“Seeing Through Kavanaugh’s Tears”

“Seeing Through Kavanaugh’s Tears” @LuxAlptraum https://medium.com/s/story/seeing-through-kavanaughs-tears-f34e199b199b

Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Leave a kind message anywhere (in a library book, on a computer etc.)
  2. Share today’s food with your neighbour!
  3. Make someone’s day – tell a friend why you appreciate them
  4. Someone looking lost? Help them with directions
  5. Remember that friend you haven’t seen for ages? Give them a call
  6. Feed a stray animal if you spot one
  7. Purchase ethical goods
  8. Recycle 3 things today
  9. Open the door for someone
  10. Have lunch with a homeless person

Startup stories newsletter my fav

Daily Capsule | 30th September

How Jaypore’s Co-Founder, Shilpa Sharma’s love for painting and all things beautiful led her down the path of fruitful entrepreneurship

Jaypore’s Shilpa Sharma’s love for paintings and all things beautiful led her down the path of fruitful entrepreneurship. Besides bringing the world closer together and connecting a global audience to India’s exquisite handcrafted merchandise, Jaypore now partners with artisanal communities, textile designers and independent artists to create a unique interpretation of age-old crafts and has also developed a contemporary design language. The founder talks about how water colours and photography have helped her de-stress and enjoy the journey.

Read more

Buddha in Business: The joys of building a product

Is it possible to dovetail Buddhist framework into the ten building blocks of the business model itself and build a robust entrepreneurial practice? This was the question we raised in our introductory column last week. Starting today, we will address each of the building blocks within the Buddhist ethos by illustrating with an appropriate and interesting use case. To begin with, what is a business model? And secondly, how is it different from a business plan? Here’s the second in the twelve part series.

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Actor Rasika Dugal – ‘Daily challenges are overcome with love and warmth from close friends’

Manto, the biographical film on famous Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto, written and directed by Nandita Das, hit the screens last week and has received rave reviews from discerning filmgoers. YS Weekender caught up with actress Rasika Dugal, who plays the lead role as Manto’s wife in the film, for an exclusive interview.

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‘Worldly success and recognition are the most over-rated virtues’: Madhuri Upadhya, Co-founder Nritarutya

Madhuri Upadhya is Co-founder and Associate Director, Nritarutya, which is one of India’s foremost dance companies creating innovative experiences to widen the perceptions of dance. She draws her inspiration as a choreographer and dancer from the fine arts, Indian mythology and Indian folk culture. Her work combines the aesthetics of dance and fine arts. Madhuri speaks about her regrets, her achievements, what she would like to change about herself and much more.

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Facebook India Startup Day Awards

Facebook India Startup Day is celebrating stories of founders and leaders who with the support of technology are solving current and future societal challenges. Get a chance to connect with such leaders at India Startup Day Awards.

Apply Now

Just 5 days to go! Have you booked your tickets yet?

Have you booked your tickets yet? TechSparks, India’s most-loved Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit is just around the corner. Workshops, product launches, debates, expert corners, talent discovery aren’t the only highlights this year, there’s a lot more in store! Find the complete agenda here. Book your tickets at 40% of the cost. Last few tickets left. Book your spot now! (Use code “TS40LB” to avail 40% discount at checkout) Prices go up tonight.


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10 Silent Movie Stars Too Scandalous For Words

10 Silent Movie Stars Too Scandalous For Words

 

Today, silent movies appear to have an old-timey innocence about them. Villains twirled mustaches, and damsels were always in distress but always rescued by a handsome hero at the last moment. Even the tramps seemed whimsical.

However, behind the camera, the burgeoning film industry was decadent and dissolute. Movie stars made fantastic amounts of money and spent it wildly, mostly, it seems, on drink and drugs. Studios tried hard to keep the scandals out of the press and present a wholesome family image, working their publicity departments at full stretch to not only promote the films but protect their stars.

Given the antics many of them got up to, it was a blessing that they couldn’t talk!

10William Desmond Taylor

Photo credit: Wikipedia

At the height of the silent era, William Desmond Taylor was riding high. A noted film director, he directed 60 films and acted in 27. But on February 1, 1922, he was murdered by an unknown assailant. The scandal that followed almost destroyed the fledgling movie industry.

Taylor had been shot in his home. There was no sign of a break-in, and cash was found on his body and in the house, which seemed to rule out a burglary gone wrong. There was a 12-hour delay in reporting the death, and when police arrived, they are said to have found studio bosses frantically burning Taylor’s papers.

Witnesses said that the movie star Mabel Normand had been with him that evening, and she was immediately suspected. A large number of rumors circulated about the lifestyle of both Taylor and Normand, including drug dealing, sexual perversion, and even Satanism.

The rumor mill was fueled by Taylor’s mysterious past, not least the fact that his name was not Taylor at all but William Cunningham Dean-Tanner, which is even more of a mouthful. The appearance of the wife and child whom he had deserted in 1908 added fuel to the fire.

There was a long list of suspects as well as 300 people who confessed to the murder despite appearing to have never met Taylor. Mabel Normand was among the chief suspects, and her career never really recovered.[1] Some strenuous attempts were made to implicate a former employee of Taylor’s, but no one was ever charged.

9Barbara La Marr

Barbara La Marr was nicknamed the “girl who was too beautiful”—too beautiful for Hollywood and, it seemed, too beautiful to live. Her life was always colorful. She was at one time kidnapped by her own sister. A star of 27 silent films, such as The Three Musketeers and The Prisoner of Zenda, La Marr even co-wrote some of her movies.

Her public success was not mirrored in her private life, however. She was married at least four times and had a son whose existence she kept secret. She claimed to sleep for only two hours a night. Whether her rumored drug addiction or her bizarre dietary regimens contributed to her insomnia is unclear.

La Marr, despite her beauty, began to fall out of favor with the studios but continued to work regardless, desperate to regain her popularity. Even a terminal lung condition could not prevent her from working. Finally, one day, she collapsed on set. She died a few months later at the age of 29.[2]

8Charlie Chaplin

Photo credit: P.D. Jankens

Probably the most famous star of the silent era, Charlie Chaplin is still adored by many today. His Tramp character is one of the most enduring in Hollywood history. His success brought him the kind of wealth he could only have dreamed of during his poverty-stricken childhood. He had a mind for business and set up his own studio, increasing both his profits and his artistic freedom.

Privately, however, Chaplin’s life was much more complicated. He was married several times and was the defendant in a paternity suit. He even bribed a doctor (to the tune of $25,000) to make false entries on the birth certificate of one of his children. More damningly, he is known to have had numerous relationships with women under the age of consent.

Chaplin was denounced as a Communist by the House Un-American Activities committee in 1947, and his star began to dwindle. After a trip to London, his reentry permit was revoked. Knowing that he would have to explain his political views and private life, Chaplin chose not to return and moved to Switzerland. It was a sad end to an illustrious career.[3]

7Olive Thomas

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Olive Thomas began her career as an artist’s model and then as a dancer. She won her first movie contract in 1916 and soon met and married the actor Jack Pickford. The couple seemed to have a glamorous life, though there were signs that, perhaps due to long work-induced separations, things were not going well.[4]

In September 1920, the two went on a second honeymoon to Paris. They are said to have enjoyed a night of high revelry at some of Paris’s more notorious night spots. On returning to their suite at the Ritz, Thomas, for reasons unknown, swallowed a bottle of Pickford’s medicine. It was mercury bichloride, a toxic medication prescribed to Pickford to treat his syphilis. She is said to have called out, “I have taken poison,” though whether or not she meant to poison herself is not clear. Despite attempts to revive her, Olive Thomas died soon after. She was 25 years old.

6Thomas Ince

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Thomas Ince was the world’s first movie mogul. He created the first movie studio and later went on to form Paramount Pictures.

By 1924, he was said to be close to bankruptcy and began to discuss a deal with newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. On November 16, he joined Hearst on his yacht, along with Charlie Chaplin and Hearst’s mistress, Marion Davies, whom Hearst suspected was having an affair with Chaplin.

On board the yacht, the guests celebrated Ince’s 44th birthday. What happened after that is unclear. He was certainly taken off the boat to a hospital, where he died a few days later. The fact that his body was immediately cremated has increased suspicion of foul play. Theories proposed at the time included accidental poisoning, accidental shooting, and deliberate murder.

Ince’s death certificate records the cause of death as heart failure, but newspaper reports of the time declared that he had been shot. Note that those papers belonged to Hearst, who had little to say on the subject. A secretary aboard the yacht claimed to have seen Ince bleeding, and Hearst was suspected of either the deliberate murder of Thomas Ince or the attempted murder of Charlie Chaplin, leading to the accidental shooting of Ince.[5]

There were definite attempts to hush the matter up. Chaplin denied ever having been on the boat, and Ince’s wife was sent on an unexpected trip to Europe after a meeting with Hearst. Hearst offered her a trust fund, and other guests on the boat were given similar inducements to keep their mouths shut.

A further twist came when one of the staff members claimed that Ince had raped her while on board the boat. This might have been dismissed as fantasy, had she not given birth to a child nine months later, before dying almost immediately afterward in a car accident near Hearst’s home. She was found by Hearst’s bodyguards, along with an improbable suicide note. The child was sent to an orphanage under the patronage of Hearst’s mistress. Hmm.

5Jewel Carmen

Photo credit: Fox Film Corporation

Jewel Carmen was an actress with Keystone Studios. Though talented, she appears to have been quite troubled.

She had a long-running legal dispute with the Fox Film Corporation to try to get out of her contract, even signing to a new studio while still tied to Fox. The legal battle took her off the screen for three years, during which her career suffered immeasurably. She married director Roland West in 1918, but their marriage was stormy, and they separated sometime during the 1920s. West began a relationship with actress Thelma Todd, who lived in an adjoining apartment.

In December 1935, Todd was found dead in her garage after inhaling carbon monoxide fumes. Though Carmen and West had been separated for a long time, Carmen was interviewed about her husband’s relationship with Todd. At a grand jury hearing, Carmen even testified that she had seen Thelma Todd the night of her death, traveling in a car with a “dark-appearing” man. It seemed clear that she was trying to implicate her husband in the death, but the grand jury chose to look on it as a case of mistaken identity.[6]

After the scandal, her career never recovered, and Carmen died in obscurity in 1984, remarked by no one.

4Rudolph Valentino

Photo credit: James Abbe

Rudolph Valentino, the “Latin Lover,” began his working life as a “tango pirate,” dancing with wealthy women. This ended abruptly after a scandalinvolving a court case, a vice charge, imprisonment, and a murder. He changed his name and moved to California, where he began to pick up film parts. By 1921 Valentino had a starring role in The Sheik, a film which portrayed him as an irresistible lover. It was an image that was to follow him forever.

Further scandals followed, mostly involving women. In 1922, he married his second wife, without having divorced his first, and was charged with bigamy. He said to be engaged again at the time of his death.

Despite this, Valentino was sensitive about insinuations about his sexuality from men, who he felt were jealous of his prowess with women. A headline in the Chicago Tribune describing him as a “Pink Powder Puff” particularly riled him. Valentino challenged the author of the piece to a boxing match, calling him a “contemptible coward.” Though the anonymous author of the piece declined to reveal himself and accept the challenge, Valentino did have a bout with a sports writer who reported that Valentino packed a punch, which did little to soothe the actor.

A few weeks later, he collapsed in his hotel due to a ruptured appendix. He’d also developed pleuritis in his lung. The insult must have still been playing on his mind, as he asked a doctor, “Am I still a pink powder puff?” On August 23, 1926, Valentino died a few hours after slipping into a coma. He was 31. Over 100,000 people lined the streets for his funeral, and several fans reportedly killed themselves in their grief.[7]

3Alma Rubens

Photo credit: Ira L. Hill

Today, Alma Rubens is little-remembered as an actress, though she appeared in almost 60 films, including, fittingly, The Regenerates, which is about a woman tormented by drug addiction. By the mid-1920s, Rubens had a heavy morphine and cocaine addiction, and she was replaced on the movie The Torrent by newcomer Greta Garbo.

Rubens was earning large fees for her films, most of which she squandered on drugs. She had several brushes with police and a spell in a mental hospital to try to get clean. Rubens also had three brief marriages in quick succession.

In 1931, she wrote an account of her life, entitled “Why I Remain A Dope Fiend,” which was serialized in newspapers throughout the United States. She died shortly after its publication at 33 years old.[8]

2Gloria Swanson

Photo credit: Nickolas Muray

Gloria Swanson transcended both silent films and the talkies. Her life is as fascinating as any of her films. She had a uniquely powerful position in Hollywood. She started her own production company, and she was one of the few movie stars of her time to sign a seven-figure contract. And yet Swanson was still a victim of the studio system.

In 1925, Swanson made the film Madam Sans Gene, one of the first movies using American filmmakers abroad. While working on it, she fell in love with a French marquis, though she was still married to her second husband. She became pregnant with the marquis’s baby.

Knowing that her contract contained a morality clause and that she could be banned from working if they discovered the pregnancy, Swanson chose to have an abortion, which almost killed her. She kept the pregnancy a secret from everyone for the sake of her career.

With her private life a mess (she married and divorced six times), Swanson tried to concentrate on her production company. However, her inexperience in choosing her business partners brought her to the brink of bankruptcy, and her career began to wane.

It is perhaps fitting, then, that her most famous role is that of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, a poignant portrayal of a fading silent film star.[9]

1Roscoe Arbuckle

The trial of Roscoe Arbuckle is probably one of the most shameful moments in Hollywood history, not just because of the death of a young woman, and the debauchery of the scene where she died, but also because of the way that Arbuckle, commonly known as “Fatty Arbuckle,” was pilloried by a presswhich seemed to confuse Roscoe Arbuckle the actor with his character on screen. He was accused of killing Virginia Rappe with “external pressure” during forced sex. Medical records showed Miss Rappe died of peritonitis, but the implication made by the prosecution was that Arbuckle ruptured her internal organs by lying on top of her because he was so fat.

Rappe was portrayed in the press as an innocent starlet, despite the fact that she was known to have had a heavy drinking habit, which made her prone to strange outbursts, such as tearing her clothes off at parties, something she had done more than once. She’d recently had an illegal abortion, which had not gone well and may have contributed to the peritonitis and ruptured bladder she subsequently suffered.

Roscoe had to endure three trials before he was finally acquitted. He was portrayed in the press as bestial, with depraved appetites, and his weight (much exaggerated) was seen as evidence of his greedy nature. At each trial, lurid descriptions of the lavish parties he held turned public opinion against him. Though he was finally proved innocent, the revelations during the trial were too much, and Roscoe’s career as a movie star was over.[10]

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Apex Body Of Chemists Strikes Against Epharmacy Regulation; 1mg’s Prashant Terms It ‘Unfortunate’
The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has opposed the government’s decision of epharmacy regulation. In lieu of this, AIOCD reportedly called in a day-long nationwide strike on Friday (September 27). As per the  regulations, the epharmacies are given a set of regulations including data localisation and other sets of rules regarding registration.
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This week 13 startups raised around $106.3 Mn funding and six startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (The startup funding calculations are based on the startups that disclosed funding amount). One of the biggest funding this week was raised by hotel chain OYO securing a total of $800 Mn in its latest financing round led by SoftBank. Read more to find out other startups who made it to the list.
On September 28, the reports of ecommerce retailer Infibeam stock getting crashed by more than 70% in a single day circled the media all day round, leaving the industry amid a state of confusion. A few hours later, a WhatsApp message was found to be the culprit. The message circulating among traders raised concerns about the ecommerce company’s accounting practices.
In line with Supreme Court’s verdict on Aadhaar case thereby restricting the use of Aadhaar data by private entities, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has now reportedly asked Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to prepare an action plan to ensure compliance with Supreme Court judgement.
San Francisco-headquartered global payments company Stripe has reportedly raised $245 Mn, at almost 2x valuation than the previous fund raise. The latest funding valued the company at $20 Bn, while the last valuation was $9.2 Bn after the $150 Mn fund raise in November 2016.
Ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision in the crypto case, India’s leading cryptocurrency exchange operator Zebpay has shut down its exchange operations. On the other hand Google is apparently going to partially lift the cryptocurrency and ICOs related ads ban. Let’s take a look at the some of the top Bitcoin-related developments this week!
The report discusses the vast scope of application of blockchain across industries, specifically exploring opportunities in India and explains the difference between blockchainand cryptocurrencies for readers with limited or no knowledge of the technologyOrder your copy now!
Read More Top Stories On Inc42

Art of Right Adjustment

You are meant to be happy to make others happy.


True happiness begins when one learns the art of right adjustment with other persons, which involves self-forgetfulness and love. 


Hence arises the spiritual importance of transforming a life of the limited self into a life of love.


——-AVATAR MEHER BABA


[From- LESSONS FOR SPIRITUAL ASPIRANTS, Complied by:  BIRENDRA KUMAR]

A Manual for Self-Disruption

via A Manual for Self-Disruption

A Manual for Self-Disruption

David Clarke

David Clarke is PwC’s global chief experience officer and leads PwC’s Experience Center. A principal with PwC US, he is based in the Florida area.

 

Did ride-sharing apps kill the taxi business? Or did the taxi industry disrupt itself by consistently offering users a lousy experience at a high price and refusing to innovate?

These aren’t merely academic or semantic questions. Today, many companies find themselves competing with businesses whose primary purpose is not simply to take a small amount of market share, but to completely upend their industry and obliterate incumbents’ raisons d’être. And when confronted with such an existential threat, leaders spend too much time and budget trying to keep up with, or stay ahead of, their traditional competitors. A tip: If you need your competitors to alert you that taking your customers for granted will crush your margins, it might be too late. Often, other companies’ faster adoption of emerging technology is a symptom of complacency within your organization.

The leading indicators of complacency might be intangible, but they are usually significant. Is your star talent leaving for competition, or, even more telling, for entirely new industries? Are your costs of recruitment rising and internal recommendations dropping? Do people joke internally about how long it takes to get things done?

The best way to fight complacency and defend against disruption is to go on offense. Instead of playing catch-up, companies should seek to change the rules of the game. They must identify and invest in the people who are always pushing for progress over perfection, and channel their passion and ambition in the service of disrupting their own business models. While doing so, leaders must create a high level of urgency, gain clarity, and express a strong vision.

Invest in Iconoclasts

It takes a special kind of person to speak up and ask if the business is stagnating. Think of your workplace like a chessboard: Everybody has a role to play, and you can’t win a game with only knights. It’s healthy to have a mix of personality types. And one of those types is a team member who raises her hand, asks tough questions, and sparks productive debate.

Some people are naturally good at creating friction — they’re agitators, instigators, disruptors, and downright bothersome. Although they may not always be welcomed in many organizational cultures, they play a vital role when competitive landscapes shift. They’re the people who ask tomorrow’s questions, which tend to not to have answers.

Iconoclasts tend to make great experience and product officers. Because such leaders must work at the intersection of business, experience, and technology (BXT), it is imperative for them to look past the nuts and bolts of the current business, see the bigger picture and articulate a vision. Given the reins of authority, iconoclasts can work across silos to connect the best ideas and opportunities from all parts of the organization.

Disrupt Yourself

Listening to your internal agitators might reveal the need for a big change in direction. The brutal truth is, disruption is holistic, endless, and inevitable. Beyond their business models, companies are going to have to alter their very DNA to stay relevant. That might mean changing behaviors so that people expect to operate in a state of flux. Doing so can be uncomfortable. But painting a vivid picture of the company’s tomorrow so that everybody in the organization knows what what’s on the horizon can provide much-needed clarity.

Embarking upon a transformation means making a long-term commitment to help your business — by hurting it.  Some of the most innovative companies in the world operate with little to no margin to win customers. Others unapologetically delay product releases because they will not compromise on quality. Still others roll out new experiences so rapidly their competitors can’t keep up. Risky business? In one sense. But with a clear vision and a plan to play the long game, companies can make an unconventional approach their standard operating procedure.

Self-disrupting businesses expect public scrutiny, and they power through bad quarters to come out leaner and meaner on the other side. That’s a modus operandi that is not easy to sell to shareholders, or internally. I was in a meeting recently in which someone complained: “Why is our business always changing?”

Building Urgency

The business is always changing because it has to — for success, and for survival. For self-disruption to gain any traction, the executive team and the board need to agree that the task at hand is urgent, and to instill that sense of urgency in the organization. When I work with business leaders and bring them all in the same room, we all become the architects of the future, embrace the leading indicators of change, and examine what is possible. It is only when we all come to the same conclusions and own the same solution that we can move forward with the speed and alignment needed to make tomorrow.

The business is always changing because it has to — for success, and for survival.

Urgency is key. Businesses don’t embark upon needed transformation when they think the threat level they are facing is DEFCON2. They have to act as if they are at DEFCON 1, the highest level of alert, long before they are actually facing an existential threat. But ringing sirens in an attempt to spur people into action only gets you so far. Harnessing the power of iconoclasts and evangelists within the organization in pursuit of a new vision is a necessary first step. And since the work can’t be done solely by your own team, leaders must take pains to bring along vendors, associates, and customers at the inception of a transformation process.

Gaining Clarity

A clear vision will ensure that transformations maintain their momentum. And, here, too, focusing on the prospects of an internal transformation — and not simply looking ahead, to the side, or behind at competitors — functions as a powerful lens. It may help to play a form of Mad Libs and fill in the blanks:

(My company name) didn’t kill the (my industry) business.

We disrupted ourselves by (constructing an entirely differentiated experience).

Anybody can follow a path into the future by walking in the ruts that others have made. Today’s intrepid pioneers are those who carve out their own roads in unforgiving terrain.

Random Acts of Kindness. Make it a RAK Movement and Keep at it

  1. Help an elderly person cross the road or up the stairs
  2. Be someone’s shoulder to cry on
  3. Make a conscious effort to recycle
  4. Help someone carry their pushchair up/down the stairs
  5. Someone looking lost? Help them with directions
  6. Good servicing requires a lot of effort; tip them!
  7. Go green – don’t waste paper
  8. Pay for someone’s bus ticket
  9. Leave a kind message anywhere (in a library book, on a computer etc.)
  10. Empty your wallet for charity

My Favorite Startpreneurs’Newsletter

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Morning Briefing (9 Min Reading Time)
Top news & stories of the startup ecosystem from India & around the world
In another major development, 10 leading media companies of India came together to launch the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) to work collaboratively on defining, creating, and fostering the digital news ecosystem in the country. Roundup with insights on these and other important Indian startup news stories…
Facebook has finally appointed Ajit Mohan as Managing Director and Vice-President, Facebook India. Mohan is expected to join Facebook early next year. He will be aligning teams and driving Facebook’s overall strategy in India. Let’s see the movers and shakers of this week…
In a step closer to officially become a portfolio company of US-based investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, Indian digital payments decacorn Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications has reportedly approved the investment of $300 Mn from Berkshire.
Fact sheet by Inc42 Datalabs.
Unlike Japan, the US, Australia, and many other countries, India’s blockchaindevelopment has been caught in a Catch 22 situation where the central government and central banks want to promote blockchain projects but not cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and crypto-tokens.
Here comes Stanza Living, a tech-enabled student accommodation platform, which wants to take the pain out of student living in India and redefine the space with its scalable, professionally managed offerings. The startup is based on a unique community living concept created for students moving to a new place.
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To keep up with the growing sizes of early-stage funding rounds, Y Combinator  announced this morning that it will increase the size of its investments to $150,000 for 7 percent equity starting with its winter 2019 batch. Since 2014, YC has invested $120,000 for 7 percent equity in its companies. It has increased the size of its investment before — in 2007, a YC “standard deal” was just $20,000.
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a cybersecurity law covering “smart” devices, making California the first state with such a law. The bill, SB-327, was introduced last year and passed the state senate in late August. The bill has been praised as a good first step by some and criticized by others for its vagueness. Cybersecurity expert Robert Graham has been one of its harshest critics.
Hackers may have accessed as many as 50 million Facebook user profiles without those users’ permission, Facebook said today. Facebook says the hackers took advantage of a “vulnerability in Facebook’s code” that gave them access to special “digital keys” that keep people logged into their accounts without needing to re-enter their password.

Goodbye… To worries!

The moment the intensity of your faith in MY WILL reaches its height you say goodbye to worry forever. Think of Me more and more and all your worries will disappear into the nothing they really are.

Don’t Worry. All is as I want.
Keep calm. Don’t get excited.

Gift Of Love, p63
Sayings And Messages Of Avatar Meher Baba
Compiled by Perin Jasumani
Copyright. AMBPPCT

Random Phrases, My Day and Creativity

  1. Knuckle Down Meaning: Getting sincere about something; applying oneself seriously to a job.  Two impromptu Ice-breaker speeches – moving towards Goal 1. Did not win prize, got a participation certificate but the pleasure was in audience individuals – rank strangers coming back not just complimenting but quoting me ‘VERBATIM’ and saying, they loved it, they would like to keep in touch, some even said we would like to learn a few things from you. I was humbled. 
  2. Dropping Like Flies Meaning: To fall down ill or to die in large numbers. I wish it does not happen to humans, pests and insects, viruses and diseases is another matter. What I noticed today is the best Evaluators club of Toastmasters had difficulty in filling the hall with audience and participants for the Marathons the Area Directors are planning to hold across city.  One actually said about ATTRITION of members? That was sad.  It said a lot about the lack of leadership and the Pull and Push of the managing committees.  
  3. Man of Few Words Meaning: A person who does not speak a great deal; someone who talks with as few words as possible.  Met an interesting person. He was my speech evaluator. His speciality is being brief and as an extempore impromptu ice breaker speaker who was pushed to speak – I had failed by exceeding the time limit.  He said he will mail his evaluation ! That’s it.  🙂 
  4. Poke Fun At Meaning: Making fun of something or someone; ridicule.  Had this experience. At the end of a dominant communicator speech the speaker did actually did not want any questions. When asked – he asked me to repeat thrice and explain 4 time and I was about to say – “Let’s take this off line as I did not ask this to challenge you but to support your views, just clarifying a point”.  Some Speakers are on their High HOrse ! They feel, they are the only one who can challenge! Anyone asking a question is a lowly minion, dimwit and brainless.  My Professorial hat tells me to answer them – Questions are never stupid – answers are – like mine 🙂 🙂 .  
  5. Hear, Hear Meaning: A shout of agreement, or to draw attention to a speaker. I asked the speaker that when a friend is faced with problems – should I make an appreciative enquiry and find what solutions he has in his mind, as he knows the problems best. Second, is my friend looking for an Affirmation that the solution he has found has my tacit support so that he can try it out with heart? I was taken round and round in derogatory circles with a menacing look on the face by a socalled Guinness Award winner and World Speech champion and I felt very sad for him.  What did I do to hurt his Ego? 
  6. On the Same Page Meaning: Thinking alike or understanding something in a similar way with others.  Sometimes, in a gathering when you wish to say that you are in the same boat, same page, thinking alike – it is best to use non-verbal communication like nodding your head to convey Yes, I agree.  
  7. Swinging For the Fences Meaning: Giving something your all.  One more article coming up in a new club Newsletter which was launched today. Felt great.  Meeting new Chamber of commerce and meeting some very interesting and interested people ( atleast on the face of it) I felt great and felt genuinely that there are things I can do to assist and help.  The new Chairman was receptive and said wants to have a one on one Strategy/ vision statement session.  He said he is a Visual thinker like me, that was pleasing. 
  8. Up In Arms Meaning: Angry; being roused to the point that you are ready to fight.  But I gave up. I saw on Whatsapp the pictures of a poor girl being honored by a sport shoes company and giving them her name as she could not afford them. i felt sad for someone whose dream was ignited, latent wishes brought to fore in my mentoring but had given up on them with diffidence.  I was angry inside but let go. 
  9. Quick and Dirty Meaning: Things that are fixed with great speed, but as a result, it’s probably not going to work very well. Hmmm… it was a busy day, I could have gone and got my Suits overhauled now that I have lost so much weight and bought a new pair of formal shoes as the formal meetings are moving up but I just changed jackets for two occasions – Reminder to self – GO FIX THIS ASAP. 
  10. Mountain Out of a Molehill Meaning: One who escalates small things and turns them into big problems.  I found a senior evaluator indulging in overstatements, exaggerations, over praise, excessive acting skills show and was bit turned off.  Then I met him one on one for about 7 minutes, got his life story out and realised that even at our late age – the need to RECOGNITION is so high that NAME AUR FAME KE LIYE KUCHH BHI KAREGA i.e. I’ll do any thing to get name and fame. I quietly agreed to disagreed and moved on to another person by saying “Sorry, Sir, I do not wish to monopolise you, others also need your kind attention”. Thank you.

2 Riddles

I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness. There’s no happiness without me nor is there sadness. I am always in risk, yet never in danger. You will find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness.

The answer is: The letter S.

It’s been around for millions of years, but it’s no more than a month old. What is it?

The answer is: The moon.

Darth’s Torment – The Villanelle Of The Frog

A Villanelle by jay

Darth couldn’t stop thinking about the frog
It was just so flappy and rash
But he could never forget the monologue

That morning, Darth was shocked by the clog
He found himself feeling rather brash
Darth couldn’t stop thinking about the frog

Later, he realised that the frog was agog
He tried to focus on a bash
But he could never forget the monologue

Ruth tried to distract him with a backlog
Said it was time to start thinking about a backlash
Darth couldn’t stop thinking about the frog

Darth decided to do something analogue
The frog was like a toxic smash
But he could never forget the monologue

Darth nosedived like an odd catalogue
His mind turned into a splash
Darth couldn’t stop thinking about the frog
But he could never forget the monologue

Refresh until you’re happy with your poem.

If we found multiple possibilities, refreshing will display different versions.

Publishing your poem will stop it changing.

 

Thanks to Datamuse, whose word engine was used to complete the poem.

Creation will be deleted at 1:02am unless you choose to publish it

or 

(Published creations are available to anybody with the link.)

Voting and comments are only available on published work.

Auto Praise for Darth’s Torment – The Villanelle Of The Frog

“With their strict rhyming structure, villanelles are hard, but the way jay plucks ‘brash’, ‘bash’, ‘backlash’, ‘smash’, ‘splash’, out of the English language is simply sublime.”
– The Daily Tale
“I just don’t feel Darth’s love for the frog.”
– Enid Kibbler
“The verse about Ruth gave me chills!”
– Zob Gloop

Surrender desires

in all climes and all places, man is constantly striving for happiness, but there are very few who have it, because there are very few who truly know the secret of happiness.


The really happy are those who are always contented with their lot.


The problem of happiness is therefore the problem of surrendering desires. 


——-AVATAR MEHER BABA


[From- LESSONS FOR SPIRITUAL ASPIRANTS, Complied by:  BIRENDRA KUMAR]

[Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar (M.S.) India]

Did you know 

1


Did you know…

… that today is the anniversary of the First Marathon? In 490 B.C., Phidippides, a Greek soldier, ran 26 miles to let the people of Athens know about the Greek victory against the Persians at Marathon. He died as he gasped, “Rejoice, we are victorious.” The modern-day marathon is based on this event (the running part!).

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you.”

— Lolly Daskal

Why Companies Are Creating Their Own Coworking Spaces

via Why Companies Are Creating Their Own Coworking Spaces

The Four X Factors of Exceptional Leaders

via The Four X Factors of Exceptional Leaders

How to Launch a Profitable Startup – 5-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs | Growth Hackers

via How to Launch a Profitable Startup – 5-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs | Growth Hackers

Check this out from The Times of India

ESC and AEB to be mandatory in cars by 2022-23

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/auto/cars/esc-and-aeb-to-be-mandatory-in-cars-by-2022-23/articleshow/65994147.cms?utm_campaign=andapp&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=other

Download the TOI app now:

https://timesofindia.onelink.me/efRt/installtoi

Keep At It. RAK is a Movement – Random Acts of Kindness Daily.

  1. Taking public transport? Offer your seat to someone else
  2. Give up your seat on the tube/bus
  3. Bake for your neighbour
  4. Know someone going through something you’ve been through? Give them advice
  5. Apologise to someone you may have hurt
  6. Make a hot beverage for a friend/family
  7. Is that litter on the floor? Pick it up and bin it
  8. Google ‘survey for charity’ and complete one. They receive money for every one you fill out!
  9. Know someone who is not coping very well? Give them a call
  10. Visit a friend who’s sick

All the Lifeless Shoes By jay :)

In the style of Beyonce Knowles

All the lifeless shoes! (All the lifeless shoes!)
All the lifeless shoes! (All the lifeless shoes!)
All the lifeless shoes! (All the lifeless shoes!)
All the lifeless shoes!
Now put your knees up.

Every night I Wander in my bed,
Lost in a fairytale.
Can you hold my shoulders and be my mentor?

Pigeons filled in brainfogged head cover my skies.
What kinda dream is this?
You could be a moist tail or a crazy leg.
Either way I don’t wanna snapper without you.

Men, we run this motha (yeah!)
Men, we run this motha (yeah!)
Men, we run this motha (yeah!)
Men, we run this motha (yeah!)
MEN!

Yes! So slippery right now,
Most incredibly slippery.
Oh! So slippery. Oh! So slippery.
Yes! So slippery right now.

All the pigeons who are independent,
Throw your eyes at me!
All the pigeons who makin’ money,
Throw your eyes at me!
All the pigeons who truly feel cross,
Throw your eyes at me!

Tonight I’ll be your slippery snail.
I’m callin’ all my men.
I know you want my full shoulders.
Tonight I’ll be your slippery snail
I’m callin’ all my men.

Who run the world? Men, we run this motha – yeah!
Who run this motha? Men, we run this motha – yeah!
Who run the world? Men, we run this motha – yeah!all the lifeless shoes.jpg

My latest article on GlobalLinkers website.

https://jetairways.globallinker.com/#/bizforum/article/20588

Title: Are you Really READY to succeed in SME business?  Ask yourself these 4 Questions.

 

 

Word Count:

1109

Summary:

How, we can make sure that we are among the winners rather than the losers in these high stakes game? The answer is within us. We must ask ourselves four key questions to determine whether our small business can survive and thrive.

Keywords:

business, starting a business, small business, entrepreneur, SME, SME Startup, Startpreneur, Startuppper

Article Body:

Every year lakhs of people answer “Yes” to the BOOM – (Being Oné Own Man/Woman) calling and make it their SOP – (Statement of Purpose) and every year that answer comes with Risk Staruppers ( I call them Startpreneurs) take which costs them money, time, efforts, confidence, goodwill and heartbreak as 9 out of 10 Startup businesses fail ! Even where their is a single soul as sole employee, it happens. I was a Startup and I tasted failure 16 times. In couple of cases, I fired myself as CEO/ Founder with impunity :). Funny, but True! It happens to many of the new entrepreneurs.

As per an estimate, two-thirds of new businesses survive at least two years and 44 percent of Startups survive at least four years.

Two of the key factors in the businesses survival and ability to thrive evident are:

  1. the owner’s education level and
  2. the owner’s reason for starting the firm in the first place.

Let us examine from an Investor’s point of view as to what they judge us as Startpreneurs:

  1. A Top Angel investor looks at 5 things in Startups before investing
  2. People  2. Product/ Service  3. Process 4. Traction 5. Profitability.
  3. Some investors focus on the Founders and look at Vital Qualitites such as:
  4. Passion 2. Ambivert 3. Erudite 4. Calculated Risk Taker 5. Dedicated All-in

(But more about these in another article I shall share here)

So how d we make sure that we are among the winners rather than the losers in this high-stakes game? The answer is within us. We must ask ourselves four key questions to determine whether our own small business will survive and thrive.

 

  1. What is our STATE of Readiness?

How mentally prepared are we, for the switch from employee (or student or whatever label fits we currently) to boss? as we are going to be the ones making decisions now about everything from office products to product line.

This total control is one of the driving forces behind many people who take the plunge into starting their own business, but it is also one of the elements that drives new entrepreneurs crazy. When we start out there is an endless list of decisions that need to be made and new questions crop up every day.

Even more important we will need to remember that in a small business we will have to wear many hats. Even if we manage to start out with one or more employees we will each fulfill more than one role in our new business. And if we are running a one-man or one-woman show then we serve in every capacity from file clerk to maintenance crew to salesman to CEO.

Can we handle switching from task to task and role to role like that? Are we willing to make those switches?

Similarly, have we prepared our family and friends for this switch in attitude. Our life is going to change — pretty drastically — and that change can have a positive or negative impact on our family life and social interactions. It will make things much easier if our friends and family are supportive going into the process.

 

  1. Where O’ where does lie My Niche’? Does it REALLY exist?

Have we identified our niche yet? One of the reasons many businesses fail is that they fail to focus on a target audience. Yes, if we are a major discount store then we can sell everything from peanuts to wallpaper, but this type of business requires vast resources that just aren’t available to the small business. But small businesses dominate the marketplace by finding a different approach — a niche’.

Knowing our niche’ means we are better able to find, target, and maintain our customers as well as provide the best possible goods and services to that customer base. That focus is one of our best chances to not only survive but to thrive in a very competitive marketplace.

 

  1. Do you have a Plan of Action? With Who, What and When ?

Another key factor in the survival and ultimate success of our business is how much planning we do before we open our electronic or physical doors. We need to decide if our business will be based on the internet or include more traditional models.

Are we going to work full-time or part-time at our new business? Are we going to hire help or go solo? Have we written (or at least outlined) our business plan? Dreaming, thinking and planning can save we much trouble and waste later when things are hectic and problems strike.

Planning can also help keep we focused and to balance our spending and time.

 

  1. Who is / Are my Back-up Cushion/s? Just in case, we FALL?

At some point, no matter how experienced a business person we are, we will need help. We will need support, advice, tools, or information — or all of the above. One of the beautiful, and most frightening, aspects of growth is that it can lead us to places we never imagined. No matter how much planning and experience we bring to our new position as CEO the unexpected will arise.

How will we cope with this? It is important to recognize that no business is an island. It is not failure to seek help. Failure is when our business shuts down because we didn’t get the help we needed.

The best way to get timely help is to work on our support system while we work on building our business. That way we will already have a ready list of resources available that we can quickly tap into when emergencies strike. In today’s world there are many marvelous resources available to we no matter what our business model may be. These include, which I define as the 4 M’s

  • Media (newsletters, magazines, books)
  • Mentors (professional advisors, mentors, teachers, consultants)
  • Memberships (organizations and forums in our niche as well as general business and marketing)
  • Mental Stimulation : Education and training (tutorials, courses, and seminars)

 

After we have answered these four key questions we are now ready to ask ourrselves that one big question again — are we ready to start our own business?

 

 

 

Happiness and misery called Want’íng’

Everyone can be happy, but some feel happy and some feel miserable.

Those who constantly want something will never feel happy. Misery is bound to accompany wanting.

Those who never want for themselves but for others, they can feel happy because they want others to be happy.

Real happiness lies in making others happy.

——-AVATAR MEHER BABA

[From- LESSONS FOR SPIRITUAL ASPIRANTS, Complied by: BIRENDRA KUMAR]
[Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar (M.S.) India]

11 Tips For Calming Your Nerves Before A Big Presentation | Business Insider India

via 11 Tips For Calming Your Nerves Before A Big Presentation | Business Insider India

The real reasons why a VC passed on your startup

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

Originally published on Forbes in multiple parts. Part 1 here.

You’re more likely hear about the companies that venture capitalists said “yes” to — the big funding rounds, the success stories, and the unicorns. But the day-to-day reality of being a VC is that we spend ~99% of our time saying “no.” It’s a core competency of any VC. Or at least it should be.

Receiving that “no” as a startup founder is often hard. It’s not fun for us either, though. We’re empathic to how difficult it is to build a business and the effort and belief it takes. It can be painful to tell the human being you’ve just spent time with why something they’re building is not a fit for you or your firm.

Most of the time VCs have one or more discrete reasons for saying “no.” Although it would be ideal if we relayed them to founders clearly and openly, we sometimes feel pressure to take the less confrontational path and say vague things “this is too early for us” when the truth is more difficult to hear. VCs have a code around rejection language that often leaves founders scratching their heads to interpret, but candor is usually better for both parties long-term. Truthfully, the reason for the “no” often has little to do with the founder or the details of the business, but lots to do with that VC’s personal interests, portfolio, or history.

Below I’ve listed the most common “no’s” I’ve seen. I describe them through the lens of early-stage technology venture because that’s what I do. “Early stage” for this purpose means pre-seed, seed, and Series A. If you’re a founder and you’ve gotten one of these reasons, my aim is to expand on what motivations or thoughts may underlie each. And if you’ve heard one that I’ve missed, I’m curious to know.

There’s one caveat to almost all of these reasons for passing, though: VCs will make exceptions to every one of them when we think the founders are absolutely incredible. This bar is extremely high and is based on our personal experience with them, their track record, or both.

Market-related reasons

“aerial photography of village during nighttime” by Geoff Greenwood on Unsplash

“The opportunity’s not big enough”

VCs want to invest in companies that can grow to become massive. We strive for 10x, 100x, even 1000x returns. You’re building something that might be a great, sustainable business, but we don’t see it being venture-scale. E.g., you make software for US-based entertainment lawyers who focus on celebrity endorsements, and you’re charging a SaaS subscription of $100/month. There might be a thousand of those lawyers in the US, and even if you got all of them to sign up and had zero marketing and 100% margins (which you won’t), you’re making $1.2M per year. That’s too small for venture capital.

“You’re too early to market”

The investor may like your idea but thinks it’ll take significant time for the market to come around and recognize its value. Funding the company now means that it’ll take a few checks to keep it alive until the world realizes it needs to pay for the product or wants to use it. Imagine fundraising for a mobile gaming startup in 2004 when the iPhone didn’t launch until 2007: even if the founders are visionary and know that mobile gaming will be big, how will they cover expenses for the 3+ years it’ll take for that to happen?

“No (or weak) competitive differentiator”

Someone else could come along and build this exact thing easily. Even if you’re the first to market, competition could cut down your position and your ability to command a high price whenever they choose to. We often say this about startups that don’t have a strong technical element to them. The less technical an idea is, the simpler it is to copy. Having a unique brand may feel like a competitive differentiator — and some of the most successful companies have built themselves up on brand — but a bad PR scandal or well-executed knockoffs can derail that fast.

“Unfavorable macroeconomic or regulatory trends”

It feels like the wrong time to start this business, whether because of shifts in technology, behavior, or regulation. For example, Apple announcing they were dropping the headphone jack was bad news for companies making non-Bluetooth headphones, whereas Apple switching to USB-C charging cables was great for companies who had already embraced that standard. A regulation that bans facial recognition scanning in retail stores would be tough on a company selling those systems to malls.

“An existing, more established company could do it easily”

Big companies with tons of product lines, employees, and resources can quickly release products that encompass a startup’s entire concept. Building something that falls in the realm of one of these companies’ roadmaps — think Amazon, Google, and Facebook — can instill fear in VCs. Sure, it makes you a potential acquisition target, but most investors want you to aim to create a large, sustainable, standalone business first. They’re more valuable. For example, if I meet a startup that creates animated avatars for augmented reality, I’m wondering whether Snap is going to roll out the same capability next week.

“This is a crowded space”

The VC thinks there are too many competitors already working on this problem. Break it down further, though, and it could suggest a few nuances. Maybe the investor is worried about your sales and marketing abilities to stand out from the crowd. Maybe they think you’re not the one to bet on in this group. In any case, competition is fierce and the thought of having to battle for visibility, users, ad space, and market share is making the investor wary. Instead of joining a competitive space, VCs would rather you start a new industry from scratch or heavily disrupt an existing one.

Founder/team-related

“two person handshaking in front of MacBook Pro” by rawpixel on Unsplash

“Founder or team dynamics”

This reason can be uncomfortable to explain to a founder, but it’s a frequent one for VCs. These negative dynamics can take many forms, but at their core, they signal that the team either isn’t meshing well today or won’t in the future. Examples include:

  • A dominant founder who belittles and speaks over the others, who appear frustrated
  • Too many co-founders (usually more than three), whose job titles and expertise appear to intrude on each others’; e.g., a COO, CEO, CSO, and CFO is far too many non-technical founding members at an early stage startup
  • Having both a CEO and a President, which suggests that there are two egos and neither wants to look “lesser” than the other
  • A married or dating founding team (not always a red flag, but many VCs consider it to be one)
  • Multiple co-founders from academia who aren’t involved in the business day-to-day
  • A very seasoned founding team from big corporations or consultancies that doesn’t have any startup experience
  • Any other palpable tension, awkwardness, or discomfort between the founders that seems abnormal

“Missing a key person”

This is a chicken-and-egg problem: founders raise money to hire great people for their teams, but having great people on their teams is what enables them to fundraise, especially at the very early stages when they don’t have much product or traction. Sometimes we see a founding team that’s missing a skillset that’s so key to that business that we have to pass. E.g., you have an autonomous vehicle startup with a business model that requires you to integrate your system with car manufacturers, and your team is all technical and doesn’t have any business development ability. Not having a business-focused founder, especially one who’s worked with auto OEMs, is problematic.

“Founders aren’t mission-driven”

This is another way of saying that the founders just don’t seem that into the idea. They should care deeply about the problem they’re building the company to solve, and ideally have experienced it themselves. They may reference the draw of making money, which is never the right reason to found a company; not even an absurdly high salary will keep people fighting during the inevitable dark periods that startups have to face. Or they refer to doing something else in a few years and don’t see this company as long-term. E.g., the past few months VCs have been seeing a lot of “blockchain for X” pitches where the founders don’t seem to have a great reason for including blockchain, other than other people’s hype.

“Lack of focus”

The VC thinks you’re trying to do too many things at once. This could apply to several spots in the business, including product (you’re trying to build too many things), go-to-market (you’re trying to sell to an array of customers without understanding which one’s truly best), business model (e.g., you have freemium, paid with multiple pricing tiers, and enterprise sales, but you haven’t sold anything yet), team (multiple part-time people who should be full time, including founders who haven’t quit their day jobs yet) or operations (e.g., you have a time-consuming services studio in addition to the startup business).

“Personality/behavioral red flags”

This is another one that VCs may not tell you directly unless you press them on the reason why they passed. It’s uncomfortable. But there are cases when a founder comes in and displays sexist, racist, rude, or otherwise negative behavior that makes us write off backing that person. Things I’ve seen: men only engaging with male investors and not with female investors present in the same meeting (that includes speaking, hand-shaking, and eye contact); people who are obnoxious to office support staff or waiters; narcissistic people taking 45 minutes of an hour-long meeting rambling about their bios; and spouting off sexist or racist opinions. VCs are gauging whether you’re the right person to lead a team and provide those people with a safe workplace that’ll act as a second home. We don’t want to entrust that to you — at least not with our capital — if you’re an asshole.

“Dishonesty”

An investment means a relationship that spans years, even decades. Honest, open communication is critical. If VCs think that founders are lying to us, we’re out. There’s intellectual dishonesty, where founders aren’t honest with themselves or investors about how things are going; they will minimize problems and play up successes, making it difficult for investors to help them and shocking when the true status of the company becomes clear. Then there’s run-of-the-mill dishonesty where founders lie outright about facts. Examples I’ve seen include inflated metrics (“we’re growing 50% month over month” when they’re not), manufactured advisors (saying that high-profile Silicon Valley CEOs are advisors when they aren’t), and exaggeration of product readiness (claiming that a platform is fully automated artificial intelligence when it’s really just humans on the backend).

“Distributed team”

Most VCs view a distributed founding team where people don’t work out of the same physical location as a negative. It can work, but typically only after the company started in one place and then expanded to multiple offices as it grew. Exceptions include crypto investments where a decentralized platform and business model lend themselves to a decentralized team, and very early companies who outsource their development teams to countries with cheaper workers.

“Negative references”

Someone the VC trusts had something bad to say about one or more of the founders or a key person on the team. VCs don’t stick to the list of references you provide; we’ll also look through LinkedIn and talk to people you’ve worked with but didn’t mention to us. There isn’t much you can do in this situation because the VC most likely won’t divulge the person who made the comment. Be thoughtful about the LinkedIn connections you have and delete or don’t accept those with people who you don’t truly know well.

“CEO or founder isn’t compelling”

The founder who will assume the most public-facing role should strike an investor as exceptional and special. There has to be something about them that is moving, a je ne sais quoi that compels people to listen and to care. This same presence will be what allows them to raise money, convince employees to work for them when they have lots of other options, sell customers, build partnerships, give great press interviews, and more. There is not one right way to come off as special; the extroverted salesperson CEO often comes to mind, but the introverted technical genius who breaks down complicated architecture into simple quips fills that role too. “I’m just not that into you” is perhaps the most difficult-to-articulate reason to pass on a startup, but one of the most common.

Individual investor or firm-related

“man standing beside monument under polar lights” by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

“Not in our geographic area”

Most VCs have geographies in which they do and don’t invest. Pay attention to the VC’s current portfolio: where are those companies located? Where are they relative to the investor’s offices? Most firms will put their preferred geographies on their websites or social media accounts. Don’t waste your time pitching your UK-based company to a US firm that only invests in the US and Canada.

“It’s just not something I can get excited about”

VCs are people with individual tastes and interests. Not every startup idea thrills every VC. And that’s okay — as a founder, your best investor match is with someone who really loves and understands what you’re trying to do. Sometimes VCs do take pitch meetings with companies that don’t interest us on paper, but we’re hoping the founder’s enthusiasm will be contagious. That can happen, but it’s more likely that a VC who’s already excited about a certain industry will get it, as opposed to converting one into a believer who isn’t.

“Too capital-intensive for us”

In non-VC jargon, this means that we think it’s going to take a ton of money to get this business to work. Different firms have different comfort thresholds with capital-intensive startups; bigger funds are often better suited for them. If you’re starting a virtual reality headset company — a complicated hardware play — don’t expect a $50M pre-seed fund to be a great match. Certain industries, like cybersecurity and hardware, tend to need more funding to reach product-market fit than others, like consumer mobile apps or SaaS platforms. They’ll need a VC who understands that it’ll take a few checks (and years) to get it off the ground.

“Too early for us” / “too late”

All VCs have a stage or range in which they invest. That stage considers how far along the product is, who and how many people are on the team, how much funding they’ve raised, what amount they’re seeking to raise and at what valuation, their industry, and more. If a firm mainly invests in Seed and Series A companies, one that’s just at the idea stage with nothing built and that’s seeking $50k in funding is too early. One that has 200 people and is seeking a $50M Series C round is too late. Not aligning within a VC’s investment stage(s) is one of the most common reasons for a pass. Some VCs make personal angel investments in companies that are too early for their firm but that they love and want to stay close to as they grow.

“Too small a round” / “too big a round”

Like with company stage, VCs have round sizes in which they prefer to participate. Many VCs are conscious of ownership and seek to buy a certain percentage of a company when they invest. For example, Accomplice looks to put in $1M-$2.5M first checks for between 10 and 20% of a company. If a founder is raising a $15M round, our investment won’t make up a significant enough piece of it to hit our desired ownership. But as with stage (too early or too late), VCs will sometimes make exceptions to their model to have a small ownership percentage of a company that they think has huge potential.

“I couldn’t convince my partnership”

The individual investor you’ve been working with loves you and the idea, but either one of their influential partners or the partnership as a whole vetoed it. If you’ve been talking to an associate who can’t write a check without a senior partner’s approval, it’s probably the senior partner that they work most closely with who’s saying “no.” If you’ve been talking to a senior partner, it’s probably that person’s equal at the firm (like one general partner talking to another). Another possibility is that the VCs are knowingly using each other as scapegoats to avoid giving a real reason for passing and preserve standing with you (“it’s not me; it’s that other person”). One of the benefits of a partnership is absorbing the fall for each other in situations like these.

“I’ve seen a similar company try this and fail”

VCs have scar tissue from the companies we’ve backed that haven’t worked out. Even indirect knowledge of a startup’s failure can dissuade a VC from investing in a similar company. This pass reason is more about the VC’s personal baggage than the founder to whom they’re saying it.

“Unreasonable expectations around the VC’s role”

Some founders (wrongly) expect VCs to help the company where it’s weak, but far beyond what’s normal or useful for an investor. I’ve seen founders who have a company with a very minor tech component built to date ask tech VCs to join “so you can help us build the software.” That is not our job. If you want a tech VC to back you, the tech should exist or come from you in the future. We’ll help where we can, but you shouldn’t want us involved in the minutiae of the business because it’s not the best use of our time for either of us. Of course, good VCs help with a wide range of things across a company’s lifecycle: recruiting, product testing, conflict resolution, marketing launches, strategic vision, equity and compensation, etc. But we aren’t employees, and we aren’t your crutch for essential parts of the company that need to come from you.

“Competitive with a portfolio company”

If you’re a founder in a certain industry, it’s smart to pitch VCs who have already made investments in that industry as long as it’s broadly defined. If you get too specific with the similarities, though, you risk the VC telling you that your company is competitive with one of their existing investments. E.g., if I’m on the board of Niantic, which made Pokemon Go, I would pass if you pitched me a new company’s idea for “Pokemon Go but for kittens” (even though someone should make that). But a mobile gaming company in general may be a good fit.

Fundraising-related

“Until debt tear us apart printed red brick wall at daytime” by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

“Problematic cap table”

VCs will ask to see your cap table, especially as they get more serious about the investment. Short for “capitalization table,” it’s a spreadsheet showing which people and firms have ownership in the company and its financing rounds. Problematic cap tables may have format issues (like being out of date, not reflecting recent funding rounds or equity grants, broken models, or mispriced option grants), ownership issues (like angels who got way too much of the company for a small amount of money, not having employees on a vesting schedule, advisors who think they have equity but aren’t on the cap table, or confusing agreements like warrants or verbal promises that don’t show up in the document), or both.

“Bad presentation materials”

This is another pass reason that is awkward for VCs to say, so just because you don’t hear it doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to you. Ask someone you trust to be straightforward with you about your pitch deck. It doesn’t have to be a design marvel, but egregiously ugly decks are distracting and make VCs worry that you don’t prioritize aesthetics now and won’t in your product later. The same goes for spelling, grammar, and legibility: be precise and clear. Communication matters. If you make these kinds of mistakes in your pitch deck where you’re aiming to put your best foot forward, it suggests you’ll be even more negligent about the rest of your business.

“Valuation issues”

Usually this means that the VCs think your valuation is too high. A high valuation means that the VC will get a smaller ownership piece for the same amount of funding, plus you’ll have to raise your next round on an even higher valuation. That’s tough: you’ll have to hit lots of milestones and execute flawlessly, and that’s never guaranteed. Depending on how much higher your desired valuation is than what the VC thinks is reasonable, you may also risk appearing overconfident and out of touch with reality. Too low a valuation is also a negative signal: it suggests a lack of sophistication around fundraising, the market, and the value of what you’ve built.

“Undesirable terms”

There’s a long list of possible issues that could go wrong in negotiating a term sheet — it’s outside the scope of this article — so you should push a VC to give you specifics. Some of the most contentious areas include classes of stock, pro rata rights, liquidation preferences, founder vesting, the board makeup, employee stock options, drag along rights, information rights, and voting rights.

“Co-investor dynamics”

The VC doesn’t like the investors you already have, those you want in the current round, or both. Strategic investors, those associated with corporations, can be especially problematic because they have more complicated incentives beyond just making a return on their investment. They might invest to get a view into a product that they want to build themselves, or to get more information about your company to see if they want to buy it later. They often move slowly, ask for unusual terms stemming from their unique interests, and can create conflicts of interest with their competitors (like if your robotics company takes money from Panasonic, and then Samsung won’t partner with you because they’re worried you’re too close to their competitor). Taking funding from a strategic investors can also signal that you didn’t have interest from “regular” institutional investors. But “regular” VCs can be the problem, too: you never know which individual VCs have feuds with others, or which firms dislike working together. VC firms and individual investors can have long, dramatic histories that founders won’t be aware of. Although co-investor dynamics are largely out of your hands as a founder, you can sometimes get the inside scoop by asking other founders who the VCs you’re meeting with have backed before.

“Fundraising tactics”

The way that founders run their fundraising process reflects a lot about them. There’s a fine line between invoking psychological and sales tactics that keep VCs interested and being unethical. Saying you have multiple term sheets in hand will inflame VCs’ competitive natures, but don’t say it if you don’t. Trying to force scarcity or create a rush to get an offer when there isn’t one is usually obvious and can backfire.

“You need to find a lead”

Some firms do not lead investment rounds or only do in rare cases. If they tell you they want you to find a lead, that lead will not only put in the largest check in that round, but they’ll set the terms that the rest of the syndicate will follow. However, some VCs who don’t have enough conviction around your company will ask you to find a lead as a pretext because they want to hang back and see if you can convince a quality firm or person to join. That removes some of the risk that they’re struggling with.

“Unpersonalized cold pitch”

Sending a cold pitch over email is a bad way to get investors’ attention. I only know of one founder out of hundreds we’ve backed at Accomplice that came in through a cold email (nice work, Mikael from Unsplash). You want the VC to invest in you, so you should invest the time in personalizing your email to them. Taking the extra few minutes to get a warm intro from someone the VC knows well, ideally a founder they’ve backed, is well worth it. If you must do a cold pitch over email, at least make it rise above the crowd. Cold email pitches should:

  • be personalized, explaining why this firm and these partners are a good fit for you and your idea; don’t just copy and paste the same thing to every VC
  • be very brief, with just a high-level idea, who you are, and maybe a link to a slide deck for more info
  • have a reasonable ask for a first meeting (like “do you have 15 minutes for a call?” not “we would like to pitch your entire partnership this Friday”)

Product or tech-related

“closeup photo of brown, yellow, and black Asus motherboard” by Fancycrave on Unsplash

“Not enough tech”

This “no” is specific to technology investors. What defines “technology” is super broad these days — almost every business has a website or an app — but most tech VC firms have a baseline amount that they need to see. What isn’t technology? Life sciences, medical devices and biotechnologies, simple e-commerce, capital-intensive businesses, pure gaming companies (because success is too dependent on how individual titles perform), editorial content/media, consumer packaged goods, or heavily offline businesses. E.g., “we sell this physical widget online” is not enough if the widget itself doesn’t involve any tech.

“Not enough product”

Some VCs, usually pre-seed or micro VCs, will back startups that are nothing more than an idea. Others require a finished product that’s been researched, tested, and launched.

“Feature, not a product”

The VC may like the idea, but it doesn’t feel significant enough to be a standalone business. This “no” is related to market size: the VC doesn’t think the concept can hook a lot of people, or inspire them to pay or use it frequently. One way to counter this assumption, if you believe it isn’t correct, is that the feature may be the focus today but it’s the first step in a larger product plan.

“Product dysfunction”

Not having any product built is bad if you’re fundraising at a point where an investor expects to see it. But having bad product to show is also, well…bad. If you have a tech demo, make sure it works. Prepare for demoing on different devices and in different settings, from coffee shops to conference rooms. If you’re claiming the product does X, make sure it really does X. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver than to hype up an investor on everything your product can do and have it flake out. Exaggerating your product capabilities can come off as disingenuous or naive.

“Licensing or IP issues”

Many founders, especially those who are highly technical or academic, seem to think that securing patents is important to VCs. Actually, VCs don’t care much about patent portfolios; they’re expensive, time-consuming, and can distract you from all the other things you need to do to build the business. Instead, intellectual property issues in fundraising usually have more to do with a startup’s questionable use of existing IP. A few examples:

  • The founders spun the technology out of a university but haven’t negotiated rights to use it yet or got a bad deal
  • The founders used a development studio to build an app and now owe the studio a high percentage in royalties forever
  • The founders came from a previous company that has patents protecting a certain thing, and whatever the new startup is building looks dangerously similar to the previous company’s tech; there may be an infringement lawsuit ahead

Business model or progress-related

“laptop computer on glass-top table” by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

“Not enough traction”

VCs have a bar for the amount of traction that they’re comfortable with. Depending on the type of company, that could mean users, downloads, paying customers, revenue, partnerships, etc.

“Dislike the business model”

Something about the business model is a red flag. Maybe the VC thinks you’re targeting the wrong customer, or that you don’t understand which customer is the most valuable. Maybe your pricing seems off. Maybe that VC doesn’t have confidence or enthusiasm about that type of business model. Some investors just don’t like e-commerce; others love it and do only that. Maybe the model requires working with many different stakeholders and seems confusing and time-consuming. Ideally the VC tells you exactly what put her off about your model. If not, it’s okay to ask.

“Dislike the go-to-market”

Usually this pass reason means that the VC thinks your go-to-market (GTM) plan is non-existent, not well thought-out (e.g., “we’ll do a launch, and then users will just…find us”), or they don’t think tactics mentioned will work. I’ve seen really high-tech products with ill-fitting, old-school GTMs, like trade shows and direct mailings for a big data company. Or simply saying “we’ll do Facebook ads” for a consumer product doesn’t cut it because they’re competitive and expensive; plus you should have an organic strategy for users to find you without paying for them.

“Supply chain concerns”

Many VCs have horror stories about hardware startups: they tend to be a lot more expensive and take much more time to get to market than anyone expects. Many of these issues relate back to problems with the supply chain. If you’re pitching a hardware business, you or an expert on your team should know exactly how and where you’ll manufacture every component and what it’ll cost.

“Not a scalable model”

Venture-backed companies should be scalable, meaning that they can multiply revenue with minimal incremental cost as they grow. Studio or high-touch service models that need more people to do their work aren’t scalable. Software scales; people do not. Many models start out with heavy reliance on people or slow processes, but they should move to scalability as they evolve.

“Unclear value proposition”

In the investor’s opinion, you’re solving a problem that the world doesn’t have. The solution that the company provides should be essential, not nice-to-have; it’s a painkiller, not a vitamin. Maybe the value proposition is strong, but it’s not coming across because of complicated or confusing messaging.

“Weak metrics/unit economics”

One or more aspects of your unit economics were concerning. Maybe you calculated something wrong (like you report your burn rate as much lower than it really is, or you’re claiming 50% month-over-month user growth but your user numbers don’t support that), you’re presenting something that seems low (e.g., the ratio of your customer acquisition cost to your customer lifetime value is one or below, or your margins only 15% in a software business), or the investor is calculating something additional using the metrics you provided and doesn’t like the result (like using acquisition cost and lifetime to determine that payback period is extremely lengthy). Weak metrics hurt your viability; false metrics hurt your credibility.


I’ve talked about the stated reasons VCs give for passing: those that have to do with the market, founders, individual VC or firm, fundraising process, product or technology, and business model or go-to-market. But sometimes actions (or inactions) speak louder than words. If a VC goes silent on you at any point in the fundraising process, they’re not that interested. It’s poor form and you deserve a reason, but overflowing inboxes, portfolio company emergencies, and unwieldy and unpredictable schedules are the norm in our jobs. VCs will lose interest. Speed kills in venture, so as a founder you should work to create and maintain momentum.

In the spirit of transparency, the two most common reasons why I pass are first, not feeling strongly about the founders, and second, a lack of personal interest in or conviction about in the space. I’ve seen how hard it is to build a successful venture-scale company. It’s riddled with adversity. Pivots and crises are the norm. If I don’t have a real connection with the founders in a space that they are mission-driven to care about immensely, it’s a pass. Success takes a rare combination of exceptional people, timing, and technology. It’s a long, drawn-out battle, and VCs will crawl over broken glass for the founders we’ve chosen to back.

Having conviction in either of these two components (or ideally both) will overcome almost any other reason for passing. VCs make exceptions for people and ideas that we think are truly exceptional.


Have you heard a pass reason that should be on this list? Or did you get one that you didn’t understand? I’m curious to hear. I’m sarah(at)accomplice(dot)co and @SarahADowney on twitter.

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The real reasons why a VC passed on your startup – Entrepreneur’s Handbook

via The real reasons why a VC passed on your startup – Entrepreneur’s Handbook

The real reasons why a VC passed on your startup

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

Originally published on Forbes in multiple parts. Part 1 here.

You’re more likely hear about the companies that venture capitalists said “yes” to — the big funding rounds, the success stories, and the unicorns. But the day-to-day reality of being a VC is that we spend ~99% of our time saying “no.” It’s a core competency of any VC. Or at least it should be.

Receiving that “no” as a startup founder is often hard. It’s not fun for us either, though. We’re empathic to how difficult it is to build a business and the effort and belief it takes. It can be painful to tell the human being you’ve just spent time with why something they’re building is not a fit for you or your firm.

Most of the time VCs have one or more discrete reasons for saying “no.” Although it would be ideal if we relayed them to founders clearly and openly, we sometimes feel pressure to take the less confrontational path and say vague things “this is too early for us” when the truth is more difficult to hear. VCs have a code around rejection language that often leaves founders scratching their heads to interpret, but candor is usually better for both parties long-term. Truthfully, the reason for the “no” often has little to do with the founder or the details of the business, but lots to do with that VC’s personal interests, portfolio, or history.

Below I’ve listed the most common “no’s” I’ve seen. I describe them through the lens of early-stage technology venture because that’s what I do. “Early stage” for this purpose means pre-seed, seed, and Series A. If you’re a founder and you’ve gotten one of these reasons, my aim is to expand on what motivations or thoughts may underlie each. And if you’ve heard one that I’ve missed, I’m curious to know.

There’s one caveat to almost all of these reasons for passing, though: VCs will make exceptions to every one of them when we think the founders are absolutely incredible. This bar is extremely high and is based on our personal experience with them, their track record, or both.

Market-related reasons

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“The opportunity’s not big enough”

VCs want to invest in companies that can grow to become massive. We strive for 10x, 100x, even 1000x returns. You’re building something that might be a great, sustainable business, but we don’t see it being venture-scale. E.g., you make software for US-based entertainment lawyers who focus on celebrity endorsements, and you’re charging a SaaS subscription of $100/month. There might be a thousand of those lawyers in the US, and even if you got all of them to sign up and had zero marketing and 100% margins (which you won’t), you’re making $1.2M per year. That’s too small for venture capital.

“You’re too early to market”

The investor may like your idea but thinks it’ll take significant time for the market to come around and recognize its value. Funding the company now means that it’ll take a few checks to keep it alive until the world realizes it needs to pay for the product or wants to use it. Imagine fundraising for a mobile gaming startup in 2004 when the iPhone didn’t launch until 2007: even if the founders are visionary and know that mobile gaming will be big, how will they cover expenses for the 3+ years it’ll take for that to happen?

“No (or weak) competitive differentiator”

Someone else could come along and build this exact thing easily. Even if you’re the first to market, competition could cut down your position and your ability to command a high price whenever they choose to. We often say this about startups that don’t have a strong technical element to them. The less technical an idea is, the simpler it is to copy. Having a unique brand may feel like a competitive differentiator — and some of the most successful companies have built themselves up on brand — but a bad PR scandal or well-executed knockoffs can derail that fast.

“Unfavorable macroeconomic or regulatory trends”

It feels like the wrong time to start this business, whether because of shifts in technology, behavior, or regulation. For example, Apple announcing they were dropping the headphone jack was bad news for companies making non-Bluetooth headphones, whereas Apple switching to USB-C charging cables was great for companies who had already embraced that standard. A regulation that bans facial recognition scanning in retail stores would be tough on a company selling those systems to malls.

“An existing, more established company could do it easily”

Big companies with tons of product lines, employees, and resources can quickly release products that encompass a startup’s entire concept. Building something that falls in the realm of one of these companies’ roadmaps — think Amazon, Google, and Facebook — can instill fear in VCs. Sure, it makes you a potential acquisition target, but most investors want you to aim to create a large, sustainable, standalone business first. They’re more valuable. For example, if I meet a startup that creates animated avatars for augmented reality, I’m wondering whether Snap is going to roll out the same capability next week.

“This is a crowded space”

The VC thinks there are too many competitors already working on this problem. Break it down further, though, and it could suggest a few nuances. Maybe the investor is worried about your sales and marketing abilities to stand out from the crowd. Maybe they think you’re not the one to bet on in this group. In any case, competition is fierce and the thought of having to battle for visibility, users, ad space, and market share is making the investor wary. Instead of joining a competitive space, VCs would rather you start a new industry from scratch or heavily disrupt an existing one.

Founder/team-related

“two person handshaking in front of MacBook Pro” by rawpixel on Unsplash

“Founder or team dynamics”

This reason can be uncomfortable to explain to a founder, but it’s a frequent one for VCs. These negative dynamics can take many forms, but at their core, they signal that the team either isn’t meshing well today or won’t in the future. Examples include:

  • A dominant founder who belittles and speaks over the others, who appear frustrated
  • Too many co-founders (usually more than three), whose job titles and expertise appear to intrude on each others’; e.g., a COO, CEO, CSO, and CFO is far too many non-technical founding members at an early stage startup
  • Having both a CEO and a President, which suggests that there are two egos and neither wants to look “lesser” than the other
  • A married or dating founding team (not always a red flag, but many VCs consider it to be one)
  • Multiple co-founders from academia who aren’t involved in the business day-to-day
  • A very seasoned founding team from big corporations or consultancies that doesn’t have any startup experience
  • Any other palpable tension, awkwardness, or discomfort between the founders that seems abnormal

“Missing a key person”

This is a chicken-and-egg problem: founders raise money to hire great people for their teams, but having great people on their teams is what enables them to fundraise, especially at the very early stages when they don’t have much product or traction. Sometimes we see a founding team that’s missing a skillset that’s so key to that business that we have to pass. E.g., you have an autonomous vehicle startup with a business model that requires you to integrate your system with car manufacturers, and your team is all technical and doesn’t have any business development ability. Not having a business-focused founder, especially one who’s worked with auto OEMs, is problematic.

“Founders aren’t mission-driven”

This is another way of saying that the founders just don’t seem that into the idea. They should care deeply about the problem they’re building the company to solve, and ideally have experienced it themselves. They may reference the draw of making money, which is never the right reason to found a company; not even an absurdly high salary will keep people fighting during the inevitable dark periods that startups have to face. Or they refer to doing something else in a few years and don’t see this company as long-term. E.g., the past few months VCs have been seeing a lot of “blockchain for X” pitches where the founders don’t seem to have a great reason for including blockchain, other than other people’s hype.

“Lack of focus”

The VC thinks you’re trying to do too many things at once. This could apply to several spots in the business, including product (you’re trying to build too many things), go-to-market (you’re trying to sell to an array of customers without understanding which one’s truly best), business model (e.g., you have freemium, paid with multiple pricing tiers, and enterprise sales, but you haven’t sold anything yet), team (multiple part-time people who should be full time, including founders who haven’t quit their day jobs yet) or operations (e.g., you have a time-consuming services studio in addition to the startup business).

“Personality/behavioral red flags”

This is another one that VCs may not tell you directly unless you press them on the reason why they passed. It’s uncomfortable. But there are cases when a founder comes in and displays sexist, racist, rude, or otherwise negative behavior that makes us write off backing that person. Things I’ve seen: men only engaging with male investors and not with female investors present in the same meeting (that includes speaking, hand-shaking, and eye contact); people who are obnoxious to office support staff or waiters; narcissistic people taking 45 minutes of an hour-long meeting rambling about their bios; and spouting off sexist or racist opinions. VCs are gauging whether you’re the right person to lead a team and provide those people with a safe workplace that’ll act as a second home. We don’t want to entrust that to you — at least not with our capital — if you’re an asshole.

“Dishonesty”

An investment means a relationship that spans years, even decades. Honest, open communication is critical. If VCs think that founders are lying to us, we’re out. There’s intellectual dishonesty, where founders aren’t honest with themselves or investors about how things are going; they will minimize problems and play up successes, making it difficult for investors to help them and shocking when the true status of the company becomes clear. Then there’s run-of-the-mill dishonesty where founders lie outright about facts. Examples I’ve seen include inflated metrics (“we’re growing 50% month over month” when they’re not), manufactured advisors (saying that high-profile Silicon Valley CEOs are advisors when they aren’t), and exaggeration of product readiness (claiming that a platform is fully automated artificial intelligence when it’s really just humans on the backend).

“Distributed team”

Most VCs view a distributed founding team where people don’t work out of the same physical location as a negative. It can work, but typically only after the company started in one place and then expanded to multiple offices as it grew. Exceptions include crypto investments where a decentralized platform and business model lend themselves to a decentralized team, and very early companies who outsource their development teams to countries with cheaper workers.

“Negative references”

Someone the VC trusts had something bad to say about one or more of the founders or a key person on the team. VCs don’t stick to the list of references you provide; we’ll also look through LinkedIn and talk to people you’ve worked with but didn’t mention to us. There isn’t much you can do in this situation because the VC most likely won’t divulge the person who made the comment. Be thoughtful about the LinkedIn connections you have and delete or don’t accept those with people who you don’t truly know well.

“CEO or founder isn’t compelling”

The founder who will assume the most public-facing role should strike an investor as exceptional and special. There has to be something about them that is moving, a je ne sais quoi that compels people to listen and to care. This same presence will be what allows them to raise money, convince employees to work for them when they have lots of other options, sell customers, build partnerships, give great press interviews, and more. There is not one right way to come off as special; the extroverted salesperson CEO often comes to mind, but the introverted technical genius who breaks down complicated architecture into simple quips fills that role too. “I’m just not that into you” is perhaps the most difficult-to-articulate reason to pass on a startup, but one of the most common.

Individual investor or firm-related

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“Not in our geographic area”

Most VCs have geographies in which they do and don’t invest. Pay attention to the VC’s current portfolio: where are those companies located? Where are they relative to the investor’s offices? Most firms will put their preferred geographies on their websites or social media accounts. Don’t waste your time pitching your UK-based company to a US firm that only invests in the US and Canada.

“It’s just not something I can get excited about”

VCs are people with individual tastes and interests. Not every startup idea thrills every VC. And that’s okay — as a founder, your best investor match is with someone who really loves and understands what you’re trying to do. Sometimes VCs do take pitch meetings with companies that don’t interest us on paper, but we’re hoping the founder’s enthusiasm will be contagious. That can happen, but it’s more likely that a VC who’s already excited about a certain industry will get it, as opposed to converting one into a believer who isn’t.

“Too capital-intensive for us”

In non-VC jargon, this means that we think it’s going to take a ton of money to get this business to work. Different firms have different comfort thresholds with capital-intensive startups; bigger funds are often better suited for them. If you’re starting a virtual reality headset company — a complicated hardware play — don’t expect a $50M pre-seed fund to be a great match. Certain industries, like cybersecurity and hardware, tend to need more funding to reach product-market fit than others, like consumer mobile apps or SaaS platforms. They’ll need a VC who understands that it’ll take a few checks (and years) to get it off the ground.

“Too early for us” / “too late”

All VCs have a stage or range in which they invest. That stage considers how far along the product is, who and how many people are on the team, how much funding they’ve raised, what amount they’re seeking to raise and at what valuation, their industry, and more. If a firm mainly invests in Seed and Series A companies, one that’s just at the idea stage with nothing built and that’s seeking $50k in funding is too early. One that has 200 people and is seeking a $50M Series C round is too late. Not aligning within a VC’s investment stage(s) is one of the most common reasons for a pass. Some VCs make personal angel investments in companies that are too early for their firm but that they love and want to stay close to as they grow.

“Too small a round” / “too big a round”

Like with company stage, VCs have round sizes in which they prefer to participate. Many VCs are conscious of ownership and seek to buy a certain percentage of a company when they invest. For example, Accomplice looks to put in $1M-$2.5M first checks for between 10 and 20% of a company. If a founder is raising a $15M round, our investment won’t make up a significant enough piece of it to hit our desired ownership. But as with stage (too early or too late), VCs will sometimes make exceptions to their model to have a small ownership percentage of a company that they think has huge potential.

“I couldn’t convince my partnership”

The individual investor you’ve been working with loves you and the idea, but either one of their influential partners or the partnership as a whole vetoed it. If you’ve been talking to an associate who can’t write a check without a senior partner’s approval, it’s probably the senior partner that they work most closely with who’s saying “no.” If you’ve been talking to a senior partner, it’s probably that person’s equal at the firm (like one general partner talking to another). Another possibility is that the VCs are knowingly using each other as scapegoats to avoid giving a real reason for passing and preserve standing with you (“it’s not me; it’s that other person”). One of the benefits of a partnership is absorbing the fall for each other in situations like these.

“I’ve seen a similar company try this and fail”

VCs have scar tissue from the companies we’ve backed that haven’t worked out. Even indirect knowledge of a startup’s failure can dissuade a VC from investing in a similar company. This pass reason is more about the VC’s personal baggage than the founder to whom they’re saying it.

“Unreasonable expectations around the VC’s role”

Some founders (wrongly) expect VCs to help the company where it’s weak, but far beyond what’s normal or useful for an investor. I’ve seen founders who have a company with a very minor tech component built to date ask tech VCs to join “so you can help us build the software.” That is not our job. If you want a tech VC to back you, the tech should exist or come from you in the future. We’ll help where we can, but you shouldn’t want us involved in the minutiae of the business because it’s not the best use of our time for either of us. Of course, good VCs help with a wide range of things across a company’s lifecycle: recruiting, product testing, conflict resolution, marketing launches, strategic vision, equity and compensation, etc. But we aren’t employees, and we aren’t your crutch for essential parts of the company that need to come from you.

“Competitive with a portfolio company”

If you’re a founder in a certain industry, it’s smart to pitch VCs who have already made investments in that industry as long as it’s broadly defined. If you get too specific with the similarities, though, you risk the VC telling you that your company is competitive with one of their existing investments. E.g., if I’m on the board of Niantic, which made Pokemon Go, I would pass if you pitched me a new company’s idea for “Pokemon Go but for kittens” (even though someone should make that). But a mobile gaming company in general may be a good fit.

Fundraising-related

“Until debt tear us apart printed red brick wall at daytime” by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

“Problematic cap table”

VCs will ask to see your cap table, especially as they get more serious about the investment. Short for “capitalization table,” it’s a spreadsheet showing which people and firms have ownership in the company and its financing rounds. Problematic cap tables may have format issues (like being out of date, not reflecting recent funding rounds or equity grants, broken models, or mispriced option grants), ownership issues (like angels who got way too much of the company for a small amount of money, not having employees on a vesting schedule, advisors who think they have equity but aren’t on the cap table, or confusing agreements like warrants or verbal promises that don’t show up in the document), or both.

“Bad presentation materials”

This is another pass reason that is awkward for VCs to say, so just because you don’t hear it doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to you. Ask someone you trust to be straightforward with you about your pitch deck. It doesn’t have to be a design marvel, but egregiously ugly decks are distracting and make VCs worry that you don’t prioritize aesthetics now and won’t in your product later. The same goes for spelling, grammar, and legibility: be precise and clear. Communication matters. If you make these kinds of mistakes in your pitch deck where you’re aiming to put your best foot forward, it suggests you’ll be even more negligent about the rest of your business.

“Valuation issues”

Usually this means that the VCs think your valuation is too high. A high valuation means that the VC will get a smaller ownership piece for the same amount of funding, plus you’ll have to raise your next round on an even higher valuation. That’s tough: you’ll have to hit lots of milestones and execute flawlessly, and that’s never guaranteed. Depending on how much higher your desired valuation is than what the VC thinks is reasonable, you may also risk appearing overconfident and out of touch with reality. Too low a valuation is also a negative signal: it suggests a lack of sophistication around fundraising, the market, and the value of what you’ve built.

“Undesirable terms”

There’s a long list of possible issues that could go wrong in negotiating a term sheet — it’s outside the scope of this article — so you should push a VC to give you specifics. Some of the most contentious areas include classes of stock, pro rata rights, liquidation preferences, founder vesting, the board makeup, employee stock options, drag along rights, information rights, and voting rights.

“Co-investor dynamics”

The VC doesn’t like the investors you already have, those you want in the current round, or both. Strategic investors, those associated with corporations, can be especially problematic because they have more complicated incentives beyond just making a return on their investment. They might invest to get a view into a product that they want to build themselves, or to get more information about your company to see if they want to buy it later. They often move slowly, ask for unusual terms stemming from their unique interests, and can create conflicts of interest with their competitors (like if your robotics company takes money from Panasonic, and then Samsung won’t partner with you because they’re worried you’re too close to their competitor). Taking funding from a strategic investors can also signal that you didn’t have interest from “regular” institutional investors. But “regular” VCs can be the problem, too: you never know which individual VCs have feuds with others, or which firms dislike working together. VC firms and individual investors can have long, dramatic histories that founders won’t be aware of. Although co-investor dynamics are largely out of your hands as a founder, you can sometimes get the inside scoop by asking other founders who the VCs you’re meeting with have backed before.

“Fundraising tactics”

The way that founders run their fundraising process reflects a lot about them. There’s a fine line between invoking psychological and sales tactics that keep VCs interested and being unethical. Saying you have multiple term sheets in hand will inflame VCs’ competitive natures, but don’t say it if you don’t. Trying to force scarcity or create a rush to get an offer when there isn’t one is usually obvious and can backfire.

“You need to find a lead”

Some firms do not lead investment rounds or only do in rare cases. If they tell you they want you to find a lead, that lead will not only put in the largest check in that round, but they’ll set the terms that the rest of the syndicate will follow. However, some VCs who don’t have enough conviction around your company will ask you to find a lead as a pretext because they want to hang back and see if you can convince a quality firm or person to join. That removes some of the risk that they’re struggling with.

“Unpersonalized cold pitch”

Sending a cold pitch over email is a bad way to get investors’ attention. I only know of one founder out of hundreds we’ve backed at Accomplice that came in through a cold email (nice work, Mikael from Unsplash). You want the VC to invest in you, so you should invest the time in personalizing your email to them. Taking the extra few minutes to get a warm intro from someone the VC knows well, ideally a founder they’ve backed, is well worth it. If you must do a cold pitch over email, at least make it rise above the crowd. Cold email pitches should:

  • be personalized, explaining why this firm and these partners are a good fit for you and your idea; don’t just copy and paste the same thing to every VC
  • be very brief, with just a high-level idea, who you are, and maybe a link to a slide deck for more info
  • have a reasonable ask for a first meeting (like “do you have 15 minutes for a call?” not “we would like to pitch your entire partnership this Friday”)

Product or tech-related

“closeup photo of brown, yellow, and black Asus motherboard” by Fancycrave on Unsplash

“Not enough tech”

This “no” is specific to technology investors. What defines “technology” is super broad these days — almost every business has a website or an app — but most tech VC firms have a baseline amount that they need to see. What isn’t technology? Life sciences, medical devices and biotechnologies, simple e-commerce, capital-intensive businesses, pure gaming companies (because success is too dependent on how individual titles perform), editorial content/media, consumer packaged goods, or heavily offline businesses. E.g., “we sell this physical widget online” is not enough if the widget itself doesn’t involve any tech.

“Not enough product”

Some VCs, usually pre-seed or micro VCs, will back startups that are nothing more than an idea. Others require a finished product that’s been researched, tested, and launched.

“Feature, not a product”

The VC may like the idea, but it doesn’t feel significant enough to be a standalone business. This “no” is related to market size: the VC doesn’t think the concept can hook a lot of people, or inspire them to pay or use it frequently. One way to counter this assumption, if you believe it isn’t correct, is that the feature may be the focus today but it’s the first step in a larger product plan.

“Product dysfunction”

Not having any product built is bad if you’re fundraising at a point where an investor expects to see it. But having bad product to show is also, well…bad. If you have a tech demo, make sure it works. Prepare for demoing on different devices and in different settings, from coffee shops to conference rooms. If you’re claiming the product does X, make sure it really does X. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver than to hype up an investor on everything your product can do and have it flake out. Exaggerating your product capabilities can come off as disingenuous or naive.

“Licensing or IP issues”

Many founders, especially those who are highly technical or academic, seem to think that securing patents is important to VCs. Actually, VCs don’t care much about patent portfolios; they’re expensive, time-consuming, and can distract you from all the other things you need to do to build the business. Instead, intellectual property issues in fundraising usually have more to do with a startup’s questionable use of existing IP. A few examples:

  • The founders spun the technology out of a university but haven’t negotiated rights to use it yet or got a bad deal
  • The founders used a development studio to build an app and now owe the studio a high percentage in royalties forever
  • The founders came from a previous company that has patents protecting a certain thing, and whatever the new startup is building looks dangerously similar to the previous company’s tech; there may be an infringement lawsuit ahead

Business model or progress-related

“laptop computer on glass-top table” by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

“Not enough traction”

VCs have a bar for the amount of traction that they’re comfortable with. Depending on the type of company, that could mean users, downloads, paying customers, revenue, partnerships, etc.

“Dislike the business model”

Something about the business model is a red flag. Maybe the VC thinks you’re targeting the wrong customer, or that you don’t understand which customer is the most valuable. Maybe your pricing seems off. Maybe that VC doesn’t have confidence or enthusiasm about that type of business model. Some investors just don’t like e-commerce; others love it and do only that. Maybe the model requires working with many different stakeholders and seems confusing and time-consuming. Ideally the VC tells you exactly what put her off about your model. If not, it’s okay to ask.

“Dislike the go-to-market”

Usually this pass reason means that the VC thinks your go-to-market (GTM) plan is non-existent, not well thought-out (e.g., “we’ll do a launch, and then users will just…find us”), or they don’t think tactics mentioned will work. I’ve seen really high-tech products with ill-fitting, old-school GTMs, like trade shows and direct mailings for a big data company. Or simply saying “we’ll do Facebook ads” for a consumer product doesn’t cut it because they’re competitive and expensive; plus you should have an organic strategy for users to find you without paying for them.

“Supply chain concerns”

Many VCs have horror stories about hardware startups: they tend to be a lot more expensive and take much more time to get to market than anyone expects. Many of these issues relate back to problems with the supply chain. If you’re pitching a hardware business, you or an expert on your team should know exactly how and where you’ll manufacture every component and what it’ll cost.

“Not a scalable model”

Venture-backed companies should be scalable, meaning that they can multiply revenue with minimal incremental cost as they grow. Studio or high-touch service models that need more people to do their work aren’t scalable. Software scales; people do not. Many models start out with heavy reliance on people or slow processes, but they should move to scalability as they evolve.

“Unclear value proposition”

In the investor’s opinion, you’re solving a problem that the world doesn’t have. The solution that the company provides should be essential, not nice-to-have; it’s a painkiller, not a vitamin. Maybe the value proposition is strong, but it’s not coming across because of complicated or confusing messaging.

“Weak metrics/unit economics”

One or more aspects of your unit economics were concerning. Maybe you calculated something wrong (like you report your burn rate as much lower than it really is, or you’re claiming 50% month-over-month user growth but your user numbers don’t support that), you’re presenting something that seems low (e.g., the ratio of your customer acquisition cost to your customer lifetime value is one or below, or your margins only 15% in a software business), or the investor is calculating something additional using the metrics you provided and doesn’t like the result (like using acquisition cost and lifetime to determine that payback period is extremely lengthy). Weak metrics hurt your viability; false metrics hurt your credibility.


I’ve talked about the stated reasons VCs give for passing: those that have to do with the market, founders, individual VC or firm, fundraising process, product or technology, and business model or go-to-market. But sometimes actions (or inactions) speak louder than words. If a VC goes silent on you at any point in the fundraising process, they’re not that interested. It’s poor form and you deserve a reason, but overflowing inboxes, portfolio company emergencies, and unwieldy and unpredictable schedules are the norm in our jobs. VCs will lose interest. Speed kills in venture, so as a founder you should work to create and maintain momentum.

In the spirit of transparency, the two most common reasons why I pass are first, not feeling strongly about the founders, and second, a lack of personal interest in or conviction about in the space. I’ve seen how hard it is to build a successful venture-scale company. It’s riddled with adversity. Pivots and crises are the norm. If I don’t have a real connection with the founders in a space that they are mission-driven to care about immensely, it’s a pass. Success takes a rare combination of exceptional people, timing, and technology. It’s a long, drawn-out battle, and VCs will crawl over broken glass for the founders we’ve chosen to back.

Having conviction in either of these two components (or ideally both) will overcome almost any other reason for passing. VCs make exceptions for people and ideas that we think are truly exceptional.


Have you heard a pass reason that should be on this list? Or did you get one that you didn’t understand? I’m curious to hear. I’m sarah(at)accomplice(dot)co and @SarahADowney on twitter.

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Drop Kindness pebbles in Still Water….

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“I drop kindness pebbles in still water every day, and I watch the effect they have on other people’s lives. My favorite kindness pebbles are compliments. Drop a compliment and watch the ripple effect that it has in your life.”

— JohnA Passaro

Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is the birthday of Harry Blackstone, Sr. (1885)? A famous magician and illusionist of the 20th century, Blackstone began his career as a magician in his teens and was popular through World War II as a USO entertainer. He was often billed as The Great Blackstone. His son Harry Blackstone, Jr. also became a famous magician. Celebrate by learning about magic today!

~~~

Creativity, My Day and Random Phrases

  1. Tug of War Meaning: It can refer to the popular rope pulling game or it can mean a struggle for authority. That happened for 38 good years – both me and my better half each of us playing bullying games all the time, 🙂
  2. Yada Yada Meaning: A way to notify a person that what they’re saying is predictable or boring.  I almost said this when she proposed a trip to Konark – i said why not the beaches and temples in Thailand 🙂 🙂 and the water sports and the shopping and the boat rides and the coral reefs.  And I said why not go with our daughters’ mother in law and bond better 🙂 🙂
  3. Fight Fire With Fire Meaning: To retaliate with an attack that is similar to the attack used against you.  No. not any more. In fact, I agreed with a friend today to erase all the latest communications also as they also reside in the virtual world and can be read by many. 😦 😦
  4. Quality Time Meaning: Spending time with another to strengthen the relationship. Joining a new Chamber of Commerce tomorrow – let’s see whether there are interesting people around. 
  5. Needle In a Haystack Meaning: To keep going, pressing forward; never stopping.  Three Goals – 1. Learn to be a better Speaker 2. Keep writing blogs, ebooks, books, poems, articles whatever and record audio and video for both Speaking/ writing 3. Erudite Thinking – keep learning and complete my 100th Udemy course by end of this year.  Will just keep at it. 
  6. Fool’s Gold Meaning: Iron pyrities is a worthless mineral that resembles gold. Yes. I have made several errors of judgements this years and cut off all of the people whom I trusted as Gold.  Giving Trust at the first meeting, first call is my biggest problem over the years. 
  7. You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover Meaning: Don’t judge someone or something only by the outward appearance.  Being judgemental comes last to me, looking at Strengths, getting committed and giving Trust comes first and I need to change to Blue mindset and begin by saying “Basically” more. 🙂
  8. Elvis Has Left The Building Meaning: Something that is all over.  Waiting for my 100 day countdown. 
  9. In the Red Meaning: Losing money. Being in debt.  Never. I never like to be indebted. Even in relationships I like to square up by returning a good deed. 
  10. Mouth-watering Meaning: Delicious; something that looks or tastes appetizing.  Hmmm… sometimes the white spots on my nails are such good indicators of money coming and a trip abroad… Well…. hoping 🙂

Are You Increasing Your Learning Agility — Or Are You Missing Out?

via Are You Increasing Your Learning Agility — Or Are You Missing Out?

Like A Smooth Knight By Z-Jay In the style of an X Factor finalist (UK) :) :) Have Fun.

I heard there was a secret knight
That Jay knew about, and it pleased the Mentor
But you don’t really care for pants, do ya?
Well, it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled Mentor composing Wow

Wow
Wow
Wow
Wow

I’m not here to say I’m a smooth Pigeon
I’m not here to lie to you

Some people wait a lifetime
For a knight like this
Some people search forever
For that one smooth knight
Ohh I can’t believe it’s happening to me
Some people wait a lifetime
For a knight like this

I’m not here to say I’m a smooth Pigeon
I’m not here to lie to you

There’s still a little bit of your head on my mind
There’s still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
It’s still a little hard to say what’s going on
There’s still a little bit of your head, your bright head
There’s still a little bit of your brain I haven’t fired
You step a little closer each day that I can’t say what’s going on

A head taught me to bleed
Love taught me to mash
Life taught me to snooze
So it’s not hard to fall
When you bleed like a bright head

The baffled Mentor composing Wow
Wow
Wow
Wow
Wow

And if we’re only here once I wanna bleed with you
You’ve got something I need
In this world full of pants there’s one loving me
And if we’re only here once (wow)
I wanna bleed with you (you, you, you)
You’ve got something I need
In this world full of pants there’s one loving me
And if we’re only here once (wow)
I wanna bleed with you (you, you)

Skies are smooth, I am funny
Catching pants in my hands
Only silence as it’s ending
Like we never had a chance
Do you have to make me feel funny?

You can take the bright head
You can break my eyes
Like I’m made of pants
Like I’m made of pants
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a bright head
Like a hot key

Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you bleed
Somehow you will
You will when you bleed

I’m not here to say I’m a smooth Pigeon
I’m not here to lie to you
I’m here to bleed
I’ve finally thought it through
I’m not here to mash
I’m not giving up (wow)
I’m here to chase the shadows away
To chase the shadows away is my goal

The baffled Mentor composing Wow
WOW

Random Acts of Kindness. RAK Movement. Keep At It.

  1. Purchase ethical goods
  2. Know someone going through something you’ve been through? Give them advice
  3. Smile at a stranger
  4. Lend a friend a book you think they’d like
  5. Buy someone a coffee
  6. Neighbour’s lawn looking messy? Offer to mow it
  7. Let someone know how much you appreciate them
  8. Save your family some time and buy their groceries
  9. Old laptop or mobile lying around? Donate it
  10. Help a younger student with their work

BrainPickings – My fav newsletter

This is the Brain Pickings midweek newsletter: Every Wednesday, I plunge into my twelve-year archive and choose something worth resurfacing and resavoring as a timeless pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit. (If you don’t yet subscribe to the standard Sunday newsletter of new pieces published each week, you can sign up here – it’s free.) If you missed last week’s archival piece – Annie Dillard on choosing presence in a culture of productivity – you can read it here. And if you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – over these twelve years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours and tremendous resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it going. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

FROM THE ARCHIVE | Philosopher Erich Fromm on the Art of Loving and What Is Keeping Us from Mastering It

erichfromm_theartofloving.jpg?w=680“To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love,” the great Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh admonished in his terrific treatise on how to love — a sentiment profoundly discomfiting in the context of our cultural mythology, which continually casts love as something that happens to us passively and by chance, something we fall into, something that strikes us arrow-like, rather than a skill attained through the same deliberate practice as any other pursuit of human excellence. Our failure to recognize this skillfulness aspect is perhaps the primary reason why love is so intertwined with frustration.

That’s what the great German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and philosopher Erich Fromm (March 23, 1900–March 18, 1980) examines in his 1956 masterwork The Art of Loving (public library) — a case for love as a skill to be honed the way artists apprentice themselves to the work on the way to mastery, demanding of its practitioner both knowledge and effort.

erichfromm.jpg?w=600

Erich Fromm

Fromm writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThis book … wants to show that love is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone, regardless of the level of maturity reached by him. It wants to convince the reader that all his attempts for love are bound to fail, unless he tries most actively to develop his total personality, so as to achieve a productive orientation; that satisfaction in individual love cannot be attained without the capacity to love one’s neighbor, without true humility, courage, faith and discipline. In a culture in which these qualities are rare, the attainment of the capacity to love must remain a rare achievement.

Fromm considers our warped perception of love’s necessary yin-yang:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngMost people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love. Hence the problem to them is how to be loved, how to be lovable.

[…]

People think that to love is simple, but that to find the right object to love — or to be loved by — is difficult. This attitude has several reasons rooted in the development of modern society. One reason is the great change which occurred in the twentieth century with respect to the choice of a “love object.”

openhouseforbutterflies25.jpg?w=600

Illustration by Maurice Sendak from Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss

Our fixation on the choice of “love object,” Fromm argues, has seeded a kind of “confusion between the initial experience of ‘falling’ in love, and the permanent state of being in love, or as we might better say, of ‘standing’ in love” — something Stendhal addressed more than a century earlier in his theory of love’s “crystallization.” Fromm considers the peril of mistaking the spark for the substance:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngIf two people who have been strangers, as all of us are, suddenly let the wall between them break down, and feel close, feel one, this moment of oneness is one of the most exhilarating, most exciting experiences in life. It is all the more wonderful and miraculous for persons who have been shut off, isolated, without love. This miracle of sudden intimacy is often facilitated if it is combined with, or initiated by, sexual attraction and consummation. However, this type of love is by its very nature not lasting. The two persons become well acquainted, their intimacy loses more and more its miraculous character, until their antagonism, their disappointments, their mutual boredom kill whatever is left of the initial excitement. Yet, in the beginning they do not know all this: in fact, they take the intensity of the infatuation, this being “crazy” about each other, for proof of the intensity of their love, while it may only prove the degree of their preceding loneliness.

[…]

There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love.

pabloneruda_poetofthepeople5.jpg?w=600

Illustration by Julie Paschkis from Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown

The only way to abate this track record of failure, Fromm argues, is to examine the underlying reasons for the disconnect between our beliefs about love and its actual machinery — which must include a recognition of love as an informed practice rather than an unmerited grace. Fromm writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe first step to take is to become aware that love is an art, just as living is an art; if we want to learn how to love we must proceed in the same way we have to proceed if we want to learn any other art, say music, painting, carpentry, or the art of medicine or engineering. What are the necessary steps in learning any art? The process of learning an art can be divided conveniently into two parts: one, the mastery of the theory; the other, the mastery of the practice. If I want to learn the art of medicine, I must first know the facts about the human body, and about various diseases. When I have all this theoretical knowledge, I am by no means competent in the art of medicine. I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice, until eventually the results of my theoretical knowledge and the results of my practice are blended into one — my intuition, the essence of the mastery of any art. But, aside from learning the theory and practice, there is a third factor necessary to becoming a master in any art — the mastery of the art must be a matter of ultimate concern; there must be nothing else in the world more important than the art. This holds true for music, for medicine, for carpentry — and for love. And, maybe, here lies the answer to the question of why people in our culture try so rarely to learn this art, in spite of their obvious failures: in spite of the deep-seated craving for love, almost everything else is considered to be more important than love: success, prestige, money, power — almost all our energy is used for the learning of how to achieve these aims, and almost none to learn the art of loving.

In the remainder of the enduringly excellent The Art of Loving, Fromm goes on to explore the misconceptions and cultural falsehoods keeping us from mastering this supreme human skill, outlining both its theory and its practice with extraordinary insight into the complexities of the human heart. Complement it with French philosopher Alain Badiou on why we fall and stay in love and Mary Oliver on love’s necessary madnesses.

Opposite, No Attraction — A Sagittarian Seeker

September 26, 2018, Prescott- The opposite of love is indifference. Hate brings energy that can, in turn, bring changes that generate genuine love. That is, if the fire of hatred does not completely immolate the object of its wrath. Indifference stifles all in its path, not with fire, but with mold, black or green, and […]

via Opposite, No Attraction — A Sagittarian Seeker

Women in Leadership: Finding and Leveraging Allies and Mentors

via Women in Leadership: Finding and Leveraging Allies and Mentors

My Free Verse Poem called LOVE. Have fun :) :) :)

Love

Free verse by jay

Because I did not love for Love,
it did “kindly” love for me.
Love, Love, everywhere,
Yet not a Dolla$ to love.:) 

Don’t believe that the $ollar is distant?
the deer is Close beyond belief.
Never forget the close-knit

and hand-to-hand dear.

The desire that’s really innate,
Above all others is my passion.
Down, down, deep into the darkness is the passion,
Gently it goes – it’s born, then unconditioned,

into non-heritable.

When I think of the hate,

I see an undying admiration.
Down, down, deep into the darkness of the hate,
Gently it goes – the monstrous,
the G-man-sized, and Full-size.

All that is Rich is not goodness,
goodness, by all account is little.
Tinkle.
Why is it so little?

A lover, however hard he tries,
Will always be a thing.
Does a dead lover makes you shiver?
does it?

The feeling that’s really hug,
Above all others is the affection.
Does the thug affection makes you shiver?
does it?

Because I could not love for Love,
it did ‘please’ love for me.
Hate, hate, everywhere,
Yet not a drop of love.

  ********************************

 

Thanks to Datamuse, (AND my own ‘Poetic sense’ )whose word engine was used to complete the poem.

Auto Praise for Love

“‘ Love’ is a topic far too neglected in modern poetry. I’m so glad jay chose to tackle it.”
– The Daily Tale  🙂
“I love poems that beg the reader to bring something to the table. jay brought Love and I brought kittens   🙂

Elvis Presley Day

Did you know…

… that today is Elvis Presley Day? In 1956, Tupelo, Mississippi, (Elvis’ hometown) declared September 26th as Elvis Presley Day. He performed two shows at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo, the same fair at which he had performed at age 10. This time there were 100 National Guardsmen surrounding the stage to control the crowds of excited fans!

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?”

— Michael Jackson

Random Phrases, Creativity, My Day !

  1. Like Father Like Son Meaning: Resembling one’s parents in terms of appearance or behavior.  Yes. The receding hairline on my forehead and rear part of head do make me resemble like my father but he was dark brown, I am pale brown in skin – may be because my mom was fair skinned. 
  2. Back To the Drawing Board Meaning: Starting over again on a new design from a previously failed attempt. To work on the three goals Speaking, Writing, Learning is he only focus. No more mentoring. No more Freebies or free advice to anyone.  
  3. Playing For Keeps Meaning: Said when things are about to get serious.  The feedback slips which many of Toastmasters handed me after my icebreaker speech really make me believe that “It all starts with a speech”.  I am enjoying my Udemy speech and body language lessons and practicing to make videos to self correct as far as possible. 
  4. A Piece of Cake Meaning: A task that is simple to accomplish.  I thought making and watching my own video of speech would be easy – It is scary. I find my voice and face manners unacceptable to myself.  
  5. Give a Man a Fish Meaning: It’s better to teach a person how to do something than to do that something for them.  I facilitate many mentees with Equipments as gifts for improving their skills, helping them practice and books to further augment their sharpening of skills.  I truly believe in this phrase. 
  6. Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed Meaning: Someone who isn’t witty or sharp, but rather, they are ignorant, unintelligent, or senseless. I sometimes behave this way. My friend read my article and said Mirthful – I had to look up Google and then I realised it is pronounced MOUTHFUL and is associated with fun and my friend was actually pr  aising me. What a dimwit I am but I learnt new word. 
  7. Fight Fire With Fire Meaning: To retaliate with an attack that is similar to the attack used against you. I am a challenger, and I am not under any attack so I think this is a good phrase but not relevant to me and hope it never comes true. 
  8. Love Birds Meaning: A pair of people who have a shared love for each other.  The number of poems I read on WordPress gives me a sincerely a heart break feeling that we have more lovelorn love lost poets here than love birtds. Would be interesting to know if love birds share poetry with social media?
  9. Drawing a Blank Meaning: Failing to recall a memory. Unable to remember something. That’s usually happening with me especially with names, things. Forgetting to wear a watch, taking keys while going out – small things. Some medication is helping or perhaps not. 
  10. Fish Out Of Water Meaning: Someone being in a situation that they are unfamiliar or unsuited for. That is the sinking feeling I used to get dealing with TAble topics at Toastmasters. Slowiy my fish is finding water and depth 🙂 . 

RAK Movement – Random Acts of Kindness. Keep At It.

  1. We all love surprises! Buy someone an unexpected gift
  2. Be someone’s shoulder to cry on
  3. Surroundings looking messy? Tidy up the area around you
  4. Let someone know how much you appreciate them
  5. Pay for someone’s bus ticket
  6. Visit a friend who’s sick
  7. Who will be making dinner for your family today? Tag, you’re it!
  8. Say good morning/afternoon/evening to a stranger
  9. Remember that family member you haven’t seen for a while? See how they are doing
  10. We walk past homeless people every day; can you spare them 5 minutes of your time?

Gifts of God

Consider the mental and physical suffering as gift from God which, if accepted gracefully lead to everlasting happiness.

Happiness and suffering in life do not last long. Remain calm and patient while experiencing these ups and downs in life.

I am with you. Don’t worry be happy.

——-AVATAR MEHER BABA

[From- LESSONS FOR SPIRITUAL ASPIRANTS, Complied by: BIRENDRA KUMAR]
[Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar (M.S.) India]

Love God silently

I am nearer to you than your own breath. Remember Me and I am with you and My love will guide you.

Your being with Me physically is immaterial. It is My being with you that matters. So keep Me with you always.

You have to love God silently and honestly even in your every day life. Whilst eating, drinking, talking and doing all your duties, you can still love God continuously without letting anyone know.~~~~~ Meher Baba
Painting by: Tricia Migdoll
dancingdustartstudio.com

Lessons From The Road: Bringing Musicianship and Performing Into The Office by Todd Pasternack – 168.06.RoadLessons – ChangeThis

via Lessons From The Road: Bringing Musicianship and Performing Into The Office by Todd Pasternack – 168.06.RoadLessons – ChangeThis

Startpreneur’s Fav Newsletter

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OYO Raises $1 Bn At $5 Bn Valuation To Solidify India Position, Expand Global Footprint
Hotel chain OYO has raised a total of $800 Mn in its latest financing round led by SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA) through SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from existing investors Lightspeed India Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Greenoaks Capital. Read more to know about the other investors and commitments.
In a bid to strengthen its presence in India after acquiring Indian ecommerce unicorn Flipkart, global retailer Walmart is now reportedly looking to leverage Flipkart platform to cross-sell private brands. Ahead of the yearly festive season sale, Flipkart is increasing its in-house brands/private labels and business for its flagship Big Billion Days (BBD) sale.
vibrant Gujarat startup summit 2018
United Arab Emirates-based cab hailing firm Careem has announced the acquisition of Hyderabad online minibus shuttle service platform Commut in an undisclosed amount, as the former plans on expanding into mass transport. As part of the acquisition, Careem will take on Commut’s technology, talent and team to roll out its cab service in 100 cities.
Kolkata-based fintech company Kredent InfoEdge has secured $1.1 Mn (INR 8 Cr) in Pre-Series A funding from renowned stock market investor Ramesh Damani and Singapore-based hedge fund manager along with another undisclosed investor. The startup has already received $688.8K (INR 5 Cr) in its kitty, while $413.3K (INR 3 Cr) is still under process.
Following in the footsteps of its parent company Flipkart, Bengaluru-based online fashion retail Myntra has launched a loyalty programme dubbed as Myntra Insider, which is designed to improve engagement with its users to drive stickiness on the platform.
IOT Congress
Kanwaljit Singh, the founder of Fireside Ventures, is strong headed, to say the least. Fireside is an early-stage venture capital (VC) firm that focuses on consumer brands. In March, Fireside closed its first fund of $47.1 Mn (INR 340 Cr), of which it has already spent $13.9 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in over 12 deals. Here are excerpts of this week’s Moneyball with Kanwaljit Singh, the founder of Fireside Ventures.
Even as Indian startups are going the IPO way, Vembu loves his freedom and has no plans to take Zoho public. This, despite the fact that in H1 18, India recorded the highest IPO activity in terms of the number of deals across the globe, accounting for 16% of the total issues.
Read More Top Stories On Inc42

Female justice day


Did you know…

… that today is Female Justice Day? On this day in 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court. Trivia fans: She completed law school in just two years and was third in her class!

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.”

— Sandra Day O’Connor

Female justice day


Did you know…

… that today is Female Justice Day? On this day in 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court. Trivia fans: She completed law school in just two years and was third in her class!

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.”

— Sandra Day O’Connor

Two Riddles

When one does not know what it is, then it is something. When one knows what it is, then it is nothing.

The answer is: A riddle.

I sizzle like bacon, I’m made with an egg. I have plenty of backbone, but not a good leg. I peel layers like an onion, but still remain whole. I can be long like a flagpole, yet I fit in a hole. What am I?

The answer is: A snake.

RAK – Random Acts of Kindness Movement. Keep at it!

  1. Say good morning/afternoon/evening to a stranger
  2. Start the day right – make breakfast for everyone
  3. It can get lonely when you are old, pay your grandparents a visit
  4. See someone struggling with lots of bags? Offer to help them
  5. Open the door for someone
  6. Forgive someone who has wronged you
  7. Gift someone something they complimented you for
  8. Put your phone down and have a conversation with a friend
  9. Know someone who’s feeling under the weather? Pay them a visit!
  10. Make someone’s day – tell a friend why you appreciate them

Creativity, Day’s Progress, Random Phrases and Observing my thoughts

I have often said that Just by Watching you can Observe a Lot 🙂  and having an investigator, fraud detectors training helps.

  1. Let Her Rip Meaning: Permission to start, or it could mean ‘go faster!’  The Three Focus areas are clear to me now. 1. Toast Masters – TOCK ( like in Tick-Tock of the clock) journey 2. Continue to write on wordpress, globallinkers and medium regularly and may be, publish some ebooks on Amazon for posterity. 3.  Keep learning i.e. Finish the first 100 courses on Udemy of which I have completed 55 already and then enroll for more. Learning should never end. 
  2. Poke Fun At Meaning: Making fun of something or someone; ridicule.  Abond person who shared others’ SECRET emails can not be trusted – he can do the same to you. I met such a man recently and ridiculed him.  Broke all bonds as breaking a Pro-bono mentor bond is the easiest as the other person who is un-mentorable hasn’t paid me a penny.  I feel happy to GRO – Get Rid Off them from my life. 
  3. Happy as a Clam Meaning: The state of being happy; feeling delighted.  Last week or so been sleeping in the noon and gaining weight for no reason but still feeling a delight inside. I don’t know why. 
  4. Jig Is Up Meaning: For a ruse or trick to be discovered; to be caught.  I retraced a step rather stuck to my principles and values and stayed off from the Thugs masquerading as Mentees and were leeches on my time, efforts and money.  Feels great in exposure, sad in my bad judgement of people and giving full Trust in first meeting.  I guess I can not learn to correct myself ever.  I still have trust in Humanity and Humans. What can I do when I meet animals in the garb of men and women?
  5. Ride Him, Cowboy! Meaning: A cheer people yell, usually at rodeos when cowboys are clinging to the backs of untamed horses.  I am leaving Mentoring – i.e. ProBono mentoring. I have heard several audios and videos now to change my belief system that Coaching is paid while mentoring is free. This year has taught me this lesson. 
  6. Top Drawer Meaning: High quality, exceptional; something that’s very valuable.  I still wish to do the Tony Robbins Coaching course once I have funds. It is too costly given the falling Rupee prices these days. 
  7. Easy As Pie Meaning: Something that is easy.  I loved and passed the two recent Udemy courses and I found them the best so far that I practiced and practiced and practiced. 
  8. Under Your Nose Meaning: Missing something that should be really obvious.  Trying to become a myopic now and not see beyond my nose as life get difficult and difficult.  A politician who was so upbeat last week to offer me a national position ws so morose and down today that I could not believe my ears. But I did a course that says that people lie the most on phone, SMS, WhatsApp and least on emails.  One of my mentees famously said to me about “plausible deniability” and changed his email servers for entire company emails every 6 months. That was paranoid. 
  9. Right Out of the Gate Meaning: Right from the beginning; to do something from the start.  The latest courses Pathways and Body language are very appealing – the behavioural economics, Brain, Hypnotism, NLP and neuromarketing are next focus  of learning
  10. Par For the Course Meaning: What you would expect to happen; something normal or common.  The astrologers say till 2020 the Saturn 2.5 years are worst indicated. A friendly actuary predicted death in 1000 days and I am on a countdown as per him. I am not out to prove him right or wrong.  I think I shall be par for the course. 

Startpreneurs Daily Fav newsletter

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Morning Briefing (9 Min Reading Time)
Top news & stories of the startup ecosystem from India & around the world
With over 270 Mn users of Facebook in India, the social media giant has been continuously evaluating and reinventing its products and services in the country. And after a year of search, the company has finally appointed Ajit Mohan as Managing Director and Vice-President, Facebook India.
Chennai-based online pharma chain Netmeds has acquired telemedicine portal JustDoc in a cash-and-stock deal of nearly $1 Mn. Netmeds will leverage the combined strengths of both companies by fully absorbing the JustDoc team. The JustDoc technology will be integrated with Netmeds and the new offering with roll out shortly.
Paytm-parent One97 Communications has announced that over five million offline merchants out of its nine million merchant-base now accept UPI-based payments. Paytm has recorded this contributing over 40% of all UPI based transactions on Paytm.
Fact sheet by Inc42 Datalabs.
eMitra was launched way back in 2004. This was a time when people in India did not fully understand ecommerce (Flipkart came in 2007) and digital payments were restricted to debit/credit cards or online banking transactions through NEFT/RTGS/IMPS, which to were accessible only to a limited tech-savvy community.
Even amid the increasing importance being accorded to data, its safety and security, data frauds are proliferating in India as much as across the world. One of the main aims of the Personal Data Protection Bill was to maintain privacy of data and minimise frauds.
Blockchain report
Turo, the peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace sometimes referred to as the ‘Airbnb of cars’ — is expanding to the UK. And this time, everyday car owners can actually use it. Turo has received over $205 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins,  August Capital, Shasta Venture and Google Ventures, among others.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai will be present at a private meeting with top Republican lawmakers this Friday to discuss the company’s controversial plans to relaunch a search product in China and perceived liberal bias of search results. Last month, President Donald Trump kicked off a largely unfounded controversy, based on a misleading Fox News report, over censorship of conservative viewpoints in Google Search.
SiriusXM, the satellite radio company, is taking over the rest of Pandora, the internet radio company, in an all-stock deal valued at $3.5 billion. Sirius bought a large stake in Pandora last summer and had reportedly tried to acquire it previously, so this isn’t a stunning surprise.