I spent the afternoon today attending the kick-off session for the Aalto ES Boot Camp. Big thanks go to Petteri Koponen and Taneli Tikka for the inspiring keynote speeches.
But what were you doing there?
I was asked this question a couple of times. Someone might consider it a bit awkward to attend an event that not only were you uninvited but your were especially rejected from the list of participants. Well, it wasn’t quite that bad but I still was the only rogue attendee.
This first event of the boot camp was about the essence of entrepreneurship. One recurring theme in all the keynotes was the persistence of the entrepreneurs – you have to persist through failure. You have to pitch your idea a 1000 times to get good at it.
The program itself presented the justification for my stay.
In the end of the day, it all came down to a one-minute pitch by each team. I wasn’t especially invited to pitch but I asked for a permission to do so. Hard to say to no to that.
The end result was that three people came personally to thank me for an excellent pitch and considered it to be the most memorable of all the 14 pitches. They could even be right. The whole situation was on my side:
- My presence there showed true entrepreneurial spirit.
- I was instantly different from everyone else.
- Being different means being more memorable.
- Since I was rejected, my idea wasn’t expected to be any good.
- I had absolutely no pressure to pitch well.
So, whatever you do, find a way to stand out in a positive way. Sometimes it’s good to be bad.