They're acting all sweet but really just want your peanuts.

by • October 10, 2011 • Best ofComments (46)2813

How to date a supermodel (or get dealflow or find cofounders)

“You take your laptop and go work out of cafes across the street from a photography studio or agency where supermodels work. You need to be where they are and then say hello to them sometimes. That’s pretty much it.”[1]

Supermodels are a key ingredient in the you-dating-supermodels equation. You need to be where they are before anything else matters. Put another way: are you struggling to close funding because your product isn’t good enough or because you don’t know enough supermodels?

This anticlimactic advice prompted me to completely restructure both my personal and professional life to great effect.

Important doesn’t mean hard and striving isn’t progress

We’re wired to believe that these rare, important events are also difficult. So we invent laborious solutions. You want to date a supermodel so you spend a year getting those pecs and that six pack. Congratulations! Your chances are still 0.

Your abs really aren’t the issue unless you’ve already got a robust pipeline of supermodels coming to your weekly pool party and storming out indignantly once you remove your shirt to mount the diving board. And who knows, you may not even need the abs. They may think you’re funny.

I would clarify Woody Allen’s much repeated quote to say:

90% of success is showing up (to the right place and possibly creating that place if it doesn’t yet exist and also talking to people while you’re there).

In our admittedly stretched metaphor, showing up to the supermodel cafe is useful whereas showing up to the gym is not.

How I used the supermodel cafe principle to get set up in a new city

3 years ago I moved from SF (where I knew lots of people, investors, and startups) to London (where I didn’t). Some of the handy places I prioritised attending (or organised) were CEO/VC poker night, startup burger night, and every startup meetup I could find. I soon realised I was only meeting about 1 quality person per meetup (and it was hard to create good relationships), so I began siphoning them off into a bimonthly braintrust[2] and ditched the meetups.

I found a conference with unusually smart attendees and began hanging around the events and being helpful to the organiser until he started including me in things. Similarly, when I’m single, I work out of cafes instead of my office. If I was single and wanted to date a banker, I would work out of cafes in the financial district.

When I wanted to understand how the earliest stage companies got started, I hung out at universities and got involved with their entrepreneurship programs. When I needed contract work, I started giving talks on how business guys could most effectively manage the time & costs of hiring techies. If I wanted to scale an agency business, I would find a way to hang out every day with struggling freelancers.

When I decided to try my hand at running a shared office space, I co-opted the dwindling CEO/VC poker night into an “anyone interested in startups” poker night, hosted it at my empty office-for-rent, and grew it to about 50 players (or more cynically, potential desk customers) per week. When I [briefly] wanted to get back into the game industry, I went to lots of game nights. And importantly, everything in this list is really fun.

This conclusion features references to Greek mythology

I’ve received a lot of value from transforming what appears to be a herculean or even sisyphean[3] task (cold calling & selling, going to bars to chat up strangers) into an easy pleasure (playing poker with interesting people, working in a cafe).

Building a pipeline sucks. Hanging out in fun places with interesting people is rad.

[1] I’m paraphrasing that advice from a source I forget and have been unable to Google, which I realise isn’t the most authoritative citation, but any search with ‘supermodel’ in it is somewhat… contaminated.

[2] A braintrust is just a small, consistent group of people who regular meet to talk about how things are going. We did a 1 hour format with about 5 people in different industries talking about what we tried, what failed, and what we’re doing next. It led to a lot of value in terms of sanity checks, ideas, connections, and general encouragement.

[3] Sisyphus was that crafty Greek king condemned to spend his time in the afterlife trying to get a boulder to the top of a too-steep mountain. It would invevitably roll back down, trivialising his tremendous efforts thus far. My point here is 1) don’t try to trick Zeus and 2) just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s useful. Herculean tasks, by contrast, are just plain hard.

[Image] by <a href=””>jbcurio</a>

Related Posts

46 Responses to How to date a supermodel (or get dealflow or find cofounders)

  1. HGPA says:

    +1 for Sisyphus reference. See Albert Camus’ “The Stranger”

    An absolutely awesome article to start the new year, for both dating and work. Thanks.

  2. What an awesome read on new year’s!

  3. David switch says:

    That’s right unless you put yourself out there you never know

  4. Dan says:

    Vapid. Enjoy your life as a sales clerk.

  5. Wonderful article. When things have gone best for me, both personally as well as professionally, it’s been because I was unconsciously doing very similar things. Context, location and likemindedness make all the difference.

  6. Steve says:

    I always thought Woody Allen said that 99% of life is just showing up – which is a pretty similar sentiment but even more basic. In other words, first you have to get out of the house! For many of us, that’s a pretty real obstacle too.

  7. Matt says:

    As a meta issue this site has really good content, unfortunately for me is has a down side; it doesn’t render properly in Chromium, to the point of it being unreadable (words over run each other).

  8. [...] How to date a supermodel (or get dealflow or find cofounders) [...]

  9. [...] by Startup Tookit, photo via gamimp & ycchang, CC License) AKPC_IDS += "3848,"; [...]

  10. Eugene says:

    I was doing some idle web-surfing, googling some crazy stuff like “How to date a supermodel”, and – finally – search engine delivered truly decent reading I’ve been looking for!
    What’s more important, the article provides vital advice which can be also applied to career and daily life – and achievements in these areas bring you closer to what I’ve been initially searching for, I guess. And yes, the “showing up” is great – words of wisdom. Like a friend of mine once said, ‘No matter if I’m hungry or not – I go have a lunch regardless’.

    Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!

  11. [...] How to date a supermodel (or get dealflow or find cofounders) [...]

  12. Juliette says:

    date a supermodelis not as difficult as it seems. Many are tired of the tedious old pick up lines. You don’t have to look like George Clooney, but a few dollars helps as does a great sense of humour. From experience it is the funny men who get and keep these women.

  13. [...] How to date a supermodel (or get dealflow or find cofounders) [...]

  14. Avi Shtern says:

    Does this work for sure?

  15. [...] lesson applies for anything you could want to attract, whether a mentor, a job or a girlfriend: If you want to date a supermodel, you need to be where the supermodels [...]

  16. [...] Here, you can see Rob explain how building a blog community is a good proxy for your business model’s channel. (Also check out his post on How to date a supermodel (or get dealflow or find cofounders). [...]

  17. [...] who leads the teaching for our Startup MBA, spent time learning from Paul Graham at Y Combinator. In one of his blog posts, he came up with a twist on Woody Allen’s oft-repeated quote: “90% of success is showing [...]

  18. Jenni says:

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly
    informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will
    appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will
    be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  19. boy shorts says:

    Itss like ʏyou read my mind! Yοu sedm to know a lot about
    this, like you wrotе the book in it or something. I think tat you
    can do with a few pics to drive the message hoe a bit, buut other than that, thiѕ is magnificent blog.

    A great read.I’ll definitely be baϲk.

  20. May Gorges says:

    Hi. I’ve re-read your super model blog for about the 4th time as I love your message of go to where the people are that you want to meet.

    What a difference this makes!

    I’d love to feature this idea in my first blog as an approved blogger on LinkedIn. The blogs will be in Q&A format and feature a different entrepreneur each week.

    We could do this by email.
    Are u game? If so, pls provide me w/ an email so I can send you the Qs. Thx!

  21. me says:

    If you want to write about your mood while going for a hot mug of
    coffee, the subsequent template might be more your ballewick.

    me The syrup is very tasty but the quantity of
    syrup in each cup is often a little a lot of.

  22. earn money says:

    Neobux king of ptc, earn money with neobux

  23. Nice post. I learn something new annd challenging
    on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always exciting tto read articles from other writers and use something from other web sites.

  24. Candida says:

    It is really a great and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied
    that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us
    up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Kam says:

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to
    my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She
    put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit
    crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  26. What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness
    of valuable knowledge regarding unpredicted emotions.

  27. Doreen says:

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog
    loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or
    if it’s the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  28. Malinda says:

    I do agree with all the ideas you have presented for your post.
    They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless,
    the posts are very brief for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

  29. Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

  30. Isabel Marant Bekket Suede Sneakers Wine isabel marant sneakers 2014
    IpNUP Indipendentemente dalla categoria I, tutto quello che sto cercando di
    essere uno degli elementi più importanti. Così vestiti: un vestito di alta qualità, i jeans (al momento, e sarei d’accordo, e io li amo perché indossano tutto il tempo),
    la rain jacket sera, una, una giacca con cappuccio, un paio di
    scarpe di moda durevoli , ecc, allora modificare o costruire su una o due cose.
    Isabel Marant Sneakers La Garconne where to get isabel marant sneakers FPcZk Come
    previsto, l’industria indiana cinematografica nazionale, più 1.000 film di tutto il mondo ogni anno, avvolgere le circa Rs 6.800 crore,
    sta crescendo ad un ritmo sostenuto del 20% annuo. Un fattore importante per le persone di tutte le entrate domestiche
    al box office, il 78% del fatturato totale dell’industria è realizzato.
    shop isabel marant sneakers online Isabel Marant Sneakers
    Tumblr ulVeH Barboni e nuova denuncia in vernice lucida in questa stagione, e che non sono freddi nel loro consueto nero e marrone o sinistra.

    Coppe stile oversize è una tendenza ad allontanarsi top borsa e sono
    disponibili in colori vivaci e audaci, tra cui fucsia, acquamarina e arancio.
    Isabel Marant Sneakers Style isabel marant wedge sneakers buy tXRFu È possibile rimuovere i tappi
    per questa borsa, ma comunque mantenere il sistema funzionale per il guidatore.
    Per fare questo, sarebbe utile sapere se (sede di benna?
    Panchina o anteriore) macchine sono dotate di modulo airbag 5
    o 6 passeggeri è nella parte inferiore della console centrale,
    ma dipende da chi è sul sedile anteriore.. New isabel marant Sneakers shop isabel marant boots okMxu
    Se il prezzo sembra essere voce nello spazio senza fine in vista,
    probabilmente in una bolla. Abbiamo pensato che il business internet cambierà per sempre il modo in cui le aziende hanno fatto affari?
    Avevano reddito zero e senza edifici, ma sono scambiati a $ 100s dei dollari per azione.

    Best Isabel Marant High Top Wedge Sneakers Red Tongue Suede Shoes isabel marant etoile online MihUC Karen Armstrong ha detto in una conferenza
    stampa Mercoledì mattina, un leader della comunità Mohammad Masroor, si
    trovava in una posizione di fiducia. Si tratta di una posizione di
    potere, riteniamo che altre vittime.. isabel marant sneakers
    sale online isabelle marant shoes pAEju Da Rampete superiore e brkmaker avventuroso quando frst stato creato
    per un amore, allegro Assolutamente, Mickey conserva un posto speciale nel cuore dell’attore Roshni Chopra.
    Mickey amava SIDENOR infanzia. Isabel Marant Black Leather Sneakers isabel marant
    dicker leather hPgIQ Non fare l’errore di pensare che
    la Nuova Zelanda (che è piccolo e isolato) dipende da un altro paese
    per nulla. Lontano posizione sperduto della Nuova Zelanda fornisce le
    basi per un sistema di credenze culturali che dice intraprendenza
    e autosufficienza è importante (si tratta di una questione di orgoglio nazionale non hanno bisogno
    di aiuto).

  31. abs diet says:

    Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

    Take a look at my homepage; abs diet

  32. Good post. I will be dealing with many of
    these issues as well..

  33. Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m
    trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very
    good gains. If you know of any please share. Cheers!

    Here is my web blog – the venus factor john barban pdf review

  34. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this web site regularly, this web site is truly
    good and the users are really sharing good thoughts.

  35. quotes says:

    Every weekend i used to pay a visit this site, because i want enjoyment, as this this website conations really good funny data too.

    My homepage: quotes

  36. ABC102D says:

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to
    my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and
    it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    - ABC102D.

  37. This is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very accurate information… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  38. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your
    site, how can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered
    vivid clear concept

    Here is my web site – arrow storage sheds video

  39. Mariano says:

    Finally i quit my day job, now i earn decent money online you should try too, just
    type in google – blackhand roulette system

  40. Estoy seguro que este artículo ha tocado
    toda la Internet visitantes , es realmente muy agradable agradable
    pieza de escritura en la construcción de nuevo sitio web .

  41. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of
    content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    My website

  42. Leatha says:

    Jistě sі Seznamku také oblíbítе, vaše láska a nový vztah se třeba skrývá mezi našimi profily.
    Chatovací místnosti lze využívat zdarma, tak ѕi tuto nabídku na dobrodružství а free sex nenechte
    proklouznout mezi prsty. Proc se rovnou nezkusítе seznámit se siingles v našіch chatovacích místnostech.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>