It is remarkable that both extreme skeptics and critics, and "believers" in Rossi, think the Agreement was terrible. However, what I see is that IH had adequate protection, they could easily lose $11.5 million, but not the $89 million. They accepted that first risk, it was worth risking that in order to "crush the tests." So what about the other side? What about, for example, the restriction on Rossi disclosing IP, but not on IH?
It was terible in the sense that it gave all parties perverse motivation. I'm not saying it was not in Rossi's interest (it was, if he could get away with it, as it seems he felt he could) nor that IH was foolish to sign it if they had to do so. But IH would have been in a much stronger position having a contract that aligned Rossi's interests with theirs more clearly, and that is the norm for such VC contracts.
I do know that at least one quite intelligent person, who knew Rossi personally, was devastated to see the Rossi email to Darden about Industrial Heat. Rossi can obviously be very engaging and likable. And then something else is going on. There are hidden dimensions.
I believe you. But in Rossi's case his blatently bad testing protocols were clear from the start, and became more obvious. They were pointed out. The hidden dimension is how some otherwise sensible people can overlook this when presented with a no doubt charming inventor.
I don't think this is a typical reaction to Rossi. Plenty of people were not so convinced. But Rossi was careful to control access to those whom he could convince, and for these people he was very good at PR.