When an Entrepreneur’s Phone Rings for Too Long

We often see it in a movie that when the phone rings for too long, we are hooked to see what happens next. Something is there in store. Rush. Pick the phone. Don’t. The protagonist, the entrepreneur.

If the call is not answered, it leads to another sub plot and it plays a role in the story.

Missed calls are generally acceptable in real life because we tend to take the second chance as granted. Not every time though.

Sometimes, a missed call can script a story. It happened with me. Since the story is work-in-progress, I cannot say that it will play a role that important to the climax. As humans and as entrepreneurs, optimism is our work-right and I hope to get a chance to think It might have happened for something good in the years to come.

That Call

I am a Clarity customer and sometimes I take professional advice from experts. At the same time I share my experience in public questions and answers in my Clarity profile.

While planning a Content Authoring Platform in January 2015, our team was struggling for the right customer acquisition strategies. Reading posts and listening to webinars helped but I wanted to talk, and I wanted to talk to somebody who knew the game.

I had a few names in my mind but I zeroed in on Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt. I am a PH contributor from its early days I have read Ryan’s stories and his journey to Product Hunt. I requested for a Clarity call, as below.

Vinish Garg Entrepreneur Ryan Hoover

Ryan said Yes and it was one of the most important steps in our startup journey.

Vinish Garg Entrepreneur Ryan Hoover

The call was scheduled for 09-Jan, at 11 AM (PT).

Vinish Garg Entrepreneur Ryan Hoover

We were prepared with our questions. We had white board meetings for product idea and business goals, market, and personas, and our understanding of workable customer acquisition strategies.

The home work was done.

That Morning

At 5:40 AM on 09 January, I saw a Missed Call email from Clarity.

A sense of disbelief, and good grief, I had miscalculated the date-time for Ryan’s timezone. I have been talking to the worldwide clients since 2009, via Skype, Phone, Webinars, and it never happened before. I will not go into technical details of where I went wrong.

When it is destined to be, the calendar or reminders do not help. Nothing helps.

I immediately wrote an apology email to Ryan but the script had changed by now. It was a massive disrespect for Ryan’s time. The umpire had signaled and I had to move on.

One wrong signal by the umpire and the complexion of the game can change. It changed. I felt like umpiring myself to myself. For a day. Soon I opted to play for my next game. For a better script.