What You Can’t Fake

My friend Eric Friedman recently shared a really great story that’s worth repeating. It’s about his experience getting hired by renowned New York VC firm Union Square Ventures (he’s since moved on to be Director of Client Services at Foursquare):

One of the things that stands out to me the most during a pivotal second round interview I had at Union Square Ventures. I sat down with one of the partners Brad Burnham, and presented my resume. He told me to hang on to it and he just wanted to chat.

When I pressed him as to why, he responded with something I will never forget which went something like this; “You can work really hard on crafting a well written, organized, resume with bullet points of accomplishments – but you can’t fake 500 blog posts.”

I was struck by this because I had never thought of things this way before. He was more interested in how I viewed the world (and subsequently the companies in it) rather than my list of things I think went well. Furthermore, he had already done his own homework seeing my previous employment history on the web (on LinkedIn)

This is a story you should pay attention to because it’s not just true for individuals, it’s equally true for your business. Eric has obvious passion and dedication for what he does and proves it through his actions. Due to this, his resume wasn’t really necessary.

It’s not such a different story when someone is ready to buy one of your products. Just like Brad had already done his homework on Eric, your customers are doing their homework on you.

You can hand them the sell sheet, but that isn’t what persuades smart people. They already know about your product. They’ve already searched and looked at both what you’re saying and what others say. And they’re not just looking for product-specific content, they’re seeking your passion and dedication. Is what’s out there something that obviously can’t be faked? If not, it’s no surprise you’re not achieving results.