Story of a Startup Weekend Veteran | The Good, The Bad, and the UGLY!

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There are so many activities and events that have sprouted this year to support the thriving tech scene in Southern California. From LA Demo Day to Silicon Beach Fest to Crowdstart LA to hackathons to Startup Weekends, companies and entrepreneurs alike have joined forces to feed the startup ecosystem. With all these many activities and so many people coming together it becomes inevitable that situations may arise that can interfere with the community’s best interest.

THE GOOD

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour frenzy in which a group of strangers can come together to form a company and compete for prizes. These events, and others like them, take place all around the country and even the world! It not only teaches you how to build a company over a weekend but encourages teamwork and innovation. More importantly, it allows you to connect with like-minded individuals that you may end up wanting to work with in future projects.

A month ago, I participated in my first ever Startup Weekend event in Los Angeles, California in the co-working spaces at Coloft. I pitched an idea that was voted in the top 12 but couldn’t form a complete team. Luckily, I joined another team that eventually won 1st Place. The following week, I joined AT&T Hackathon at iO/LA in Hollywood and again pitched the idea. I faced the same challenge not being able to form a team because most people joined the competition with friends that they had already planned on working with. So, I teamed up with a group of developers that showed interest in working on my idea after the weekend. We ended up placing 1st again, this time for best use of Cloud Architect.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY & TRY AGAIN: Startup Weekend San Diego was held two weeks later at a beautiful venue in the heart of Balboa Park at the Hall of Champions. Although, I already had a team that I met at AT&T Hackathon to work on my idea, with their support, I decided to pitch again in San Diego to use it as validation if we get good results.  Again, mine was voted in the top 12, however this time around I was able to form a team. A total of four talented people at the event decided to team up with me that Friday night including two developers and two business people. After pitching this idea twice in other events and not being able to form a team, it certainly felt good that I was finally able to do so my third time.

THIRD TIME’S A CHARM:  On Sunday we presented to a panel of judges consisting of entrepreneurs and a VC investor. We received great feedback and was unanimously voted the 1st Place Winner. It was a wonderful feeling to win in a competition for the 3rd time in a row, but much more rewarding that finally it was for my idea, creating something from my vision.

THE BAD

Since Startup Weekend is fostered to bring a group of total strangers together to form a company, it can be a tricky situation when you decide to move forward. Awkward topics such as equity share come into play and everyone’s roles and what value they bring to the table are questioned. Although it would be ideal to work with everyone that gives such positive energy to the group, in the startup world, it’s not realistic and even frowned upon when you have a really big team. As the lead of the team, I had the responsibility to talk to everyone about the situation at hand. Because we are still in idea stage, it is in the best interest of the company to keep only a few key people to work on executing the product. Luckily, the people I had that conversation with understood the situation and will consider joining us at a later time if we successfully execute a company.

THE UGLY

With the common theme of working with strangers, trust can be an issue. As much as we’d all like to assume that everyone will be honest and everyone has good intentions, it’s not always the case. I soon found myself trying to manage the highs of my win with the lows of dealing with a particular person, (who shall remain nameless), all while trying to make my vision a reality. If hindsight is 20/20, it pains me to think how blind I was not to have seen the signs of what was to come out of my last Startup Weekend win. It also pains me to think that this person was there because of my invitation.

RED FLAG #1: This person participated in the event late Saturday afternoon and joined our team. After telling him our idea and the names we were going with, he took it upon himself to purchase the expensive .ly domain, when as a team we all decided to wait until after the event to consider doing so. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and even thanked him for purchasing it for us, but my gut was telling me something was wrong. As a backup plan we purchased the .me domain for the company.

RED FLAG #2: This person came in saying he was a designer, disappeared for a few hours and said he was working on some iOS mockups but by the time we were ready to pitch, he delivered nothing.  When I was creating the slide to introduce the team, he asked to be listed as an iOS developer instead of a designer as he was registered. From talking to his previous teammates at other events, it seems they had the same experience in working with this person—delivered nothing to the group and at the end insisted that he was an iOS developer.

RED FLAG #3, 4, 5, 6, 7….: I asked this person to send me over the access info to the domain, as I wanted to create a launch page, and his response was, “I’m working on it.”  The following day, I again tried asking for access in order to setup everyone’s email. Again, the answer I got was, “I’m on it.” Because he gave me reasons to question his motives, I decided to be straightforward and ask for the domain to be transferred over to me until I was ready to transfer it to a corporation. And in doing so, the response that I got was, “Why?” He tried to convince me that it was better off under his “seasoned” LLC of six years, that we’ll be partners, he would step down and let me be CEO and blah blah blah. Interesting offer considering he did nothing.

I met with a lawyer, talked to an investor and a few mentors, all who are serial entrepreneurs to advise me. I got the same response from everyone. Get rid of the problem now and not to worry about this person’s motives as we were still in idea stage. The most important thing was (and still is) execution of the product. Since we’re still in the early phase, we can still rebrand and have a different name if we wanted. That night I finally spoke to him again and he made it very clear that he was not going to be cooperative with my simple request. He also stated that he was bringing a few people on board. I explained that we had people who had already committed to helping execute the vision and that I needed to be involved in these types of decisions he was making. He felt threatened and got defensive accusing me of wanting control over everything and saying decisions need not be centralized to one person.

At first the thought of having to make an executive decision in solving this problem was daunting. And, believe it or not, part of me still considered allowing this person a chance to redeem himself. But a wise mentor of mine said, “Go with your gut! Is this someone you can trust working with in the future?” It was very clear that this person couldn’t be cooperative and there was no way I could trust working with him. When I realized that it wasn’t just my time that he was wasting but my entire team’s as well, it made it that much easier to make a decision to sever ties. I gave him two options: 1) Transfer over the domain and cooperate with the team or 2) Keep the domain as I can always change it and part ways. His response? “Women are so predictable, I knew you were going to change the domain.” Needless to say, that was the last time I spoke with him. He attempted to talk to my other teammates in joining him and stated that he would try my idea on his own believing he had intellectual property because he purchased the domain. A week later he contacted us saying he wanted $600 for the domain and for compensation, a domain we had no ties to and for work he supposedly did after the weekend that gave us no value.

LESSONS AND LAUGHS

It’s amusing at the very least when I share this story to my mentors, advisors and peers. All we can do is laugh at the ridiculous statements and bold accusations made by this person. Along with that there were some key lessons to be learned from this experience.

  1. Even bad experiences are good—Although this was an unfortunate situation, I’m thankful it happened now, so I can learn from it and not make the same mistakes again. If  we successfully execute this company and this happened after launch, during funding or before acquisition, the recourse and options would have been limited at the least, and detrimental at the worst.
  2. Everything comes out in the wash—You can call yourself a UX guru, or an iOS developer, or even the King of the World for that matters. However, sooner or later, it will be time to PROVE your worth and hopefully you don’t fall short of your own machinations.
  3. Ideas are nothing without execution—Most ideas are not new. Someone, somewhere, and even from a different time, may have already had that idea. What will make that idea great or not is the execution of that idea and a key part of that execution is being able to work well in a team.
  4. People can steal your ideas but they can never steal your passion—The sheer will power and enjoyment to accomplish your goals comes from that passion that burns inside you. Without this passion, you would give up when any little obstacle comes in your path.
  5. Go with your gut and get rid of the problem fast— Your instincts can save you a lot of time and money. When all signs point negatively in working with a person, make the decision quickly to part ways. Reminds me of a great quote, “Hire slow and fire fast!”

It is shocking to most people in the industry to hear of this story, as so many have put in their sweat and tears in an effort to support the startup community. In a world where we encourage people to help and seek help, it hinders that mindset when an individual’s actions discourages others to do so.  Though, we have to keep in mind, that this is an isolated incident. We must continue to pursue our goals by connecting with the right people that help get us there and continue to attend and support the many events for the community.  There are countless of great individuals willing to help, coach, mentor and guide new companies and new entrepreneurs that vastly outnumber the ones who seek out to do damage. There are also many honest developers, designers and business people looking to connect with others in pursuit of new projects. The events organized by the community gives us the platform to connect with these people as well as cultivate innovation and share key knowledge. With that said, it’s to everyones advantage to be aware that these unfortunate things do happen. As a journalist, I’m glad it happened to me so I can write about it. I believe that when situations like this arise, it is in the best interest of the community to talk about it so we can avoid what could be costly mistakes. We are all part of the ecosystem after all.

Denise Walker

Denise Walker is a proud trojan earning a B.S in Business Administration from USC with a Concentration in Entrepreneurship. Denise loves boba, Science, Space, Time Travel, learning about new technology and startups, reading inspirational/business books, connecting with great people and salsa dancing!

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  • Guest

    interesting take on that…

    “I soon found myself trying to manage the highs of my win with the lows
    of dealing with a particular person, (who shall remain nameless)”

    That person was me, Juan Gallardo.
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/jgallardo2600

    “all
    while trying to make my vision a reality”

    You only had the idea of using voice. Nothing original, by the way…
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/walkie-talkie-by-blip.me/id425824493?mt=8
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hallo-social-voice/id518553243?mt=8
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/utellit/id455508148?mt=8
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/talkbox-voice-messenger/id412710421?mt=8
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voice-text-pro-free-voice-sms/id307302566?mt=8#
    Oh and
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snaply/id545941946?mt=8

    which was created by one of our mentors, Rodney Rumford

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/rumford

    You had nice things to say about him right?

    Everyone together on the team refined the product, and more importantly contributed to the actual implementation. Did you have any unique ways to use voice?

    Did you “do the business side”? I remember Gurkaran Singh Gulati was the person who was blasting the marketing all over his social networks and was the person responsible for the likes on facebook.

    “RED FLAG #1: This person participated in the event late Saturday afternoon and joined our team”

    I originally declined to even attend but I really wanted to see you succeed because I thought we were friends. You were an inspiration and I thought you were a kind person that I wanted to help out. I drove more than 3 hours in traffic from Burbank to come and help you. I was “late” because I attended Torah study at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana on Saturday which was on my way to the hackathon. I let you know ahead of time that I would not be available before noon on Saturday.

    “After telling him our idea and the names we were going with, he took it upon himself to purchase the expensive .ly domain

    In front of you and Gurkaran, I told you that I would be willing to buy it so that we could present in front of the judges already owning intellectual property. You said that it was too expensive. I insisted to secure the intellectual property and then I remember you thanking me. As a matter of fact, you were looking over my shoulder when I logged on to Quora to get suggestions for a reliable .ly seller.

    “RED FLAG #2: This person came in saying he was a designer”

    In the time we had left, I could not build out that functionality in an iOS app. I agreed to help you with the UX design. Yes, User Experience, I never said graphics. Design has more than just pretty colors involved.

    “disappeared for a few hours and said he was working on some iOS mockups”

    Here is what I was doing:

    And they are now available on Github and I am making them open source since you so gracefully ended ties.

    https://github.com/JGallardo/Flutter.ly

    Yes, design takes a bit more than a few minutes. They were shown to you and the team. Do you recall how we mentioned that we would push the project forward afterwards? Hence why I was working on a more complete set of wire frames for a later use?

    “by the time we were ready to pitch, he delivered nothing”

    Really? I remember being the primary presenter with the use case. Perhaps it was just my imagination and then I edited the video that clearly shows that?

    “From talking to his previous teammates at other events”

    you must mean comedian Arnaud Collery
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1687296/

    And Savalas Colbert
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/savco

    It would be interesting to hear what they have to say, or what you said about them as well…

    ” I asked this person to send me over the access info to the domain, as I wanted to create a launch page”

    Oh you know HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript? I did not see that listed in your skillsets

    “The following day, I again tried asking for access in order to setup everyone’s email.”

    I remember setting up your emails and you saying thanks

    “He also stated that he was bringing a few people on board”

    Yes, I was hoping to get us a refined set of graphic assets. The alternative was the one  artist that you brought on board. By the way, what were your thoughts on his work?

    “But a wise mentor of mine said, ‘Go with your gut..’ ”

    So you are admitting that you are making decisions based on “feelings” which are a result of your existing neural pathways, as opposed to using objective business logic?

    “He attempted to talk to my other teammates in joining him”

    I only talked to Gurkaran. I asked what all of you were up to, I will not discuss everything he said. But I told him that he did a great job marketing and was welcome to work with me in the future on other projects.

    “stated that he would try my idea on his own”

    Please enlighten us which part was your idea? voice? voice app is your idea?
    I told Gurkaran that I would still want to launch a similar product aimed at social sharing of voice+images for artists and their work.

    “A week later he contacted us saying he wanted $600 for the domain and for compensation”

    Actually, I do recall just saying “Hi” to you on Facebook. I was writing to wish you well because at one point we were friends, I was hoping to mend those ties.

    Well Denise, all I can do is forgive and wish you well at this point.

    • SMH-Seriously SMH

      Love how you ranted then at the end say you forgive, if you really did forgive then you would have kept it offline and not out yourself and tried to make the owner of the company look unprofessional and inept.  You are making yourself look completely foolish…let go of someone ELE’s dream grasshopper.  It’s sad.  You can find and refine your own vision.  It didn’t work and you are the mudslinger at this point.

      Logic and fairness seemed to have been used by what the author and the other teammate explained.  Subversive behavior especially at the infancy stage is not a reliable and trustworthy application of business logic.

      I really hope you look at this from the point of view that it’s a learning experience for all of you.  If you keep going it will, if it hasn’t already, damage what reputation that you have with the rest of the tech world, if this is the area that you want to be successful in.

      I hope you have moved on~They have.

    • StarterUpper

      Thank you Denise for writing this and even bigger thanks to you JG for outing yourself!  In this small startup world of a million uncertainties, knowing who not to ever work with is a big help.

      Rude reply disparaging author andother parties only confirms the description of your personality.  Trying to extort extra money from your team for a simple domain you registered then denying it after (guess you didn’t count another team member verifying the story)?  Wow.

      Submitted this page to internet archive & other cache site so that there’ll be a copy for posterity even if this site goes down. ;)

  • TZlurker

    Wow…the commenter below really came out guns blazin huh? Good for you. Whatever the story is behind this, building a company isn’t easy. 

    • Denise

      Haha Thanks Lurker. Yes, it isn’t easy. All this stuff is noise and at the very least, entertaining. I’m sure I’ll have real challenges to face upon executing the product. :)

  • Denise

    Thanks for the discussion. I’m glad you were able to give your “view” of the events. I do, however agree on one thing, I do not have coding skills to develop a launch page…but so relieved that http://www.launchrock.com has solved that problem for me. Our mentor from SWSD, has been kind enough to advise us on this venture and was one of the people who reassured me that as we’re still in the idea stage, your actions are no cause for concern. And yes he did want me to focus more on Photo + audio because it was only one of the suggested features. However, after another teammate’s input, with his support, we agreed to add the other feature as well. I didn’t take credit for our marketing team’s effort but I do thank you for mentioning the hard work put into it. In response to referencing my other friends’, sharing their LinkedIn and IMDB links, assuming  they said anything negative about you, you are mistaken. I’m sure you’ve worked with others before that have had similar experiences. Think harder? Oh and for suggesting that I claim that my idea is new, please see Lesson #3. :)$600? lol As I said the day we parted ways, good luck with your future pursuits!

  • TZlurker II

    I am glad you’ve called this “person” out and now this person has come out. I’m glad you called out the red-flags you mention. You’re the first person I see voicing about this publicly, but I’ve heard this exact same situation 3 – 6 times… about a half dozen times, for real. These factors (startup idea, someone need help, available, posing as designer, then developer) and this outcome (none of it delivers) are becoming commonplace around this “person.” Knows nothing about anything that he ever posts about or talks about, anywhere. period. there, I said it. 
    There are at least 5 projects this mr has started and none of them have gotten past the buzz and gratuitous requirement of having this person listed as the UX/UI/ designer, and how everyone needs to go read about this new venture he’s doing and check it out. I give it to him, he makes a lot of buzz around something… but after you sell the sizzle, you gotta serve the steak. In all cases I’ve heard about there was no steak being served at the party. Just appetizers. This article is 100% or more on the money. Buyer beware. Ask, no. DEMAND references, and actual work completed samples and interview the past teammates before hiring. 

    • Denise

      lol Yeah….I’m sure companies such as FB will do their due diligence. I didn’t want to have to mention names, but it was his choice to identify himself. Talk about digging deeper holes. lol

  • SocialitecityLA

    WTF Cali…why so serious…well, now I’m curious. This is what LA brings? Just the bay area, I’ve this this happen a lot. Great…now the Winklevoss guys have a buddy to hang out with. Maybe he can tell them that he’s a UX guy and then, they’ll take his “idea” and then he’ll try to sue them. Maybe that’s how he’ll make it in life. Good luck with that Mr.

    • Denise

      haha. Your comment is funny, SocialitecityLA. LA entrepreneurs, companies and organizations have been doing so much to support the community. I’m glad to be here, now…making the most of it…that person’s actions is just noise. :)

  • Virendra Mishra

    The Good PArt is “Great”

    The BAD part is “Better”

    I liked most the “Red Flags..” It actually happens with every startup…

    Nice article :) 

    • Denise

      Thank you Virenda. :)

  • Proud Supporter

    Congrats on placing first three times in a row. That speaks for itself. 

    • Denise

      Thank you, I had a good team of talented people for all of them. Just this last one, had the 1 hiccup but it’s been taken care of. :)

  • hawaiianchimp

    Great Article! it’s good to share this experience so that others will know what to look out for!

    • Denise

      Thanks Hawaiianchimp. That was my intention. :)

  • Johan

    In the start up scene people are scrambling to become the next one-hit wonder.

    Sadly in pursuing this, some people are losing their soul. This article is a good example 

    • Denise

      Agreed. Thanks Johan. :)

  • Gurkaran

    This article is 100% true. Being part of Denise’s 1st place
    team in San Diego I agree to everything she has said. This person turned out to
    be different than how they presented they were.

     

    First, the individual posed as a professional and came out
    to be anything but that. From being late, low quality work (if that), to always
    making excuses, and even blaming other people on the team, this individual was
    unhealthy for the environment, development, and workers of the company. Because
    this person’s values didn’t match that of the company we were trying to develop
    and build, as well as the values of individuals of and around the company, I
    myself chose bring this issue to the forefront.

     

    Secondly, the individual was posing his/her concerns, ideas,
    and selfish goals as those of the companies. In the words of the great writer
    Oscar Wilde, “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is
    asking others to live as one wishes to live.” On a countless number of
    occasions, he/she would state we have our logo, slogan, design, etc. ready,
    when these topics hadn’t been discussed with anyone, not even the main head
    honcho/CEO, Ms. Denise Walker. He/she would make many decisions based on
    his/her own thoughts, views, opinions, etc.

     

    Thirdly, this individual believed he/she were or equal to
    the CEO. This individual believed he/she were accredited and responsible for
    everything, accredited for everything, and deserved everything. I truly believe
    the project/company would wouldn’t have still be developing and solidifying had
    he/she had any power on decisions (even those at SWSD).

     

    For the record, I also want to clear the air a little. The
    individual did state that he/she would give us the domain, which we rightfully
    should have had, for a price of $600 dollars. He/she stated this during a Skype
    call with me. Me being part of the company was obligated to state the offer to
    the CEO/Ms. Denise Walker. Hence, this offer was directly made with Denise
    Walker, and “Hello” was not the only thing communicated although what might
    have been stated otherwise.

    These three things come from a person that bought him/her food/drinks, paid for
    his parking, and allowed him/her to stay with me in the hotel room for the one
    night free of charge so that that he/she could participate. So if anything, I
    have been only been kind and respectable to this individual.  But I truly believe if I, a 19 year old
    college student from NYU, can understand the basics of business etiquettes and
    good moral character, so should this individual. I hope that this individual is
    held accountable for his/her actions.

     

    I also want to applaud and thank Ms. Denise Walker for
    taking up this topic publically. It is difficult sometimes to make such a daring
    move against another, but I hope this truly helps other entrepreneurs attending
    such events/making their own businesses from dealing with such individuals. 

    • TZlurker II

      See! I’m not the only one. This person needs to be called out. That’s just the reality. He’s not an iOS developer, iOS programmer or UX/UI designer. Or a designer of any kind. He just leaves people hanging and a wake of disappointment. Avoid like the plague.

    • Denise

      Whoa G…. Tell us how you really feel! haha! But, on a serious note, I really do appreciate the support. It humbles me that smart people like yourself and the rest of the team, believe in the vision of the company. You rock!

  • CForde

    Great article Aunt Denise! Really an eye opener for me as a young aspiring business woman! Can’t wait to go to one of those with you!

    • Denise

      Awww you’re so sweet. If all I get out of doing the things I do, is inspire you…I would be a happy person, so thank you for that! :) You are going to be an awesome business woman!!! 

  • CForde

    I’m from Florida!!

    • Denise

      Woot! East Coast Represent! lol

      • LisaF

        Really…too much.  Not that the article isn’t serious…WOW

  • Zak aka TechDetective

    Why in the world would you post your linkedin profile to try to legitimatize your skills and credentials?

    Current Position?
    Founder / iOS Developer
    at
    greyka web + mobile development

    http://www.greyka.com
    This is the shittiest wordpress theme that I have seen in my life.

    © Copyright Gallardo & Associates Holdings, LLC. Established 2006.
    In 6 years this is all that you could come up with?

    Make sense to try to steal something someone built in 54 hours.

    See you at the next StealIdeaWeekend.org event. Since you should be banned from StartUpWeekend.

    • Denise

      whoa! TechDetective! I will not add to that…but yeah, great points. lol

      • TZlurker II

        Yes, great work.

    • TZlurker II

      I didn’t want to bring it up and give it any more attention, but yes, he has that type of profile everywhere. Delusions of grandeur is what we are seeing here. Or maybe even more accurate “fake it until you make it” syndrome.

      Except he never actually makes it so all that we are left with is the faux taste of what could have been. But what do you expect, maybe we’re just dealing with a few fries too short of a happy meal. I mean to bring light to himself after the author politely excluded the name was not exactly bright.

      In the case of the he said/she said… clearly the author is right since there are now several supporters for the author and none for mr gjallardo. And we know for a fact he’s begging for support in other groups he is a part of. LOL at the fact that nobody came to support him. 
      Again, references, testimonials, and work… actual work completed and paid for. Those factors are the ultimate reflection of someone’s work and maybe even their character. Until they can show all that they’re an apprentice, at best. 

      Don’t be fooled!To the question of the 6 years. Exactly. That’s what I am saying. You know how online we say LOL. I actually ROFL after I saw that. If you keep digging, you’ll find some tremendous claims about being a software developer, or coder and making deals and this and the other. When questioned, he will never be able to answer because none of those deals have materialized. Ever. That’s the story and it plays daily on prime time.

  • Cvasquez

     I want to applaud on how you had the guts to take this situation publicly. I liked how you made a bad situation into a learning experience and by doing so added cool “red flags” to point out on how to pick out someone that should not be trusted.

  • Cvasquez

    I really liked how you had the guts to take this publicly. I admired how you turned a bad situation into a learning experience and how you made this article helpful to other people so they can pick out the “red flags” if they ever needed to. Good article!!

    • Denise

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it and am happy you can learn from it. :)

  • http://twitter.com/kienpham2000 Kien Pham

    I would use flutterly or whatever it is called :). We #kickass at the event, woot woot! Let’s go win more hackathon! 

    • Denise

      Agreed, Kien! It was great working with you!

  • http://www.Nimble.com Garick Chan

    I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened. I will say that I’ve met Juan Gallardo at various tech events around the SoCal area and he’s been a pretty decent guy. We’ve never worked together so I can’t comment in that area.

    What I will say though is that this article doesn’t make either of you look good. Denise, you didn’t need to point him out but it would have been easy enough to figure out who you’re talking about even if Juan hadn’t responded below. This piece just gets into the “he said, she said” and then random supporters jumping on either bandwagon to make themselves look better or curry favor. 

    In the end, both of you get dirty for slinging mud back and forth at each other. I’ve been there & learning to be a better person myself.

    • Denise

       Hi Garick! Thank you for the feedback. I agree that this article doesn’t make anyone look good. That wasn’t the purpose of writing it. Rather, it was to use the unfortunate circumstance I found myself in as a learning experience for others.  Because it is open to the public to read and share, it gives anyone the opportunity to “call me out” if any stated facts were inaccurate or if it was written in poor taste. As this isn’t your typical storybook story, I understand the risk of not pleasing everyone in telling it. I did make an effort to leave everyone anonymous, however, the fact that he linked himself negates my attempt to keep it anonymous and civil.

      Your meeting J.G in many events is an example on how relatively small the tech/startup community is. As such, people should act accordingly, honestly and with the best intensions because the word will get around whether an article is written or not. 

      • LisaF

        Denise, you are so correct in stating not everyone will be happy about the truth however it is also an example that everyone can handle their individual experiences in the way they deem appropriate.

        What I would caution the readers/commentors, is that if we were not there, some of the commentors were and some not, we can’t judge Denise.  This was her experience and we can choose to look through a negative lens or dial it back and take heed. She did try to keep this person’s name out of it however he decided to out himself as the subverter, that’s his problem now.  He’s created a major spotlight on a small tech stage, he’ll have to deal.

        Everything is about growth and improvement, that I believe was the message that Denise was getting across, and how best to traverse those pits and falls.  She layed out what the issue was, the high points and low points and the most crucial aspects that are relevant to HER experience.  It’s up to the reader to then either apply the tips and have some positive take aways from Denise’s experience or choose not to.

        As we all are on a journey wheteher personal or professional, you will always have obstacles, how you choose to deal with it is what will set you apart from others.  Thankfully you chose a positive route that unselfishly helps others make more informed decisions with their own management/interpersonal/conflict resolutions skills.
        Well done!

    • TZ Lurker III

      When you meet someone in a social setting it is not a reflection of them in a business or work setting. You can be the greatest guy in the world and a terrible business person. You can be the great business person and be the worst person in the world. I believe she wrote this story as a cautionary tale and not towards a person in specific. It was that persons choice to point the fingers at himself. She did not ask people to comment and come support her on the article. Those parties decided to that on their own. There was not mudslinging on her side it was merely reporting on an event.

      I too have met Juan at various events. Would I hang out with him? Sure why not?

      Would I work with him? HELLLLLL NOOOOO!!!!

  • gemineye

    I could totally see you presenting your learning experience from this “noise” in a classroom or forum someday to your future mentees ;)

  • LisaF

    Great article!  Trial by fire and you have come out unscathed and the wiser for the experience.  Negativity can take many forms but they all equate into potential obstacles that entrepreneurs have to navigate carefully.  Neutralizing the issues before they have a chance to take hold is crucial and you have certainly shown your guts and I’m sure you will reap your glory!  Good for you and your team!  I always say, onward and upward, no looking back~

  • http://twitter.com/KlausPierre Disruptive Frenchman

    It s a funny world indeed!! 

  • http://www.medibird.com/ jinu

    This topic is very important in our society on this time. Transitional
    justice often fails to adequately deal with the multi-dimensional issue
    of gender justice. The society can remove itself from cycles of violence
    while repeating the crimes against women of its past is so dangerous.
    Women were generally expected to return to their normal roles. Very
    few were present at the negotiations about new political orders, and it
    now seems likely that women will make few gains under the new regimes.
    This problem is particularly prevalent in the all-too-common
    nationalistic and ethnic conflicts, which are often based on supposed
    “natural” hierarchies of human nature. Consequently, women often face
    the threat of gender-based violence, not only because they are women,
    but because they are members of a particular ethnic group. Nice article
    …by yabeen

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