Friday, July 6, 2007

Why are the simple things so hard?

I spent the last six days putting together my application for the TechCrunch20 conference.... massaging ever word to properly convey (in 500 words or less) my "Pitch"

Damn that's hard! As I have stated before, I'm not a writer, but I have found that once I get into the groove it's way too easy to keep going and going and going.... you get the idea. Trimming words to meet a 500 word maximum is really difficult to do, especially when it took such effort to get them out of me in the first place.

Is my idea terribly complex? No, not really. Is my idea revolutionary? I haven't seen anyone attempt it before and the few people I've shared it with seem impressed. Can I explain it in 500 words? Sure... but explaining something and truly conveying every special nuance are two different things: especially an idea you've had brewing around in your brain for the last five years.

The business model explanation section was easy. Competitive landscape too. "The one liner" kept throwing me for a loop because I kept coming up with one good "one liner" after another as I wrote the 500 word pitch. I'm definately going to need a good PR firm once this thing gets out of beta.

It's 11pm eastern on Friday night, the final due date for the application is at midnight (I assume pacific time, but I could not be sure). After having my loving wife (let's call here Kitten... I do!) gave it a once over, I draft a nice cover letter email, attach the application in word document form and send it off from my gmail account.

Ah, what a relief. A week of work accomplished and sent off to the benevolent folks at TechCrunch to consider... then, 30 seconds later, I get the following automated email response back from the TechCrunch email server:

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status

Delivery to the following recipient failed

Technical details of permanent failure:
PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 16): 554 The message was
rejected because it contains prohibited virus or spam content

What the hell!!!! Maybe their mail filter doesn't like .doc files generated by Google Docs? So I export the application document as a PDF, recreate my cover email and send it off. A minute later, BOOM, I get the same message back from their server. Could it be that they don't like attachments at all? I quickly copy the material from my document, paste it into yet another copy of my email cover letter and send that off. You guessed it, a minute latter I received the same error message.

Now I'm a be panicked / perturbed... so I write an email to that explains what I'm experiencing and asks for HELP!!!! I start scanning the TechCrunch blog to see if anyone else was experiencing the same issue when I get a letter from Heather Harde, the CEO of TechCrunch. She says that they haven't detected any errors with their email account, but since I was having issues I could send my entry directly to her email and she would be happy to confirm receipt. I'm saved!

I email the PDF version off to her... wait a white (biting my nails off) and then receive a email from her saying that she has received not just one, but three copies of my submission. Now, I can go to sleep.

Thank you Heather for diligently manning your post late on a Friday night.... This Unknown Founder is truly grateful.

Word Processing (Google Docs): $0
Email Service (gMail): $0

Total cost of project to date: $7.99

No comments: