Weekend Musings – Austin Edition

Downtown Austin

Hello, Happy Saturday and welcome to the very first “Austin Edition” of my Weekend musings. As you may have heard this week, Fashion Metric was selected as one of the 11 startups out of 1,500 applicants. Here’s a breakdown of how this compares to other acceptance rates:

2015 Acceptance Rates

  • Harvard – 6.2%
  • Stanford – 7.1%
  • MIT – 9.6%
  • Yale – 7.4%
  • Princeton – 8.2%
  • Techstars – 0.73%

While this may sound like I’m just blatantly bragging, I’m actually just incredibly proud of how far we have come. Running a startup is 8 million times harder than I thought. What I learned building my domain business didn’t apply and I instantly found that even after working for Sonos for 9 years I really didn’t know a thing about running a startup.

Fast-forward to today and I still don’t think I know that much, but I definitely know a lot more than I did back in 2012. We’re learning more every single day, and like every startup on the planet we’ve had our fair share of low, low, low lows, and high, high, high highs.

Techstars is the #1 startup accelerator in the world and the #2 in the US just after Y-Combinator (see full list).

Top Startup Accelerators

 

For me joining Techstars is really about two things, amazing mentorship and building lifelong relationships with amazing founders that are going through the same things that we are. Last week alone we met with more VC’s, Angel Investors, and previous founders with multiple exits that I have in my entire life. It’s intense, crazy, insane, we don’t sleep, there are never enough hours in the day, and I am loving every minute of it!

techstars-austin-group

What you see above took place on Monday night, it’s a game called Werewolf which seems to be pretty darn popular in the Austin startup community. On Wednesday we worked all day from morning until night and then had a founders meeting with all the teams at 10:10PM followed by Werewolf until about 2AM. This all happened the day before one of our most important days worth of meetings, yes, you learn to live without sleep quickly.

Also after working from home for the last 5+ years it is a big adjustment to work in an office everyday. That being said I think we were really ready for it, working from home can be isolating and it’s great to be working alongside 10 other awesome startups. It’s also very cool to have an office in the heart of downtown Austin.

Austin Music Scene

While we’ve only been in Austin for two weeks I can tell you that we are both totally in love with the city. We have spent a LOT of time in LA, SF and NYC and I can tell you hands-down that Austin has the best music scene with the most live music anywhere I’ve ever been. I guess that’s why Austin is known as the live music capital of the world!

Okay, so now it’s Saturday at 4:00PM and it’s time to go meet-up with the other founders for an evening event. I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend and hello from Austin!

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Leonard Britt June 14, 2014, 3:56 pm

    Morgan,
    Congrats on your acceptance and it will be interesting to read of your Techstars experience – as well why your feel your experience with domaining was not particularly helpful with running Fashion Metric. FYI while perhaps not your target market, I believe if someone could do with activewear what Asics has done with running shoes, I believe they would have a nice business.

    Reply
  • Patricia Kaehler June 15, 2014, 7:10 pm

    Sounds Intersting…
    Wish you were a Reality TV Show…
    you and the mrs…
    I’d watch…
    And if — any of my shorties would
    work for your peeps ventures
    I’ll work with you in that regard…
    ~Patricia Kaehler — Ohio USA
    DomainBELL.com
    eMail: DomainBELL@DomainBELL.com
    or eMail: DomainBELL@Yahoo.com

    Reply
  • Jason June 15, 2014, 9:05 pm

    If you ask a founder how her startup is going, the answer is almost always some version of “Great!”

    There is a huge amount of pressure as a founder to never show weakness and to be the cheerleader in all internal and external situations. The world can be falling down around you—and most of the time when you’re running a company, it is—and you have to be the strong, confident, and optimistic. Failing is terrifying, and so is looking stupid.

    Founders end up with a lot of weight on their shoulders—their employees and their families, their customers, their investors, etc. Founders usually feel a responsibility to make everyone happy, even though interests are often opposed. And it’s lonely in a way that’s difficult to explain, even with a cofounder (one of the things that works about organizations like Y Combinator is that you have a peer group you can lean on for support).

    So a lot of founders end up pretty depressed at one point or another, and they generally don’t talk to anyone about it. Often companies don’t survive these dark times.

    Failing sucks—there is no way to sugarcoat that. But startups are not life-and-death matters—it’s just work.

    Most of the founders I know have had seriously dark times, and usually felt like there was no one they could turn to. For whatever it’s worth, you’re not alone, and you shouldn’t be ashamed.

    You’ll be surprised how much better you feel just by talking to people about the struggles you’re facing instead of saying “we’re crushing it”. You’ll also be surprised how much you find other founders are willing to listen.

    Reply

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