I was watching an NFL pregame last month. It was Green Bay vs Minisota. Brett Farve vs the team that didn’t think he could play.
What was interesting was the announcers. Each one of the hall of fame athletes and coaches went off script to single out a specific coach, by name, that didn’t believe in him.
Here they were all wearing Super Bowl Rings, wildly successful and on national TV.
And they wanted to let you know that one guy that didn’t believe in them. They were passionate about it. “This guy said I could never play in the NFL *points to Super Bowl Champion Ring* yeah, I remember that.”
There is a level of intellectual honesty you have to have with startups. People are going to say no to you a lot. It isn’t your job to push through every rejection, it is your job to know which ones to be bummed about.
Today I Pick was rejected by the Open Angel Forum. I really like what they are doing and would have loved to present, but I’m not 100% sure on raising money right now, which is what the forum is really for. If you are not 100% sure you are raising money, you really are 0%. They saw this. Smart. If I got in I would be taking a spot away from someone with a lead investor. Part of me wants to be a pit bull about these things, part of me understands why. I’m excited to watch the OAF grow, would love to help develop a program for those that don’t get in.
The SXSW Accelerator, of which I was critical of last year, sent a rejection to Pick today. I’m pretty bummed about this, partially in the way it was done (100% form letter, no feedback, and I was charged to submit), but in what I think Pick is bringing is perfect for the SXSW crowd. I really want to support this event (startups need more celebration at SXSW) and was trying to be the better change. Still planning on launching at SXSW.
There is that chip on the shoulder that someone gets. Bottled up rage. I felt this way at Mile 25 of the NYC Marathon, and the last mile of the Half Ironman. You could have hit me with a truck and I would have crawled to the finish line.
One of my heroes is the CU Cross Country program (coaches and athletes). Long time coach Mark Wetmore has a great attitude about not talking about what you are going to do, but showing them the soles of your feet. There is a quite humble pride in that.
It is time to prove some people wrong.