“Hustle and Grit”

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Originally published on “Two Cents”

When the co-founders of Airbnb first approached Paul Graham (a famous Silicon Valley VC who co-founded Y Combinator), they were right out rejected from the accelerator program. However, after Paul heard the story about how the team survived on money generated from selling boxes of cereal during the Obama/McCain campaign, he accepted Airbnb into his program. Airbnb is now a well-known unicorn. When Airbnb was founded, it was in the midst of an economic recession. Things cannot be harder for startups, and investors were also timid. What first convinced Paul to take the risk to invest was the team behind Airbnb rather than the actual business idea behind Airbnb. Paul believed that the founders had an incredible ability to “hustle” and amazing “grit” to stand the nuclear winter of startups.

Healthcare 3D printing is still a very young industry, but a few names quickly show up in mind as great examples of “hustle and grit”: Rik Jacob from NextDent, Paul D’Urso from AnatomicsRx, Nick Dechev from Victoria Hand Project, Jae Yoo from Aprecia, and many more. Their fights last decades long, and they are not done yet.

Another group of people with an incredible ability to “hustle” and amazing “grit” is very close to home. In the past two years, I have worked with more than 20 3DHEALS community managers, who are unpaid volunteers. Their only drive is to realize a shared vision that 3D printing can re-invent healthcare and the need to network in a cross-disciplinary fashion, breaking down the traditional industrial barriers. Often our community managers have to run a one-person show, from catering to sending out hundreds of emails, to put on amazing educational programs and social activities for our members. A shout out to our 2018 community event managers:

· Jess Charlap (Boston)

· Sam Lindsay (Boston)

· Fernanda Valentina (Chicago)

· Aida Kafai (London)

· Sarah Fink (Melbourne)

· Hannah Riedle (Munich)

· Ben Salatin (Albuquerque)

· Annabelle Drault (Paris)

· Mayra Vasques (San Paulo, Brazil)

· Collrane Frivold (Seattle)

· Lisa Zeng (Shanghai)

· Mahendran Reddy (Singapore)

· Jana Waldes (San Francisco)

· Kate Clancy (Toronto, Canada)

· Kuan-Lin Chen (Taipei, Taiwan)

· Tyler Scherr (Nebraska, Omaha)

· Ben Holmes (Washington, D.C.)

· Dan Ortiz (Washington, D.C.)

· Pedro Martinez Seijas (Vigo, Spain)

Many of our community managers and our past event speakers have served as my personal inspirations when the time becomes tough with 3DHEALS. That’s when I remind myself:

“Sell cereals if you have to, great businesses are not built in 3 years, they are measured in decades.”

Happy holidays! & I wish you a productive and satisfying 2019.