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The Only Way To Grow

happydragos profile image Dragos Bulugean ・2 min read

I thought I'd let people know about the constant rejection that I've been getting since starting Archbee. It's tough, y'all.

YCombinator rejected me 3 times:

  • W2019 didn't even hear back from them.
  • S2020 they invited me to an interview, did the interview, and then rejected me after a couple of days.
  • W2021 (was still in 2020) invited me to an interview again, but still rejected me. Even after being #1 on ProductHunt, having lots of great reviews, and showing revenue growth. 2 Tier-2 accelerators also rejected me.

In 2020 I talked to 18 angel investors. 12 rejected me.

Also in 2020, I talked to 8 VC firms. 5 didn't provide any feedback. The other 3 rejected me.

I looked in my calendar for sales calls, about 100 since mid-2019. 70 rejected me, the others bought the software. Some of those churned, so that also counts as a rejection.

I asked 3 of my developer friends to become co-founders. All rejected me.

I asked 2 people I met on Zoom to become co-founders. They rejected me.

I tried 3 cold outreach campaigns with hundreds of people in them. Some responded, but 0 customers, all rejected me.

I asked 2 friends to invest in Archbee. Rejected.

I asked some people with a good audience on Twitter to tweet about our ProductHunt launch. Nobody did.

I tried to sell an Archbee subscription to a CTO I used to work with. He said "what if you get hit by a bus?" knowing that I'm building this by myself. So cruel.

I asked for help many times. VERY few people did.

Seeing it laid out here feels even worse.

But I completely understand why it happened when I analyze my own rejections of other people.

I also rejected 1 accelerator, 3 angels. I fired 4 customers (yes, I did). Some co-founder requests. Rejected all 5 VC firms who didn't bother to tell me anything, by not following-up with them. I also rejected many people pitching me their services. And 300+ candidates on my job ads on LinkedIn. I fired my 1st employee.

It's how we work as a species. By default, we don't believe. We are "no men". We don't submit to requests. We only help if it's 0 or 0.1 effort. If it's 0.5 or more effort, then we have to gain something as well.

But... it's most likely the way it should be. To maximize the chances of survival.

Man up, face rejection. It's the only way to grow.

EDIT: Not looking for "hang in there" or hug emojis with this post. Just telling developers how fucking hard it is to bend the universe to your will.

EDIT: I wrote this for other developers that are trying to change the world in any meaningful way. You are going to go through the same thing or worse.

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