Jan 28, 201312:58 PMAfter Hours
with Jody Glynn Patrick
My guilty pleasure: Watching one man get rejected 100 times
(page 1 of 2)
Okay, this isn’t a feminist blog; this post is about “Hope From Nope.” That’s the video blog wherein Jia Jiang posts videos of himself being turned down for “entrepreneurial adventures” such as lecturing a class (University of Austin), borrowing $100 bills from a bank for a paper airplane fight, and almost any other family-friendly scenario you can imagine.
It’s all part of his version of “rejection therapy” to prepare himself for company ownership.
The ex-Dell employee’s odyssey began when he was denied start-up funding for his company Hooplus.com, an experiment “to use social commitments to increase people’s collaboration, productivity, and reputation.” After that emotional setback, Jiang decided, “I am going through 100 days of Rejection Therapy, aiming to have one rejection per day by making crazy requests. My goal is to desensitize myself from the pain of rejection and overcome my fear.”
He’s no counterculture Jackass wannabe. As part of an MBA (Duke University) internship, Jiang worked at LinkedIn, where he researched the Chinese professional online networking industry, analyzed and segmented the Chinese users based on data analysis, executed marketing strategies to increase user growth in China, and designed and implemented a co-marketing campaign for NBA superstar Yao Ming and the Giving Back Fund. He then joined Dell as a Web analytics and testing manager before leaving to concentrate on Hooplus.com. He also was a video game developer (Sensory Sweep Studios), quality assurance manager (AtTask, Inc.), and software engineer (Hobbytron.com).
Jiang’s first solo rejection project (Day 1 last Nov. 15) was to ask a hotel security guard if he could borrow $100. “No.” Day 2, he requested a “burger refill” after eating in a fast-food restaurant. (Lesson learned: “I am buying a neck pouch for my iPhone so I don’t miss the guy’s face next time. He looked incredulous during the conversation.”)
Not every zany request gets a “no” response. On Day 44, he asked a pharmacist to tape him on security camera dancing “Gangnam Style.” (She does it to both viewer and employee amusement!) But sadly, he wasn’t permitted to write an article for Bloomberg Business (lacking journalistic credentials). Bloomberg missed an opportunity: His very well-written blog is attracting a rapidly expanding audience because he interjects, between humorous videos, the “lessons learned” – and he embeds business philosophy jewels in every third or fourth post. (Continued)