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Why Investors Were Wrong About the Coolest Cooler

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


It’s called the Coolest.

It’s a cooler on steroids and also just happens to have broken a Kickstarter record, becoming the most funded project ever. Ryan Grepper is the  inventor, a serious thinker-upper of ideas and then -  now, this is the important part - he makes them a reality.

That’s novel in this excuse-making, bellyaching culture.

“If I only had the money” is a very popular excuse. In some cases, it may be true. But in most cases, money is the least of your worries. 

Grepper is a great example. He turned to conventional money-raising, but got little traction.

He’s not alone. Many ideas like this get rejected by investors, and lacking Grepper's tenacity, many never see the light of day.

Why don’t ideas get funded? The answer is simple. Investors are human and fickle and, being human, are wrong most of the time.

It’s like they pick a number between one and 20 to make their decisions. Not terrible odds, but very inefficient.

Pitching ideas to investors
That’s what makes me crazy about pitching ideas to investors. You end up spending countless hours doing a business plan that’s going to change another 100 times anyway.

Here’s the truth: You’re either gonna kill it because it’s a good idea, the timing’s right and you get lucky, or you’re gonna fail because it wasn’t your turn and you got screwed. 

These investor gurus are like the sports bookies that are supposed to know the odds. They have detailed statistics about every player, about their injuries, about past wins and losses. They’ve run the numbers and they’ve made a call.

But in the end, one of the teams is upset in the fourth quarter with 20 seconds left on the clock. They lose on a fumble and the game is over. And the bookies are left wondering why their careful analysis got upended on the field of play.

So Portland loves tech right now, and if your idea does not fall within the tech category, you’re not getting the cash. Plain and simple.

Cooler what? Is that an app? Can you build SAS into the business plan? Can it go public?

 I love when we as true Americans - dreamers - create and deliver products to the world. Everyone wins. Production workers, management, shipping, admin - all those jobs created.
Why can’t we do that with the same robust attitude of Henry Ford, Steve Jobs or the woman who invented Spanx, Sara Blakely, who’s now worth more than most sheiks. 

Going old school 

The only way we will survive the impending destruction of our great nation is to go old school. To fire up the factories with fresh new ideas and take back our natural place in the world and be real inventors, builders of great products that people can touch, play with, work with, save lives with.
This guy Ryan Grepper is the future of our country. The hope that if we have an idea we can get it built and take it to market. Procure the resources we need to get started.
He was told “no” a thousand times. He was told “no” by the guys who are supposed to know better, the guys in the know.

But he did not give up when he couldn’t raise money the old-fashioned way. He found another way, through a new digital invention called Kickstarter.

To date, he has raised over $13 million  - his goal was $50,000. 

So cheers to Grepper and the other heroes of this country, the inventors, the firestarters, the ones who don’t give up.

Boo to the investors who can't think outside the box, but become so married to trends that they fail to see what's right in front of their noses: A good, old-fashioned idea.

And one that would have made them a good, old-fashioned fortune if they'd only opened their eyes to it. 

B. Scott Taylor is originally from New York. He moved to Portland in 1996.  He's an entrepreneur, internet millionaire, former MadMan, author, eco industrialist and disruptive force. 


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