Crypt TV is a social video startup that creates horror shorts for mobiles. Here we tell you how its CEO kept her alive when it seemed she had reached the end of the road with her investors.
“We will not get to that point”
This is the diplomatic way in which an investor tells you that he will not invest in your company. And these were the last words I heard before a very angry asafata told me that I should put my cell phone in airplane mode.
I tried to accommodate for an early morning flight between Los Angeles and New York, thinking that I had just received the call that would put an end to the company I had founded. Existential panic and an economic seat in JetBlue are not the best combination for sleeping. I did not rest for a minute. I remember seeing through the window wanting to stay in the air forever and thus not having to face what seemed the impending failure when it landed.
A hard morning in New York did not offer me much comfort. I was received about -6º C when I landed that December 14, 2016. I had made that trip desperate to turn around a financing process that seemed stagnant. And without being able to find the entrance door of my hotel while my face froze at 7 in the morning, I felt terrible.
Rising from the dead
Security is the absolute key to running a startup and I was struggling a lot to pretend confidence in myself during my 8:30 am meeting. What hurt me most was not that I had lost faith in my company, or in our mission or our value proposition. If anything, I felt we were doing better than ever. What hurt me was that for the first time in my life I was losing faith in myself.
That morning was my lowest moment. And then, a few hours later, everything seemed to spin magically.
Two new friends who would soon become mentors (Rob Fishman and Andy Weissman), took me to lunch at the Lure Fish Bar and asked me how things were going. They clearly realized that something was not right with me, but their kind disposition and contagious faith in my business made me feel good.
When I started telling them how inadequate I felt as a human with the process of raising funds, they told me that I was seeing it on the wrong side. They gave me points of view that I had not considered before and their way of putting things helped me to have a new perspective. Rob and Andy motivated me to focus on how big my market could be, to feel proud and take ownership of the way in which my proposal was different from those of traditional media companies and to highlight the administrative team experience and how it He was ready for success.
I left the food thinking that maybe my company was not totally useless. Less than an hour later, an investor who never imagined he would call me was making me an offer. Two days later I spoke with Lerer Hippeau for the first time.
A month later I signed a sheet of terms for Lerer Hippeau to lead our round of 3.5 million dollars. Lerer Hippeau is a blue-chip VC brand and was the perfect fit for many reasons, but among them, the most important is how excited they made me feel with my business. You start a company wanting to conquer the world and then the rigors and rejections of everyday life take away a little life. The genuine belief of Lerer Hippeau in my company and the unique experience we had in the media and the approach of developing entrepreneurs who had in his network gave me enough energy and has proven to be an incredible help in all these years.
A financing process that made me feel devastated, almost instantaneously turned into a spare round and I could hardly keep up on the roller coaster on which I just got on. Or at least at that time it looked like a roller coaster.
Over the next three years, my company Crypt TV has grown into a profitable business with revenues of $ 20 million and millions of fans interacting every month with our original monster stories. In the last three years we have made programs for Facebook Watch and Netflix, and our characters now open theme parks, sell lots of merchandise on our website and have seen our audience grow to 13 million fans on social networks.
But when I think about the moment that changed everything, the moment I really remember on this business trip I always think about that early morning flight and the terrible weather that New York received me that morning.
That feeling of fear, panic and terror persists. Not wanting to feel it again motivates me. Those feelings were real, but when I think about the reason why that moment changed the landscape I realize, thanks to maturity and years of experience, that things were not as bad as they seemed, much less how they gave the Come back two hours later.
I certainly felt that my company was doomed when I received that call, but we had other proposals about the grill and enough space to move. I felt that the sun decided to shine for me in that fortuitous meal with friends, and that it resulted in that proposal, but the reality is that those moments were built with months of work and happened for the real value and promise of the company that I had created .
Looking back I realize that nothing is as bad as it seems. And you’re not as good as your best moment. The reality is that everything happens at an intermediate point, and that is where we should feel comfortable as entrepreneurs.
Being the founder and CEO of your own company can be extremely lonely. The same emotional energy you need to make your crazy dream come true can become an unbearable weight of expectations. I felt I was going to collapse that December day.
But the experience and perspective I have now remind me that your luck is never cast. A world increasingly focused on data often discovers the fact that human beings have the power to change the results of any equation and alter the final number.
My company was not going to collapse as I thought and our success was actually the result of months of work, and not a dramatic change in our fate. A moment does not make you, nor does it undo you.
Daily dedication, self discipline and constant and tireless search for consistency may not make page breaks, but they will always be what distinguishes you from the rest.
Also published on Medium.