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In The Media

Dignity, Lost. Dignity is the first casualty of entrepreneurship

by Larry Chiang on April 25, 2016

By Larry Chiang
Pattern: I see people fail, go under, experience default when communications break down. An extreme but real result is bankruptcy because communications stop.
Startups fail when prospects stop being sales prospects.
People fail when that job lead turns cold.

Stanford engineers fail when they are not persistent when they are founders.
Stanford engineers sometimes do not network for new business over the telephone because they think that cold calling is beneath them. Sales is not beneath and was not beneath Elon Musk when he implemented sales and promotions work at 7 different career inflection points.

Communications break down when you stop being persistent. Thus, it seems like dignity lost when you contact and re-contact.
Problem: Many people starting out think there is full symmetry in communications.
Larry Chiang (@LarryChiang)
What I mean when I say: “The first casualty of entrepreneurship is your dignity.”
Hint: ASSymetric networking. Asymmetrical attempts in DM

When you’re just starting your career, many times initial attempts at networking are where you are being persistent. This means back-to-back unrequited messages. Many newbie workers do not realize the persistence required.

-1- Back-to-back is normal
It’s very normal to attempt a networking contact. And then re-attempt. For example, if your email was ignored, it’s okay to call and leave a voicemail*
-2- Reciprocate for more is normal
When you’re Facebook messenger-ing with friends, you just Facebook messenger. That’s it. But in the working world, people attach business contact information to email because a telephone call still is used. Reciprocate for more is when you call after getting an email. Reciprocate for more is when you send a paper thank you after a real world meeting. Reciprocate for more is when you email them notes from a telephone conversation. Reciprocate for more is when you email an agenda before a scheduled phone call. 
-3- Closing for commitment via voicemail. 
I realize that no one under 22 who has friends under 22 leaves voicemails. Voicemail works. Reciprocate for more means leaving a detailed voicemail where you also email them notes. 
-4- Mentor Mentee messaging ratios
When you’re the mentee, do not expect the ratio to be 1:1. Mentor mentee messaging ratios can be 1:3. This means 3 mentee messages per one mentor message.
For example, you and a mentor speak. You take notes. You speak for 20 minutes. You email them notes. You then execute what your mentor talked about. Then, you update your mentor the progress you made as a result of the talk. This leads to my next very counterintuitive point
-5- Update people like you’re a FedEx package.
An executive over 35 thinks people under 25 are flakey pieces of turd. An executive over 45 KNOWS FIRST HAND that people under 21 are mega flakey. Use these stereotypes to your advantage and update executives like you are a FedEx package.
FedEx package has been scanned in zip code 94025.
FedEx package is en route to Memphis Tenn.
FedEx package is out-for-delivery.
This translates to
“I have opened and read your email instructions.”
This translates to 
“I’m looking forward to our chat this Monday at 4pm. Text me your cellphone number. I’m @6502838008”
This translates to 
“I came across this event and thought it might apply to some of the things your Facebook and Twitter feed alluded to.”
I became alpha male in siliconValley by doing a lot of beta male activities. Therefore, losing my dignity has caused me to gain dignity. 

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