How Pandora survived rejection by 300 VCs
Joyce Park stashed this in Founders
One of the earliest members of 106 Miles is Tom Conrad, who joined 106 Miles in early 2005. At that time he was CTO of Savage Beast, the company that later changed its name to Pandora.
One of the 300 VCs that rejected Pandora was David Hornik of August Capital, who went to Stanford with Pandora founder Tim Westergren. Hornik talks about Tim and Tom and persistence here: http://www.ventureblog.com/2005/09/pandora-and-persistence.html
The New York Times counts 347 rejections by VCs: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/08/technology/08pandora.html
And even after they found $9 million in funding five years into the company they still almost died several times. They had to shift from business to consumer, shift from subscription to free, shift from online to mobile, and navigate crippling royalty fees from the music industry. It's almost miraculous they survived and now are thriving.
Holy crap. That's a lot of rejection. How in the world do you keep going when faced with so much rejection over such a long period of time?
Well done Tom and team! Patience and persistence paid off!
Jonathan, the path is long and hard and emotionally tougher than just about anything.
To get through it, an entrepreneur needs many things:
1) A strong belief in an excellent mission, even when times are tough.
2) An outlet for frustration, whether yoga or the gym or socializing or something else.
3) Emotional support, whether from co-founders or family or friends.
Part of why we wanted to start 106 Miles was to create a support network where entrepreneurs have a place to talk with others who are going through the ups and downs of startup life.