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Why I'm Thankful for All the Investors Who Said 'No'

As the founder of the book club company Literati, I thought I had a brilliant idea. At first, investors didn't agree. And that ended up being my greatest asset.

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This story appears in the December 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In 2009, after five years as a product manager at Google, I quit my job to become a novelist. I loved my time at Google, but I just felt like I wasn't on my own path. So I went off in pursuit of finding it.

Courtesy of Literati

I spent six years writing fiction. It was hard, vulnerable work — work that I then had to beg publishers to read. I never became a best-selling author, but I gained deep insight into the book industry, and empathy for the writers who are being squeezed between two giant forces: disruptive technology and the traditional publishing industry. I started dreaming up ways to improve the space, including an idea for a startup that would let authors share their works in progress and get early feedback from readers. I started shopping it around to investors.

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