman appeared in the office for the first time in 11
months. It was an informal and slightly odd reunion. For starters, after nearly a year of traveling abroad in the most exotic of
locales, Heyman showed up bearing only a pound of Starbucks
coffee that he picked up on the way in. More to the point, as the
staff ate pizza and chatted with Heyman, “He was detached. It
was as if he wasn’t there,” Barrett later recalled. “I would have
asked the staff what they had done, what was going on with their
“I recognize I have enjoyed
this wonderful lifestyle
while they have been
working hard,” Heyman
said. “But I put a lot of work
in from 1998 to 2010, and I
assumed a lot of risk.”
Heyman appeared in the office
for the first time in 11 months.
It was an informal and slightly
odd reunion. “He was detached,”
Barrett later recalled. “It was
as if he wasn’t there.”
lives. But it was all about Jared and the trip. What the hell? Look,
none of us survive if the staff isn’t doing a good job. It’s actually
all about them. You want to take good care of them.”
Things returned quickly to normal after Heyman’s visit.
Fusco, however, was disappointed with how Heyman showed
his appreciation for the work he had done. Fusco had been
looking for a big raise and perhaps ownership in the company.
He got more money, but not as much as he thought he
deserved, and there was no equity.
“It’s not what I had hoped,” Fusco told me. He felt he had
improved the company dramatically. True, Infosurv had not hit
its financial goals—both revenue and profit were essentially flat
for the year. But Fusco felt he had made big strides, including
revamping the company’s IT system. And iCE, which the team
had improved and refined in Heyman’s absence, was picking
up steam. “We have signed three big [iCE] projects in the last
six weeks,” Fusco said in July. Most satisfying for him personally,
Fusco felt he had fired up the troops and had won their respect.
He YmAN WAs No WHere NeAr reAd Y to end his endless
summer. After the Atlanta visit, he spent the next two months
energetically traveling and tweeting his way through Colom-
bia and Ecuador before moving on to Hawaii with a stop in
Florida. I caught up with him on the beach in Miami, just
about one year after our first meeting in California. He was
noticeably thinner, which he attributed to the fact that he
hadn’t been lifting weights. When we got around to talking
business, Heyman gave Fusco solid, if not superhigh, marks.
He acknowledged that the financial target he had set for the
year was aggressive—and in a tough economy was difficult, if
not impossible, to reach. And he recognized that Fusco and
the team had decided to invest in the company’s future rather
than focus only on hitting a number. “I was satisfied
with the performance—but not delighted,” he said.
I asked what he had learned in his peripatetic year
abroad, and he said the most important thing was that
he was a start-up guy and not suited to be a hands-on
manager. “I don’t think I suck as a manager,” he said.
“But I’m a better leader than a manager. I treat people
the way I like to be treated. I give someone a task, and
I say, ‘Here is the result I want—accomplish it how you
see fit. If you get stuck, come to me.’ I don’t roam the
office and shoot the shit.”
Did he care that people back in the office seem
happier with him gone? “That would please me no
end, that they were happier,” he replied.
I asked Heyman if he was grateful for the work and long
hours Fusco and the others put in while he was away. “I rec-
ognize I have enjoyed this wonderful lifestyle while they have
been working hard,” he said. “But I put a lot of work in from
1998 to 2010, and I assumed a lot of risk.” Then he added, “I
probably should show them more appreciation.”
Heyman swears he will start a new business one day, once the
wanderlust wears thin. When he does, don’t look for him to stick
around for another 12 years, as he did at Infosurv. He’s a starter
and a builder. He needs to keep moving. For now, though, that
means traveling the world. His year off is stretching into two. His
latest tweet could have been his very first: “Great couple of weeks
in Hawaii. Ate sushi on Waikiki beach, kitesurfed Maui’s north
shore and saw the sunset in Lahaina. Tomorrow, Bangkok.”
Amy Barrett is a regular contributor to the magazine.
She lives and writes in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
6 8 | INC. | noVeMBer 2011