Starting A Startup, Accelerator Life, And Sacrificing Your Dignity
Welcome to Jade's monthly newsletter! Here's what I've got in store for you: what it's been like to start a startup, life in a startup accelerator, and lessons about sacrificing your dignity. Ready?
If you're one of my readers from the legal industry, you've undoubtedly heard the stereotypes about lawyers being resistant to technology. I've spent my entire legal career advocating for legal tech, and I was met with resistance at every turn. But when I struggled to get technology implemented at a legal tech company, I finally started asking myself why.
The lawyers I worked with actually weren't resistant to technology in theory. They always shared my excitement about the new legal technology I discovered. That was never the problem—so what was the problem?
One day, as I was sitting through a software demo while screaming on the inside about how many better things I could be doing, it finally clicked. The way legal tech companies approach onboarding is the opposite of what lawyers want.
Lawyers don't want to spend an hour watching someone click around a screen. Anything other than client work is a waste of time. They want to learn in the most efficient way possible.
And that's how Jade was born.
Starting A Startup
I've wanted to start my own company for a pretty long time. I actually delivered my first startup pitch about 5 years ago—to my parents (hi Mom and Dad!). I've always wondered what it was really like though—would I love it as much as I thought I would, or was it just another daydream where the grass is greener?
I'm sure I'll look back at this newsletter one day and laugh at my naiveté, but so far... the grass is greener. Don't get me wrong, it's not for the faint of heart, but I'm so thrilled to be building my own dream instead of someone else's.
I'll be the first to point out the elephant in the room: startups have a huge chance of failure. Believe me, I know—I've been giving startups legal advice for the past 3 years, and I've seen a lot of carnage. But at the end of the day, if I didn't shoot my shot, I knew I'd regret it.
So—deep breath—here we go!
Spoiler alert: it's hard.
I've been in the startup world for a while now, so sometimes I throw jargon around and forget that not everyone lives in this universe. So let's take a step back: What's an accelerator anyway?
Startup accelerators support early-stage companies through education, mentorship, and financing. In short: some insanely successful business people are going to help me get my company off the ground within 3 months (and probably make me cry a few times along the way, but that's neither here nor there).
My dreams of starting a startup always included being in an accelerator. It's like the ivy league education of the startup world. So when I got accepted into the Founder Institute, I didn't question enrolling for one second.
But despite this being a bucket-list dream, I have to admit: I was really scared to start. Accelerators—and Founder Institute in particular—have a reputation for being really, really hard.
Is it true? Yes. This is a full-time job. The deliverables are no joke. I have to bust my butt all day every day to keep up.
But is it worth it? An emphatic yes. I'm meeting brilliant entrepreneurs from all over the world, and they're helping me become the best entrepreneur I can be.
Sacrificing my dignity
Being in an accelerator requires you to sacrifice your dignity on occasion. I really hate self-promotion and asking for favors—but I'm working on it.
One of my tasks this week is to ask my dear for subscribers for feedback on our (newly updated!) website, and ask if you'd take enough pity on me to post the site on social media. so on that note:
Please share my site on social media! The more feedback I get, the better.
*Wince.* That was hard.
If you made it this far, you deserve a medal. Thanks for reading! See you next week... or next month... or after my next epic sprint. Accelerators are unpredictable.