As an entrepreneur, you become used to people saying one word, "No," whether that is from your team, your investors, or partners. It seems like it is a lot easier for people to say "No" rather than "Yes." One of the most important things you need to be able to do as an entrepreneur is at least ignore the "Nos" or be able to turn them into a "Yes."We got our second "No" this week from an investor, and while it is always disappointing, you have to realize that that is the norm. You have to kiss a lot of frogs and all that! The real difference between Silicon Valley and the rest of the world when it comes to raising money is that there are just so many more VCs in Silicon Valley that you have a higher chance of finding one that believes in your idea. One of the big trends that has appeared relatively recently in Silicon Valley is that it used to be the case that you could raise seed money on a mere concept. However, as technology has become quicker and cheaper to build, investors now want at least a demo product, and preferably traction. The problem we have with Ignite is that it is hardware, which is much more expensive to build than software. It is much harder to be able to build a piece of hardware without seed funding, however, with the advent of new funding platforms such as Kickstarter, it is becoming easier to raise funds for hardware before having a prototype. We did consider using Kickstarter, but a $500K raise from Kickstarter would have been challenging. Due to this, we chose the traditional Silicon Valley route.
So, after two "Nos," it was about time to relax a little. A pool party in San Francisco is a rare beast, mostly because it is so damn cold most of the time. Being British and the fact that in Britain it is cold and raining a lot, my sister and I appreciate when the sun is shining. We are lucky enough to have a pool and we are definitely going to get together some friends and enjoy the sun.
Also, you have to remember that my sister and I are making up for loss time. We never got to spend much time together when we were growing up, so it is really nice to be able to spend time relaxing with my her. However, it is not always easy between us -- she is like my best friend, but I have no influence or control over her. One thing you learn about my sister very early on is that she is completely her own person, and when I try to be protective over all the men she attracts, it is clearly a waste of time!
Ben, Stop listening to your sister's advice and start trusting your own instincts! If, you are a true entrepreneur like you say you are, your British charm and good looks will do you well in Silicon Valley. The ladies love it. Remember, there are a lot of VC people in SV that are women!