I Choose You: Thoughts on Being Selected

I choose you. They're words you want to hear. Words that could change your life forever. They can impact the way you make the decisions, the people you spend time with, and the ideas you accept as true.

Last night, my new start-up was selected as a top-six finalist in the first annual LaunchVT competition. Up for grabs is $20k in cash and $40k in in-kind donations. There were 60+ applications (amazing) and my company was selected to present in the finals in eight short weeks. With this comes mentorship to prepare for the competition and great seminars (including the one last night which I'll write about next week). As far as I'm concerned, I've already won. The mentorship alone is invaluable.

But, what got me thinking was the selection process.

Just as with college, tons of people apply and only a handful get accepted. What was it about my idea, my pitch deck, or my horrible just-get-it-done video pitch that made Gredio stand out above the remaining companies?

Selection is a funny thing because everyone has their own process, their own criteria. It's like picking a carton of strawberries from the grocery store shelf. There are several containers there. You pick one up. And put it down. The strawberries were too dark. You pick another one up. Every berry is perfectly ripe except for one. Does that single flaw mean you put it back or just put it in your cart? Of course you put it in your cart because you don't want to spend twenty minutes finding the perfect carton of strawberries.

Selection is a science never perfected.

You never make a conscious decision you're 100% happy with. Even at 99%, there's an ounce of dissonance. For example, what makes you sure of one college applicant over another. The one with C's and D's might excel at college while the one with A's may take a break from academic rigor and binge-drink. Those in charge of selection never know if they made the right decision, even though they may tell themselves they have.

Consciously, you root for your own decision because you want it validated by those around you. You want the feeling - the emotion - of being right.

While this business competition isn't the best example, it spurred a thought and I chose to write about it. I'm excited to see where this competition takes my company, whether we win or not. It's luck of the draw, but I'm glad we were selected.