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Another great question from last night?s Amcham event ? well not that great, no one likes to see the ugly stuff.

When and why have I hit the wall?

?Hit the wall? is a funny term ? does it imply like humpty dumpty never to be put back together again? And that is the thing, I have had some pretty low points, when unexpected things happen that are not in the plan and you have no idea how to handle them.

We planned to launch RedBalloon via email in late 2001 ? we had worked really hard on gathering a list together (Renee and I mainly) and then a test email went out to the WHOLE base because the developers (external developers ? we bought ColdFusion development in house very quickly after this) had set up an automatic schedule. People thought that we had emailed them a virus, we got relegated to the junk mail folder. I would say it took a year to recover, maybe longer. We had to put real value, and lot?s of laughs into our email to demonstrate their worth.

But what did I do? I literally put my head in my hands and said ?this could not be happening ? why me?? The crucial question that I ask always is ?How was I responsible?? which means that I can live free of the blame game. I was ultimately accountable for choosing the external supplier, and also not understanding the sensitivity of this new technology that we were developing.

Every single day I create how it is going to go ? it is not what happens in the day that matters, it is how you deal with it that makes all the difference.

When did you last hit the wall?

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