Being in the startup scene – is living with a clock permanently on 23.55 trying to score Cinderella. Only the most agressive, funny and smart (and attractive) guys have a chance.
After having started more than 100 companies – I feel that I’m starting to find the right melody – or lets call it tune. (And remember that I’m just the musician* – Josephine is my Cinderella – I over scored massively). And the people I have on my dance floor are absolute superstarts. And compared to when I was loaded – its much more fun and much more honest. Everyone knows that I can’t pay – so the people who show up (and STAY) – are all 100% focused on performing.
90% of Success Is: Showing Up
Of course you cannot learn those break-dance moves that will make Cinderella (the market) pick you – in a snap. And therefore its really interesting to grow older. Mostly because my network gets older – and more experienced. I’m a full believer in most of what Malcolm Gladwell preaches in Outliers: 10.000h is minimum needed to be word class at anything (sports, music…). And in maybe you need to put in even more hours if you want to be the winner in online/social business (overnight success takes about 5 years).
I.e. my close friend Chris Bouwer – was the most aggressive – at any dance floor (literally) for the last 20 years. He is just always there – and no fucking wonder he is the most successful sales guy in payments in Europe. The guy works harder then the rest. And is a pretty good dancer.. :)
Having A Unique Move
We all know that Cinderella needs an original and innovative pitch – since everyone will give it a try. But since that time is short (about 4.59) one has to be able to have something to say that is understandable. The Samwer Brothers seems to have refined that – by simply admitting to copy – and don’t ditch that too hard. We are all using whats out there – and every big artist in every century – has been painting just like his friends. But the most successful one’s managed to EXECUTE: get in front of Cinderella and deliver.
Without going into any racial or gender discussion – since that makes no sense AT ALL. It’s obvious that some people just have it – they know by instinct how to dress mentally – for other Cinderellas to be interested… To me it looks like curiosity is very important – mixed with extreme stamina and persistance. And right now I have chosen 18 people whom I believe in – to nail the Cinderella of their sector – I have to mention:
Kim at InsuranceXO – redefining insurance
Ken at posXO – doing a massive take on how we will shop
Claus at payXO – making it easy to accept credit cards without being ripped of…
You Can Do It
Is what I really want to say … just keep trying. Smile and Think positive and don’t take No for an answer. And it will all work out.
*I feel like Bob Geldof – definitely not the best musician – but I know the right people ;) (thanks to @MikThoboCarlsen for that one).