To the VC, Incubator, Angel, Blog Writer, Conference, and Cynic nearest you,

I just want to let you know that I’m really sorry that I’m not Mark Zuckerberg like you had dreamed. I know when we talked you had high hopes that I would be, and if you had just asked me at the beginning of the conversation, I could have told you.

I’m really sorry that I didn’t drop out of college. My brother did though – I could introduce you to him.  I didn’t get very good grades either because I was constantly trying to start a business – sorry about that. I didn’t go to an Ivy League school either – really sorry. Dang it. Sorry.

I’m sorry that I didn’t get the perfect product on my first try. I know how much you’d like me to just get a grand slam on the first pitch but that’s not really me. So sorry. I mean we’ve built 5-products in the past 18 months and created a business that currently supports seven people with no VC funding. I know that doesn’t really mean anything and I’m really really sorry for even thinking about it.

I know it would be great if I were curly haired and Jewish but I’m bald and Mormon. I’m sorry about that stuff. The hair is really out of my control, I know you’d like me to let it grow and rock a bandana but that’s not me. The Mormon thing is tough too – sorry (well not really). I think the House of Isreal is awesome though. Go Jews! That came out all wrong…sorry Jewish Angels, Bloggers and cynics.

I’m really sorry I’m not single and don’t stay up all night drinking beer and doing drugs. I have a wife and a baby that I’m told reminds people of Hugo Chavez as a child.  I often stay up all night working (like tonight) but I never quite hit Ballmer Peak (Mormon thing again, sigh). I feel horrible. I have as stable a life as you possibly could while running a startup, and I’m not a horrible guy to hang out with. I should have told you that at the beginning. Totally un-investable.

Actually I’m really sorry I don’t code very often. OK pretty much not at all. I know I know, I’ve seen the pitchforks and torches before – you want me out of the Valley.  Plus I’m sorry that I partner with guys that do and are awesome at it. Too bad I don’t have any real skills that a startup could ever, ever, ever, ever possibly use. Just overhead, I know. No non-technical founders are ever, ever, ever, ever, ever successful.

Sorry I didn’t boast that my company would make you a $100MM or tell you how amazing I am. I like people in Silicon Valley that are more humble and let their success speak for themselves.  Sorry I didn’t beat my drums until your eardrum burst. I should have known better. The next time we meet I’ll do a Haka for you and bring a spear to stab someone. Should have known that would show my dedication to the business.

Sorry that I didn’t start my company when I was 19 and now I’m 28! When I was 18 I was on an island in the middle of the Pacific ocean for 2-years learning Maori, and trying to help people improve their lives (I wasn’t kidding about the Haka). I know that the lessons I learned getting doors slammed in my face have zero application for my startup. Sorry. Sorry for going to work for EAfor 4-years. What a waste. I knew that HotOrNot was gonna be huge – I should have jumped on board. Fail.

Sorry that my co-founders and business partners don’t generally hate me. Probably a bad sign that I still share an office with the guy that started Vaporware Labs with me even though it’s been over a year since we split. We should have yelled and screamed and sued each other. It is an action item for me to make progress on that for the next time I see you – which will probably be never.

I’m sorry that doing a startup got so cool all of a sudden. When I quit my job in 2009 in the middle of the modern depression, I was just trying to do what I thought was right. 10 different business pivots later here we are. Just horrible I know.

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So if you couldn’t tell, I just wanted to say how sorry I am that I’m not Mark Zuckerberg. And if I could be – I wouldn’t. This is not to say what he’s done isn’t anything short of amazing – because it is. This is not to say I don’t hope the best for the guy and that he gets double rainbows every single day because, I do.

This is just an FYI that we’ll be over here plugging along, trying to build something awesome and successful. In the meantime, good luck finding that guy because if that’s what you want, you’ve come to the wrong place. So sorry. Just really really sorry.

Derek

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