There's A New Tech Startup Trend: Hire A Hollywood Screenwriter To Throw A Hilarious Party


Zuora Star Trek skit

Todd Pearson

Zuora executives in Star Trek costumes


We love stories about the Valley's over-the-top tech culture.

For instance, it's downright common for startups to hire full-time chefs to cook them gourmet meals three times a day. (At MemSQL, for instance, the chef was employee No. 9.) Other companies offer fantastic international "work-cations." And all of them throw fabulous parties.

The newest trend in parties was started by an up-and-coming enterprise startup called Zuora:

Zuora hired a professional Hollywood screenwriter, Brian Narelle, to write a skit that execs performed in front of the whole company during a corporate off-site party.


One of those execs, senior VP Todd Pearson, was kind enough to send us a photo. He's in the blue shirt, with a stethoscope. (He played the Bones character.) Zuora's CEO didn't go the cliché route and play Captain Kirk. He's the guy in the mask playing an alien.

The story goes that someone promised the employees that the highlight of the party would be the execs performing a skit, but the one that the wrote themselves was terrible. Instead of putting the kabosh on the idea, Tzuo went the hire-a-pro route, he told Business Insider. It was surprisingly cheap, he said, only a few thousand dollars. That's about what a corporation would pay for any freelance writing gig.

Since then, other Valley execs have been asking Tzuo for Narelle's number.