Thank you for your rejection letter dated ___. As you may imagine, I have received a lot of fine rejection letters, and you will appreciate that it is impossible for me to accept them all. I will therefore be starting employment with you on ____.
Regards and best wishes,
Then about a month later, a rejection still floated its way into my inbox. It really stung even though I hadn't applied that round :).
P.S. - if that rejection came from someone actually viewing it, and not some autosender, that's kind of a lightweight privacy violation, at least from a usability standpoint. Most would think that an unsubmitted application would automatically be an unread one as well. But since it was in the non-profit category maybe the screener had extra time on his/her hands.
1 - chronic disease studies for multiple blue-color workplaces
2 - never did video, so couldn't have been accidentally submitted
I probably submitted something on accident and just didn't notice it, but it still hurt when I sat down at my desk that morning and discovered I'd been rejected before I'd even managed to fill in all of my personal information.
Well played, Lois A. Butcher-Poffley. Well played.
This is a weekend project that drew inspiration from my own experiences of getting rejected from various applications. Although I personally haven't applied this time around, I know the sinking feeling of seeing a rejection email pop into your inbox and reading the lines "We're sorry to inform you..." I hope you find this useful and welcome feedback to improve on this.
1. requires you to fill out the YC application form to start the process; and
2. takes 7-10 days to get back to you with the inevitable rejection.
There's a whole separate psychology involved in getting over the hump of submitting the application, when you know that not only might you be rejected, but you'll have to spend a lot of effort to get rejected, and won't find out whether you have been for quite a while. That, in my mind, is the feeling you have to "get used to."
(For a bonus, let the applicant respond to the rejection email with special pleading. Auto-reject that after 7-10 days as well.)
Manuscripts, jobs, medical diagnoses.
Receiving regular rejections for dates, might have a chance to reduce poor handling of real rejections, perhaps even reduce violence towards women.
Either you'll end up being a tank that can handle any negative outcome with grace, or the sheer depression of all the rejection will force you to cancel the service at which point your normal life will feel like a fantasy land where anything is possible.
I'm a big boy now, just "Sorry you didn't get in." Is less patronizing somehow.
Like how Slack always says stuff along the lines of "we like you" and "I hope you have a great time at work today" every single time you log in.
Or how npm says "we love your boss" - Yeah of course you love my boss because he's the one who's paying for the enterprise license.
In npm's case it's probably more tongue-in-cheek but still, it's a bit disturbing that these services keep telling me that they love me when in fact they wouldn't care if I dropped dead tomorrow... Except maybe for the lost revenue.
And they're only doing that to cover for their atrocious first load times ;)
It might be interesting to send the email at random times on random days so you can't get used to it, which I believe is a similar method to how games will increase your response to rewards by making them irregularly timed.
Either way, nice job!
Re: timing the email, Mailchimp allows you to specify a time range, which I believe sends the emails at a random time between that time range. I set the time to between 8AM and 8PM EST, so people should be receiving emails between that time.
Another way of extending it (besides the suggestions) could be making a collection of nasty HN comments. Try to match the topics and you might be into something! Mandatory xkcd reference: https://xkcd.com/810/
On the general topic, there is something called "rejection therapy". While I haven't exactly practiced it myself, I've had my fair share of rejection and I can definitely feel it is something to try out. Be it social or work-related things.
This also looks like you are doing it wrong. The mass of rejection letters have many grammar and spelling mistakes. They tend to be poorly written.
I don't even open them. The preview is all the information I need.
I got a lot of rejection in grades 1-8.
The teachers believed that I was a poor
student. In some ways, I was.
If only from teacher lounge gossip, grade
by grade the teachers assumed I was a poor
Then in grades 9-12 I learned my main way
to defend myself from rejection:
Main Way: Know what the heck I'm doing,
have some solid ways to know I'm right,
and otherwise stay out of sight so that I
won't be a target.
So, right, in the 9th grade I discovered
high school math. So, I did well: (A) As
some aptitude tests showed, I have some
math talent. (B) I found that when my
math was correct, I was 100% immune from
criticism or rejection. So, I made sure
my math was correct. It worked great!
Did the same in high school chemistry and
physics. Worked great again!
So, when I was right, the teachers were
forced to give me credit and just swallow
their surprise, disgust, the evidence that
they were wrong about my work, whatever.
They didn't like to swallow that, but they
had to and did.
I still couldn't expect to please the
English literature teachers so gave up on
them and English literature and settled
for grades of gentleman C.
Lesson for Employees: As an employee, the
Main Way can be dangerous because having
such solid evidence of being right can be
threatening to others. Others don't like
to have swallow that there is solid
evidence that they are wrong. So, as an
employee, might have to back off on having
such solid evidence; or if have the
evidence, then don't let it be known
unless it is needed in some unusual
In grad school, my department Chair was a
straight A, rigid type of guy. His
research wasn't much, but no doubt in
courses he made lots of As.
Well, soon he didn't like me. Sorry guy:
In a course I found a question, got a
reading course to study it, and in two
weeks had a solid solution with a nice,
surprising, new theorem. The work
definitely looked publishable and was --
later I published the work with no
problems. From then on in grad school, I
had a halo -- could do no wrong. Why?
I'd done some rock solid, original
research that any of the faculty members
would have been thrilled to have done.
So, the Chair had to swallow.
For entrepreneurship, try to use the Main
Way again: So, have some relatively solid
reasons to know you are right.
Next, don't expect anyone in business
writing equity checks to accept,
understand, or even consider your solid
reasons. Why not: Because in all their
experience, they've nearly never seen or
at least have never accepted any solid
reasons as relevant.
Elsewhere in our civilization, such solid
reasons are both necessary and nearly
E.g., at one time before spy satellites,
the US wanted an airplane that would fly
about 2000 miles without refueling across
the USSR high enough (80,000+ feet) and
fast enough (Mach 3+) not to get shot down
and take lots of high resolution pictures.
So, Kelly Johnson at Lockheed's Skunk Works
came to the CIA with an armload of
blueprints of solid reasons. He was
right, and he, Lockheed, and the CIA all
knew he was right. The result was the
SR-71, as at
and it worked just as planned and never
got shot down. No doubt.
Same for GPS and a lot of other US
national security projects.
Indeed, given the solid presentations on
paper, nearly always the rest of the
projects were low risk and high payoff.
So, for entrepreneurship, use the Main
Way. As Kelly Johnson did, have some
solid reasons to know you are right.
Then accept that none of the equity
funders will pay any attention at all to
your solid evidence.
So, then, also, you should pay no serious
attention to their rejections. Bluntly,
they don't know what the heck they are
doing. Instead, they are essentially just
throwing darts, in a poorly lit bar, after
several beers, and occasionally hit the
And there's a much bigger reason to f'get
about the equity funders: It has become
fully clear that for a successful project,
say, building another Google, that the
equity funders have no idea at all just
how to do that. E.g., it happens only
about once each 10 years, and to the
equity funders it's all just luck and
never by solid design like the SR-71.
So, if your project could be as successful
as Google, or even worth $10+ B, then you
have to accept that none of the equity
funders have even as much as a weak little
hollow hint of a tiny clue how to do that
or how evaluate your project to do that.
So, their rejection means nothing very
solid about your project, is just noise
"Incompetents"? Sure: Could count with
shoes on all the information technology VCs
(bio-medial VCs are commonly very
different) who are qualified for a
technical slot in a startup, for CTO or
CIO, for a tenure track slot in a STEM
field in a good research university, for
an NSF grant, as an NSF problem sponsor,
who as sole author have published a STEM
field research paper in a good journal,
etc. Bluntly, in technology, they
incompetent. So, their opinion or
rejection of a technology project means no
more than the outcome of a dice roll.
So, pick a project you can bring to nice
profitability with just your own
checkbook, and then do that. Millions of
US Main Street businesses -- auto repair,
auto body repair, grass mowing, pizza
carry-out, etc. -- do that and where
there is more capex then needed for, say,
a first Web server and router.
How about receiving acceptance emails? Am I the only one to think that positive reinforcement is a way better tool? How would it possibly help you to tune yourself to a negative outcome on daily basis?!
You calling this a dumb idea is a perfect example, so I'm sure the creators here thank you for that!
Success often requires overcoming adversity. Overcoming failure and rejection.
Some will let fear of failure cripple their ability to get things done - not starting projects because they fear they'll fail, or not finishing projects because they've been discouraged by failures along the way.
Others will adopt failure as their constant companion and friend - a sign that they're attempting things difficult enough to be worth doing, things difficult enough to be educational, things that still push their boundaries. Perhaps even a positive thing in it's own right - if failure is how you learn, if constant and repeated failure to disprove is how you science, then just how negative a thing is failure, exactly? Just how negative is a fake rejection letter you signed yourself up for?
There's a place for positive reinforcement, but there's a place for conditioning as well, for those wishing to move the needle.
The Stoic fathers thought it was a good idea.
Please don't do this on Show HNs :)
(Not the being critical part, just the part I quoted)