Demo Day: My Fail in The Spotlight
I’ve always feared failing on stage.
And here I was – Alone on stage, pitching our startup, Revaluate to the masses at Boulder’s Boomtown Accelerator Demo Day.
The bright lights, a big audience of potential investors, months of preparation boiled down to this presentation. And as I began the pitch from the stage – My Keynote Died.
I’m not one to shy away from a spotlight – but I do get amped up and nervous a healthy amount. It’s good for the heart right?
The cause for my concern was simple. I feared that I was not going to being able to engage the audience. Perhaps I wouldn’t be able to get them to understand what we are building, to view the future of data that we see. If I couldn’t convey the problem we solve in real estate, or our solution – perhaps our company could fail.
And so, we built a beautiful presentation around telling a core story. “I’ve never lived in my dream home, however, I have experienced a few nightmares” I said from stage.
My, what ironic foreshadowing.
At that moment, the presentation, the 30 foot tall visuals projected behind me that tell the whole story died.
I was less than 20 seconds into my pitch.
Dead. On Stage. Like – it locked up all 404 error style.
One of my greatest fears and all this preparation…
Rather than a video showing the view of my disgusting DC apartment – It all stopped like a car crash.
What now? My mind raced… I stalled.
Nervously, I laughed. I paused. I made a joke and literally danced for a second or two trying to stall – knowing full well the intensity of the situation, the pressure and the potential outcome. What the hell should I do?
I peered into the spotlights, knowing that my cofounder Tim and Leah from Boomtown had my back and were going to get it rolling again. They’d be swapping out computers, restarting presentations, cursing, praying – what ever they could to help save me.
But on stage in the spotlight – you can’t control that.
All you know is that it feels like an eternity.
You just never know. We’d run that video a hundred times and that problem had never occurred.
At the after party, I’d learn from Leah that keynote simply locked up. It just didn’t process the video of the truck. They restarted Keynote, things started rolling again and we got back on track. They fixed it fast.
My recovery was less than perfect, but I lived.
In the end, the audience enthusiastically applauded, investors still introduced themselves, people congratulated our team.
Revaluate may help people avoid problems where they move – but we can’t seem to do much for on stage technology fails.