FreezeCrowd and the US Chamber of Commerce

| Mon Apr. 12, 2010 9:06 AM EDT

The US Chamber of Commerce, America's big business lobby, is holding an internet video contest called "I Am Free Enterprise." The Chamber is offering serious money—"$100,000 in cash prizes for the most innovative, creative, compelling story!"—but the entry period has passed, so you can't join the competition. You can, however, gaze upon the entries with delight and childlike wonder. Perhaps the "best" of the bunch is this entry, by Eric Leebow, the CEO of "FreezeCrowd" (website here.)* Eric describes himself as "an Internet visionary entrepreneur who shoots for his dreams." He has a special idea. Watch:

If you're saying "wow, that sounds a lot like Facebook," well, you're not the only one. Eric's great idea hasn't gone viral quite yet—it only has 27,000 views so far. But if the Alexsey Vayner video resume saga is any guide, this video is about to catch fire. Eric already took quite a beating in an immense reddit thread last month, so things are starting to pick up steam. A highlight from the reddit thread:

WOW! I remember him coming to our VC firm and pitching this to us.

First off, this was about 3 years ago. So he's been in "coming soon..." mode since then.

Second, he said how he made a lot of money on google stock, but then lost it all paying for developers and in return got a half made project.

Third, he mentioned how this was going to destroy facebook, because you can basically tag people in a photo and see what other people they're friends with. When I alerted him that facebook already has this, he said that he thought of it first. I told him that's not really a good business model.

Fourth, after I told him our firm was not interested, he then e-mailed and called constantly trying to convince me that we were making a mistake. It got to the point that I was scared he'd just snap one day and come back shooting.

The best part about all of this is that the rules of the Chamber's contest stipulate that "The top 25 most-viewed videos will be eligible to win!" You're creating some perverse incentives there, guys.

*Obviously, a lot of this is almost too good to be true. Eric Leebow has a twitter handle and an immense web presence, but Martin Eisenstadt seemed real, too. Proceed with caution.