David Strittmatter

My trip to Paris – a story of resilience

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky

Dear friend,

My recent trip to Paris became a story of resilience and perseverance

This past week, I journeyed to Viva Tech in Paris, one of the largest Tech/Startup conferences, via a surprisingly smooth train ride.

The goal? Engage with approximately 15 new potential investors for my startup. With 1,700 investors attending sounds simple, right?

The reality, however, was quite the contrary.

I came alone and needed to start conversations with people I don’t know throughout the day, all while struggling with sweltering heat and surviving on less-than-ideal meals (on Wednesday I ate nothing more than 3 chocolate cookies until the evening).

The app was meant to be a great networking tool where you could message everyone before and during the event. But wifi and cellular internet connection was not working.

The worst part: Cold approaching people was highly inefficient. It was not possible to differentiate founders, students, corporates, investors, and other attendees.

I planned to stay about 28 hours in Paris (arriving Wednesday morning and departing Thursday afternoon). On Wednesday evening I seriously considered canceling the trip and driving back.

So, how did I remain resilient and made the best out of this trip?

By framing this endeavor as a learning experience.

Elaborating new ways and iterating my approach to reach more people.

Constant reminders of my goal and its significance.

Sprinkling in a bit of fun, by shit-talking with fellow founders about our experience and asking them to introduce me to potential investors.

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