Subscribe to Inc. magazine

'Nathan For You' Recap: Awkward Situations Make Great Business Opportunities

Things get uncomfortable when Nathan tries to revolutionize the Los Angeles events scene.

After gaining international notoriety in last week's episode by opening (and abruptly closing) parody cafe Dumb Starbucks, Comedy Central's Nathan Fielder took his business strategy consulting to a less visible industry in the sixth episode of Nathan For You.

Fielder's latest idea involves helping Los Angeles-based party planner Veronique Assouline upgrade her email invitation system with a flashy new feature. "When someone's having a party, the biggest stress comes from who to invite," he says, adding that many hosts invite guests they don't like just to avoid being berated later for excluding them.

A great way to eliminate these awkward situations, Fielder says, is to offer an invite system that sends invitations directly to undesired guests' spam folders. This way, party hosts can invite everyone they know to a party while being guaranteed certain guests won't show up.

"As the only party planner to provide this service, you would get everyone wanting you to plan their party," Fielder says. 

Who knew spam emails could be marketed as a premium service?

After hiring a developer to create a program that triggers spam filters with hidden keywords like "Viagra" and "win a free car," Fielder tests out the system by inviting a group of people to a party at his apartment. Almost nobody shows up--creating a painfully awkward situation for Assouline and the one other guest who does show--but the low turnout proves the system works.

When one of Fielder's co-workers insists he didn't know about the party, Fielder asks him to check his spam folder. Sure enough, the unopened invitation is waiting inside. Mission accomplished.

"He thought at first I didn't like him, but then he realized it was just the email's fault," Fielder says to Assouline, who responds by shaking his hand and quickly leaving his office.  

Fielder may not have convinced this particular small business owner of the value of the service, but in a city like Los Angeles--where there's no shortage of snubbery--perhaps celebrities are a better target market?

Judging by past experience, Fielder will probably let the free market decide.

Stay tuned for more recaps every week.


Last updated: Aug 5, 2014


Graham Winfrey is a staff writer for He previously covered alternative investments at Private Equity International magazine, prior to which he worked at Business Insider and He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Register on today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments

Or sign up using: