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Mocked and misunderstood  

Fred Wilson:

When your company and services gets mocked and is misunderstood by most everyone, particularly the mainstream press and media, just smile and keep doing what you are doing. You are on to something big.

Or, in Paul Graham's words:

Don't be discouraged if what you produce initially is something other people dismiss as a toy. In fact, that's a good sign. That's probably why everyone else has been overlooking the idea. The first microcomputers were dismissed as toys. And the first planes, and the first cars. At this point, when someone comes to us with something that users like but that we could envision forum trolls dismissing as a toy, it makes us especially likely to invest.

Of course, that's only true if you are actually seeing traction - although I suppose the mainstream press would not bother mocking you unless you've done something right to catch their attention.

The obligatory counter-example would be Color, which was mocked right off the bat, for good reasons, and now seems to be using its insanely high $41m pile of cash to pivot into something that perhaps will still be mocked, but will actually be used (and hopefully they'll achieve that before all the founders bail out).

More from the library:
Customer Development is not a Focus Group
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Using LinkedIn for Cold Calling