came across my desk revealed at least one fatal flaw, as well as a whole slew of lesser ones. Some of the applicants were big company guys on their way down, who could bring years of irrelevant middle-management experience to a tiny, startup company. Others were juniors, trying to make a quantum leap up from the trenches. Some were illiterate, and there were several whose resumes were filled with only failed companies. But the problem was a deeper one than that.
      There was a great expression I picked up when I first came to California. In Silicon Valley nobody ever said that they agreed with someone or something, the way we would back in Winnipeg. Instead, they “resonated”. “Can you resonate with that idea?” I’d be asked.
      None of the resumes revealed the kind of person I could resonate with. Something positive should have come through in at least one of them, but they all contained grammatical errors, obvious lies about past employment, mixed-up dates and irrelevant educations. What the hell does an art history major know about marketing?
      Just when I was about to turn to Annamaria for advice, she got an urgent call that her mother had died and she flew back home for the funeral. She didn’t think she’d be able to come back for a couple of weeks, which left me very much on my own. The marketing guy I played squash with on Tuesdays, Dave Dante, was off in Chicago, trying to raise money for his company, so I couldn’t call him for any input. That only left my venture capitalists, and there was no way I could discuss anything with them. Although they always insisted that they were “on the team”, and that I could turn to them for advice at any time, I knew better. To them, asking for help was a distress call and they were the kind of guys you wouldn’t want to count on if the ship was sinking. They’d be sure to

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