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Eric Leebow Claims He Invented Social Networking, Has a Killer Jump Shot

So there's this guy named Eric Leebow -- and he invented social networking. Don't believe us? Just ask Eric Leebow.

Leebow is the delusional CEO and founder of something called Freezecrowd, a site that he describes as a "college yearbook," replete with photo tagging and friends lists. It may sound a lot like Facebook, but the difference is, Leebow thought of it first -- in 1999, to be precise. Gawker has a video that Leebow produced for the 'I am Free Enterprise' competition, in which he gives a stylized run down of his project, talks about shooting for his dreams, and then swishes a few half-court heaves on an outdoor basketball court, just in case anyone doubts his determination.

Even after spending a year unsuccessfully searching for a programmer willing to work on Freezecrowd (for nothing), Leebow tirelessly persists, pitching his brainchild to venture capitalists and college students, just as he's reportedly been doing for years. In a Reddit thread titled "Why the CEO of freezecrowd thinks he can get away with paying developers nothing," people whose paths had crossed with Leebow's at one point or another came out of the woodwork to share their quirky tales. For the most part, each encounter paints the same general portrait of an obsessive salesman and self-proclaimed "visionary," hellbent on carving out a space in the social networking market to which he apparently feels entitled.

Now, we all have at least one friend like Eric Leebow -- that guy who insists that he thought of the iPhone years ago, or that his uncle invented the silkworm. The difference, though, is that Leebow is delusional enough to think his idea can work. If you look past his athletic gifts or Twitter correspondences with celebrities like Jaleel White, Leebow might actually have a point. You see, Freezecrowd, unlike Facebook, also comes with a button The Button. Reddit user explicit_innuendo describes the gadget thusly: "Basically, you are out partying, you push THE BUTTON and so does everyone else, and then freezecrowd uses machine learning and social network graphs and geographic data and buzzwords to somehow learn who you are partying with and out awesome facebook." Facebook and a party button? Sign us up. [From: Gawker and Reddit]

Tags: crazy, entrepreneur, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, eric leebow, EricLeebow, facebook, freezecrowd, reddit, socialnetworking, top, web