Proving People Wrong

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.

  • Bottled up rage does no good if it stays bottled up. I'm guessing you won't let that happen. Prove 'em wrong 🙂

  • hkoren

    Hearing no and soldiering on builds character. A lot of these investors are not in it for the long haul, but to make a quick buck. Don't let it get you down, redirect that rage into the bootstrapping efforts, nobody can stop you from going forward on that but yourself.

  • Giddyup!

  • 10 years after we started our firm, proving those that doubted us back then still fires me up. It's powerful stuff Andrew. Go Pick!

  • I like that you're on posterous.

    It's funny that thing about “being ready.”

    Back in April 2009 at the first SW I attended (SF), I was a couple of months into my blogging website.

    I had the business cards made, but I didn't like handing them out.

    I had a lot of material written, but I didn't like promoting it.

    9 months later, totally different story. I'm happy to pass out a business card for anyone interested (generally people have to ask, just how I am).

    No problem explaining what I'm doing to anyone that asks. It's not “hard core” coding, and it may not be startup-able, but it's going to monetize at some point, and that's going to be really cool.

    Ok, off to subscribe on posterous and twitter stuff. I like what I think you're doing with Pick, will be reading more.

  • oh man, i hear you on this, what you're talking about is the essence of entrepreneurship.

    i often feel that the key to entrepreneurial success isn't great ideas, brillance, etc. it's simply persistence. because in the start-up process you get kicked in the head so many times. the key is to keep rolling forward.

    i have written some about this lately . paul graham–who sadly has been a snob lately about his program–is nevertheless a great voice about the start-up experience and he always says persistence is the #1 determinant of success. he said it again recently:

    “Success of a start up is dependent upon whether co-founders want it enough. People tend to over emphasize the brilliance of idea. For any successful start up idea, you can find 20 bitter losers who say “I had that idea 20 years ago.” This shows you that it’s the people, not really the idea that matter. “The most important thing is to be DETERMINED. Measure of determination is not quitting and not giving up.””

    i've been kicked a ton. i'm still getting kicked. but you have to keep on grinding forward, just as you are doing. the grind is the key to success.

    good luck!

  • oh man, i hear you on this, what you're talking about is the essence of entrepreneurship.

    i often feel that the key to entrepreneurial success isn't great ideas, brillance, etc. it's simply persistence. because in the start-up process you get kicked in the head so many times. the key is to keep rolling forward.

    i have written some about this lately . paul graham–who sadly has been a snob lately about his program–is nevertheless a great voice about the start-up experience and he always says persistence is the #1 determinant of success. he said it again recently:

    “Success of a start up is dependent upon whether co-founders want it enough. People tend to over emphasize the brilliance of idea. For any successful start up idea, you can find 20 bitter losers who say “I had that idea 20 years ago.” This shows you that it’s the people, not really the idea that matter. “The most important thing is to be DETERMINED. Measure of determination is not quitting and not giving up.””

    i've been kicked a ton. i'm still getting kicked. but you have to keep on grinding forward, just as you are doing. the grind is the key to success.

    good luck!

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