Rejection. Motivation. Progress.

It was one year ago that I received my rejection letter from Dave Tisch informing me that I wasn’t going to be part of the 2011 class of TechStars NYC. That shit sucked.

I read the email at least 25 times that night before I passed out with my phone in my hand. When I woke up, I realized that I had dropped my phone off my bed (or subconsciously threw it)  and completely smashed the back screen.


At that point I decided 3 things:

  1. I’m not going to fix my phone until I get into TechStars
  2. I need to work harder than everyone else I know until I make it happen
  3. I need to start blogging, so I wrote this post about my rejection: "Their Mistake, My Fault"

Looking back on that post, I have to laugh and admit that I was a little cocky in the face of defeat. Mark Suster told me via Twitter that “tis but a minor flesh wound.” And of course, he was right.

The project we were working on at that time was good, but it was definitely not out of this world amazing. We had no clue what we were doing and definitely didn’t deserve to make the cut, but I’m glad that we applied and glad that I wrote that post and started my blogging journey with this…

I don’t make excuses or have regrets. I make shit happen and I learn from the past.

Is it possible to love a quote from yourself? Well if it is, I do. I try to live by that every day.

Skip ahead 6 months to a TechStars event in NYC where I won a TechStars t-shirt from Cohen and Tisch. It was definitely cool to win the shirt, but I wrote a post about how I refused to wear it until I earned it.

So I hung it up on my bedroom door to force myself to look at it every single morning as motivation to make it happen. TechStars found my article and tweeted that I should wear it for the right reasons.

Boom. More motivation.


Now let’s fast forward to today…

The back of my iPhone is still cracked, but I am writing this post from the TechStars Boulder office. I’ve joined the DigitialOcean team, and as part of the 2012 class of TechStars Boulder we are fully executing “Operation Show Boulder What NYC Is All About.”

It feels pretty good to be writing this post, but it was super fucking awesome to take that shirt off of the wall and put it on for the first time.

We still have a lot of work to do and by no means is this a victory post. We’re just getting started and have a long, uphill road ahead. But every once and a while, you have to stop and smell the roses and celebrate your accomplishments. That moment is now.

Stay determined. Stay focused. Keep hustling. Have fun. And learn everything you can along the way. A Note To Tomorrow's TechStars Presenters

"How is the Iraqi government doing as of 2012?"