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Guess who has two thumbs and made an accurate prediction about the TechStars TV show last week?

That’s right… it’s THIS guy.

When Mark Suster said “this team has gone backwards,” he was talking about us. Let’s see how much further back we can go… 

  1. Nice haircut, Tisch.
  2. Pitch practice was great. I mean… I dreaded it early-on when our product wasn’t fully baked and I was pitching vaporware, but once things came together, it was a blast. Really fun to see all of my friends get better every week, too, which made us all step our game up. That being said, I hate that they show Eli and Eduardo being crapped on by Mark. Those guys are great entrepreneurs.
  3. Mark Suster - I’m lucky to have known Mark for a while now and he’s been supportive of us, particularly when it came to getting into TechStars. To hear him say we’re succumbing to “group think” is tough to swallow… worse to have Cohen nodding in agreement. And not great to suggest that we’d only get funded by dumb-money. “I live in LA, I see these every ******* month.” Well… clearly there’s a problem and no one’s solved it. As Mark himself encouraged me to say in my pitch, we’ve been working in web video for “over 3 years,” so you can call it group-think, but this is a trend we’d been considering for a while and we’re leaders in the space. At the end of the day, Mark comes off as the Simon Cowell character this week. Was he a harsh critic? You bet. Does he do it because he cares? Definitely. Hell… he even emailed me after this episode aired to more or less say ‘sorry I come off so harsh… I love you and your team… but I still think I’m right. hope you prove me wrong.’ We’ll see, Mark. We’ll see… ;)
  4. Tisch - 'hit the lottery and Shelby is a Twitter.’ Appreciate that, but aren’t all of us startups supposed to go for high risk, high reward, binary outcomes like that anyway?
  5. “I loved their first business. It was a great idea. There’s a huge market.” Thanks Mark, though it was a bit late at that point and there are a lot of people who disagree. 
  6. EPIC DISASTER DEMO FAIL - I hadn’t used notes once throughout TechStars… the one day I planned to use them… #fail. haha. Had nothing to do with the notes. I built a brand new deck and Joe and I were out of sync. It looks like Joe’s fault the way they edit it, but it was probably mine. Love the shot of Henry watching me fuck up. No pressure from my team or anything…  
  7. SPORTS ANALOGY + FORESHADOWING!  Maybe we’ll win the next game?
  8. Veri - “deprioritizing everything and working on the pitch,” that’s exactly what happens at the end of TechStars. You want to work on your business, but demo day is too important. It’s the beauty and the beast of the program and if you play your cards right, you’ll end up with great investors. Anyway, Veri killed it and I’m psyched for those guys.
  9. Ha… “$200k already raised” - [notice the red cut on my nose? That’s from Joe and I trying to kill each other wrestling in a conference room one night just for fun. Good times.] More importantly, you really should try to get as much investor traction going into a fundraising event. Good advice from Tisch. 
  10. “Building a luxury retail company is fucking hard.” No Melanie, “Building any company is fucking hard.” ;)
  11. Hiring advice from Tisch to OnSwipe. Serious wisdom there. Be honest when recruiting and 'scare away’ the people who aren’t right for your team.
  12. I have no idea what Baptiste is talking about… buying Facebook buildings… 
  13. Sosa and his family… so tough. I know Jason went through a lot of stress during TechStars, but I didn’t know about any of this going down at the time, which says a lot about the professionalism of that team. Alessio and Chris are great guys and it’s impressive how they tried to work through all this. Sosa’s right about the pressure you feel as the CEO raising money with demo day approaching. The teams’ counting on you. So intense… 
  14. I swore again. That’s another $25 to Charity:Water.
  15. A comment from a friend re: OnSwipe and Tim Armstrong, “did those guys really plop their ipads down on Tim Armstrong’s desk?!” Haha… yes. Yes they did.
  16. Subtitling Andreas.. ha. So silly.
  17. Brad Feld! I love the guy. Seriously… I always feel better after hanging with him.
  18. Another F-bomb, another $25 to Charity:Water. I think I screwed up in the first 3 words that time.
  19. Caren got so much better throughout pitch practice. It was awesome to see.
  20. Suster’s acting lesson… so dramatic, but he’s absolutely right.
  21. Is that knock-off music from Mission Impossible in the background? Don’t think I didn’t notice, Bloomberg…
  22. DEAR BLOOMBERG, THERE WAS NO FUCKING COMPETITION. THEY ARE NOT NEW ENTRANTS. THEY ARE OUR FELLOW TECHSTARS - CROWDTWIST AND RED ROVER, THEY ARE AWESOME AND THEY WENT THROUGH EVERYTHING WE DID AT THE SAME TIME AND NONE OF US COMPETED FOR A $5M CHECK. STOP MAKING IT LOOK LIKE A FUCKING CONTEST. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.***

Ok… I vented. I’ve said before, overall, I think the show is solid, but the “competition” theme Bloomberg has run through it is overblown and as a result, 99% of the show is about us CEO’s and our fundraising process. But we wouldn’t be anywhere without our teams. If we - Dan, Joe, Henry and Myles - hadn’t worked well together, I’d have nothing to pitch. And towards the end of the program, everyone stepped up big time to help me practice again and again and again before demo day.

Well… let’s see who “wins” in episode 5 tonight @ 10:30pm. 

*** - I don’t usually swear this badly on my blog. Certainly not in caps-lock. I’ll fine myself another $25 donation to Charity:Water.