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"What was the cost to him in going to this meeting??

Time, both in the meeting and in preparing, and in information transfer. He didn't specifically say what he went through, but he may have divulged pieces of the puzzle that they were unaware of.

I mean, sure, but in business there are always meetings you attend for partnerships or offers that don't pan out. It's just the way the world works.

Yes but there's a difference between a well-intentioned meeting that didn't pan out and a mal-intentioned meeting, and it would seem that it was the latter according to the OP

I recently had a meeting where our side came out of it literally saying "WTF was that?". We'd expected it to be about how a partnership would progress and it was more the other side questioning us about why there should be a partnership at all.

In retrospect, our contact with the other side that had set up the meeting hadn't properly communicated to us what the meeting would be about, and presumably had not communicated much with his side about what they were looking for at this stage.

Their side was basically dysfunctional, with each person on their team having a different agenda.

I wouldn't say that meeting was mal-intentioned, just that their company was really screwed up.

Facebook may be in a similar stage at certain levels.

There doesn't have to be a specific badness to be mal-intentioned. Disparate, fuzzy, or nonexistent intentions are just as much a waste of time for the other side than specifically harmful goals. It's all garbage on the receiving end.

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