We Sat in the Midst of Giants

We were all equal for 60-minutes, as we sat in the midst of giants.

We were all equal for 60-minutes, as we sat in the midst of giants.

A week ago, I sat in the midst of giants. We all did. It was the last day of Venture Madness. An investment conference for the southwest region of the country, the whole event is based around a pitch competition where 64 startups go head on and battle it out to eventually become #1, bracket-style. It’s a very cool format for an event but I want to point out something entirely different that I noticed at Venture Madness. Something that I hadn’t felt before.

About a week before the conference, it was announced that they were bringing in some serious big guns to speak at this conference, including Justin Kan, Daniel Kan, and Steve Huffman.

Steve Huffman — Cofounder and CEO of Reddit, the 5th most popular site in the world (Left)

Daniel Kan — Cofounder and CEO of Cruise, a company that sold to GM for a billion dollars (Middle)

Justin Kan — Co-Founder at Justin.TV and Twitch (Right), which sold to Amazon for 970 million dollars. Additionally, he has served as a partner at Y Combinator for three years and just left to start his own accelerator.

As Greg called them up on stage, no one would have guessed who these guys were. They were wearing T’s and just looked like three peeps headed to the beach after this. They were unassuming. I’m guessing that most of the room didn’t know all three of their stories. I didn’t either. I just knew Justin’s. As soon as they started talking, I knew this was going to be good. Why?

One after another, they just told us what they’ve done with their time in the last ten years. No selling. No showing off. No showboating. Just “This is what I’ve done.”

These three gentlemen have created more value in the world than the entire state of Arizona has in the last ten years.

We sat in the midst of giants. Them with their T-shirts and us with our suits. It was a strange feeling. It was the feeling that all of us were equal, for just 60-minutes. All the investors, reporters, millionaires, students, founders, and everyone else in that room were starting at these three men in the same way…in awe.

Even if it was only for a second, it didn’t matter how much money we had, what our status was, or how many employees our startup had. What ties this all together is when Mario Martinez asked the last question of the day.

“How did you do it?”

We were all equal for 60-minutes, as we sat in the midst of giants.

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