MG Siegler on saying "NO."
Adam Rifkin stashed this in NO.
No is the most important word we can say:
I also think about the Apple product philosophy (of course). The company’s success can be attributed just as much to what they say “no” to as what they say “yes” to. Given the number of investments we’ve made in the past year, it may not seem like we say “no” all that often (heh), but believe me, it has been almost all “no’s”.
It’s not something I’d say I’m “happy” about. But I’ve learned the value of what seems to be a negative thing.
Obviously, we’ll end up regretting some of the “no’s” from a pure business perspective. That is, some of those companies — maybe even a lot of them — will go on to be successful. I hope they do. But again, the power of “no” works both ways. Maybe they achieved that success in some small way because of our “no”. Maybe it further fueled their fire. Or maybe it allowed another investor to come on board and they in turn helped kickstart the sprint to success.
It’s never going to be easy to say “no”. But this past year for me has been about learning when and why to say it. And learning that it’s just as important as “yes” — for both sides.
In business and in life, we are more defined by what we won't do than what we will do.